From founding the Runaways with Joan Jett to her massively successful 80s solo career as well as collaborating with some of the greatest names in metal, Lita Ford’s influence has transformed generations of young rocker chicks. She as inspired quite a few crushes in her male fans as well. The packed house at Ramshead On Stage in Annapolis, MD, was buzzing with fans anxiously waiting for Lita to appear Sunday night. It was thrilling when she took the stage, Lita exudes a presence you can feel across the room and she delivered a fantastic night of good ol’ heavy hitting rock and roll.
Ford opened her set with “Gotta Let Go,” “Larger Than Life” and the Elton John tune “Bitch.” The bitch is certainly back alright and she plays a mean-ass guitar. Lita looked stunning in her red leather pants and jacket as she pounded into “Relentless.” “Playing with Fire” off the Dangerous Curves album absolutely cranked.
It is wonderful do see Lita back doing what she loves, Ford had been on quite the hiatus. The 80s had an awesome metal scene going, then 90s grunge came around. It was at this time Lita Ford decided to take an extended break from the music industry to focus on raising her kids. Lita said her children were more important to her than anything else and she actually lived on a deserted island with her boys, devoting all her time to being a mom. They would go fishing and take daily walks on the beach, Ford even home-schooled her children.
In 2009 Lita returned to music with the release of Wicked Wonderland, her first album in almost 15 years. Living Like A Runaway followed in 2012 and Time Capsule was released this past April. Growing up in Hollywood with the Runaways and all the amazing bands that came off the sunset strip was a phenomenal breeding ground for writing great music. Ford said her father had to pick up her high school diploma for her because she was actually on tour playing with the Runaways opening for the Ramones at the time. Lita wrote the song “Living Like A Runaway” about being on the road with the Runaways.
AXS always love a killer guitar jam and the guitar duel between Ford and Patrick Kennison on “Back To The Cave,” a track off her Lita album, was extremely entertaining. Lita’s got herself a great band. There’s not much stage production, they don’t need it. In-between songs Ford spoke about the circumstances that led to writing the various tunes. She reminisced about writing with Lemmy Kilmister, the late, great frontman of Motorhead, who sadly passed away nearly one year ago. Lita told a story about how she rolled down to Lemmy’s house one day and snorted some “stuff” that made them write a song that was played really, really, really fast. She then sped into “Catch Me If You Can,” it was a head banging delight.
Folks enjoyed the old-school arena rock vibe to the show, especially the drum solo band break. Bobby Rock was phenomenal! This drummer has many talents. He can even take photos and sip a beer while continually playing the drums. Bobby even played them with his head. His personality certainly shined through very entertaining style.
“Falling In and Out of Love” was written by Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue. Lita and Nikki had a brief affair when she was around 20 and have remained friends over the years. The Grammy-nominated classic “Cherry Bomb” was a fan favorite. Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones wrote the next song in the set, “Black Leather.” Lita broke out her beautiful, white double-necked guitar which was made for her in 1981. The guitar still says ‘”Prototype, we love you Lita” on the neck from when it was given to her back in the day. Ford has had a long-standing relationship with guitar manufacturer B.C. Rich, especially with her signature Warlock. In 2013 Lita Ford was presented with Guitar Player magazine’s “Certified Guitar Legend Award.”
Closing down the night were two of Lita’s biggest hits “Close My Eyes,” a beautifully haunting song co-written by the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne. Patrick Kennison gets a special shout-out for doing such a great job singing Ozzy’s part. The last song of the night was “Kiss Me Deadly” and it brought the house down. The energy was through the roof, everyone was dancing and singing along. It was a killer ending to a fantastic night.
Lita’s fearless kiss-and-tell book ‘Living Like A Runaway: A Memoir’ is out now. Ford is currently booking tour dates for 2017. She says to expect a new album from her in 2017 as well. For information on upcoming concerts in Annapolis visit the Rams Head On Stage event calendar.