June 19, 2008


Interview with metal queen Lita Ford

Lita, it’s awesome to catch up with you and it’s great to hear you’re on your way back! A lot of people have been wondering…
I know! Everybody’s been wondering where the heck I’ve been.

The word is out that you’re making your return and that’s the first thing people want to know - what have you been up to these past few years?
Oh boy. I married Jim Gilette about 14 years ago and we pretty much checked out of the U.S. We moved to the Caribbean and have lived there for quite a long time. That’s why nobody knows where I am. Literally, we’re on a deserted island. Like Nihm’s Island - that movie with Jodie Foster. We’ve been living in the islands and I had two kids and we’ve just been raising our sons. That’s it.

That still sounds like a pretty cool gig.
It is! We just bought a house in Miami so we’re back in civilization.

It probably felt great to get away and recharge the batteries for a while, too.
The music scene got so weird I just didn’t know what the heck I was doing. It was almost like anything from the 80s was a dirty word. I thought it was good time to check out.

At that time the music industry was going all to hell - especially for artists that were popular in the 80s. Did that solely influence your decision to step away and start a family or was it just good timing to do both?
It was definitely the icing on the cake, Jesse. The music scene isn’t so wacky today as it was a few years ago. Everything was so different. Rock ‘n roll just went completely out the window.

When you knew you were going to step away did you have an idea of how long you’d take a break? Did you ever think you may not come back?
Not really. I didn’t think I’d give it up. I was wondering when the right time to step back in was going to be. My kids were young. I didn’t want to leave them. We don’t do babysitters. We home school them. I didn’t want to take a little baby on the road. I wanted to watch the music scene and see what was going on. There’s a lot of rock ‘n roll bands out there now and they’re doing good. Things are changing and I’m really happy to see that.

Journey just sold over 100,000 copies of their new album in it’s first week!
I know! It’s coming back. Hopefully not just to the older audience but to some younger fans as well.

Your fans are really looking forward to seeing you on the road. There are rumors of special appearances at a few select warm-up gigs…
And I’ve got a really good, kick-ass band. [ STET HOWLAND on Drums (W.A.S.P.), TEDDY COOK on Bass (DIO), MICHAEL T. ROSS on Keyboards (HARDLINE, ANGEL), TOM CAVANAGH on Guitar (ALMOST QUEEN, BENT PUSSYCAT) ] We just put our toes in the water. We’ve only been together for about a week. We’ll be writing some music, doing some new recordings.

With those gigs coming up, what are you doing to get ready?
Shopping! Shopping, Jesse! As much as possible. This is the Shop Til You Drop tour. (laughs) Nah, I’m just kidding…

Are you out looking for costume ideas, too?
I don’t know. You think about these things and it just really boils down to the music right now. We’re focused on getting the band tight, which is huge. They’re such wonderful musicians. We’re working away.

Did you keep up your licks during your break?
Nah. I didn’t. I just checked out completely. I think one of the hardest gigs in the world is being a parent. It takes all of me. It also takes all of you to be in a rock band. I just couldn’t do both. When I had my kids they were priority over everything else. My kids are getting older and they’re starting to rock! My son got a gold top Les Paul for his 11th birthday. My other son is playing Queen on the drums and he’s only six. They’re ready to rock! They want me to rock. When they were after me to play I knew it was time!

Dee Snider told me not too long ago, “If Lita Ford and Twisted Sister could get out on the road together, that would be the ultimate tour!” I know you made an appearance on the Twisted Christmas CD, too. Have you two stayed in touch over the years?
Jesse, we just went shopping yesterday! Dee drove me around New York in his beautiful black Hummer. We went through New York City and hit all the rock shops yesterday. Everybody on the street was stopping Dee! We’ve been talking about doing a Christmas video for that song, too. Dee’s wife dragged me all around New York yesterday trying on clothes. Being on our island we didn’t wear a lot of clothes. We were trying on clothes yesterday and there were so many ropes and strings and ties. I thought this one outfit was flattening my boobs and the zipper was up too high and Dee’s wife had to tell me I had it on backwards! There’s not much to a bikini. Those I can figure out. I had one dress that I couldn’t get off!

Dee knew all along. He said, “Jesse, I know she wants to get back out there but she just wants to wait for the right time.”
He did. He knew.

You mentioned bands that are still around and kicking today that were popular in the 80s. Did you see any of them as in inspiration to motivate you to get back out again?
I’ve gotta tell ya, Twisted Sister is definitely an inspiration. Dee Snider looks so killer. He looks amazing. I’m inspired by seeing them out there playing these huge shows.

Do you think that some of the 80s bands confused their fans by changing their direction too much?
I don’t know. There’s more to life than rock ‘n roll. You’ve gotta try different things. I know Bret Michaels did some country stuff. That’s OK. If the fans are truly fans of the artist then they’ll follow them no matter what. I think some bands are just trying to fit in to the wacky music business these days. It’s not easy.

I can’t stop thinking that you’re finally back!
I know! Everybody is saying that and it really makes it all worthwhile. I’m really excited about it!

I’m sure you’ll be rockin’ the B.C. Rich guitars, too.
Yessir! I definitely will be. I’ve got ‘em polished up, ready to go!

Now that you’re back, what do you want to do? Are you just glad to be back or do you have new goals you’re reaching for?
Just being back is accomplishing a goal. Trying to appeal to a larger audience is probably one of my goals.

How does your passion for music differ now that you’re a mom?
I’ve got to teach it to the kids. We start with the ABCs. “A stands for AC/DC. B stands for Black Sabbath. C is for the Cult. D is for Deep Purple. E is for Emerson, Lake & Palmer!” (laughs) My kids already want to do a remake of “Youth Gone Wild” by Skid Row! I thought that would be really fun and it really fits them. They’re insane!

That’s what we need. A running list of “Lita’s Alphabet” - required listening using your ABCs!
OK, I’ll get started on that for you right now, Jesse! (laughs)

What would you like to say to your fans, Lita?
Oh god. I love you so much! I can’t wait to see you. I’m coming back. Everybody needs to come to our shows and see the new band. We’ll be recording soon, probably this winter. We’ll have new record out soon! I also want to thank Dee Snider and his wife for kicking me back into rock ‘n roll!
June 27th Lita Ford hosts at Munchaba Levittown, NY
Tickets available at clubloaded.com
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June 28th The Chance in Poughkeepsie, NY
(KISS ME DEADLY) Tribute Band
Tickets available online and at venue box office
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July 6th Crazy Donkey/Club Loaded Farmingdale, NY
(KISS ME DEADLY) Tribute Band
Tickets available at clubloaded.com
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July 7th BB Kings, NYC, NY (KISS ME DEADLY) Tribute Band
Tickets available online or at box office
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July 11th LITA FORD Pryor, Oklahoma - Rocklahoma Festival


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