Personalities | Lita Ford | Rocking Runaway | Guitar Heroes

Lita Rossana Ford (b. 1958) was born in London. After her family settled in Los Angeles in the 1960s, she took up guitar at the age of 11, inspired by Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore.

When she was 16, she met novelty-music producer Kim Fowley, who helped recruit her, along with Joan Jett, Sandy West, Cherie Currie and Jackie Fox, for the all-girl rock band The Runaways.

Propelled by Ford’s guitar and their unique image, The Runaways released their self-titled first album in 1976. Steady touring led to a string of sold-out shows and follow-up albums, with the band enjoying enormous popularity in Japan. After four albums and hits including ‘Cherry Bomb’, ‘Hollywood’ and ‘Queens Of Noise’, the band’s factions split on musical direction, with Jett preferring the path of punk rockers like The Ramones and Blondie, while Ford and West wanted to continue with their hard rock/metal approach. The Runaways finally disbanded in 1979.

After the breakup, Ford’s solo debut, Out For Blood (1983), was a commercial disappointment, but 1984’s Dancin’ On The Edge helped establish her with heavy-metal fans. The single ‘Fire In My Heart’ hit the Top 10 in several countries, and the follow-up, ‘Gotta Let Go’, reached No. 1 on mainstream rock charts. Ford’s third album for Mercury, The Bride Wore Black, produced by Tony Iommi, was never released, and she kept busy touring until signing with RCA Records and manager Sharon Osbourne. In 1988, Ford released the self-produced Lita, which included the singles ‘Kiss Me Deadly’ and ‘Back To The Cave’. The ballad ‘Close My Eyes Forever’, a duet with Ozzy Osbourne, reached No. 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100. After three minor follow-up albums in the 1990s, Ford began a hiatus from music to concentrate on raising her two sons.

Almost 15 years later, in 2009, she re-emerged with a new band behind her and released the album Wicked Wonderland. In 2012, Ford returned to her roots with Living Like A Runaway, reflecting her recently settled differences with her former Runaways bandmates. Ford is featured extensively in the 2005 documentary film Edgeplay: A Film About The Runaways. In 2013, she reunited with former Runaways bandmate Cherie Currie to record a Christmas single.

Essential Recordings

The Runaways: The Runaways

Solo: Dancin’ On The Edge

Solo: Lita

Solo: Wicked Wonderland

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