Book Review ~ Lita Ford ~ Living Like A Runaway

Lita Ford is a pioneer in music and she’s helped kicked down quite a few doors along her musical journey that made easier for the women who followed her. Her new autobiography Living Like A Runaway is a tell-all full of highs and lows, heartaches and heartbreaks, lessons learned and so much more. Lita is often referred to as the Queen of Metal Heavy and it’s a title that she has earned over her 40+ years of blood, sweat and tears in the music business. Her autobiography chronicles her career in music beginning in the early days where her mom bought her first guitar at the age of eleven all the way up to finding her confidence again after leaving music for fifteen years on her true comeback album, also called, Living Like A Runaway.

Her autobiography traces the rise and fall of The Runaways, who have proven to be a ground breaking group even though their run was short lived. It’s so hard to believe that she was just sixteen when she joined The Runaways. Lita tells in-depth stories about those early days of touring and meeting Jimmy Page and Robert Plant at one of their first U.S. headline shows and Robert Plant asking her if she could play bass for Led Zeppelin. To this day, she’s not sure of he was just pulling her leg or what that was really about. She also talks about the bands tour of Japan where they were met with a scene of Beatlemania proportions at the airport. She actually quit the band early on when she realized that all of the girls in the band were into females and it fucked with her head because she wasn’t used to that.

She also traces her solo career from the release of her solo debut in 1983 with Out For Blood and how she had to alter the cover for some stores to carry it. She was quite revolutionary in the filming of the music video for the title track by using what may be considered the first GoPro on the body of the guitar. She was constantly being messed with in the 80s as the male dominated metal scene was constantly trying to sabotage her at soundchecks. She even had guitarists such as George Lynch of Dokken tell her that “girls don’t play guitar.” Well, I guess she proved him wrong, didn’t she? Read about how her classic metal power ballad duet “Close My Eyes Forever” with Ozzy Osbourne almost didn’t happen thanks to his wife Sharon, who managed both Ozzy and Lita at the time.

The 80s was a decade of excess and Lita had her share of them as she’s not shy talking about her sexual escapades with the likes of Eddie Van Halen, Jon Bon Jovi, Ritchie Sambora to name a few. She was engaged to Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi for some time, but it took a turn for the worse when he became abusive towards her. She also became involved with Chris Holmes of W.A.S.P. and they eventually married, but she wasn’t truly in love with him and that failed to work. She remarried for almost eighteen years and has two sons from that marriage, but she has chosen not to write in detail about that marriage out of respect for her children. If you’ve followed her through the years, then you know some of the story of what’s gone on there and the heartache that it’s created for Lita being apart from her two sons. I interviewed Lita a few years back and we spoke briefly about the situation and out of respect for her I’d like to ask you to educate yourself on Parental Alienation and Kids First Parental Alienation Awareness at www.kidsfirstpaa.org.

The book is a really good read and a rollercoaster of emotions as it traces the highs and lows of her 40+ year career in music. Girls who played instruments and rocked did not exist in the days of The Runaways or in the 80s when she started her solo career. Lita was in a testosterone dominated genre and chose to raise her double middle finger salute to everyone and prove that she could rock just as good, if not better, than all the boys. She didn’t have a guitar slinging female role model to look to when she started off in music, but she quickly became one for so females who have followed.

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