'80s hard rock queen Lita Ford read from her long-awaited memoir, conversed with Noisey editor Kim Kelly, and answered audience questions during an appearance this past Monday, February 22 at St. Vitus in Brooklyn, New York. A book signing followed the discussion.
Check out video footage below.
"Lita Ford - Living Like A Runaway: A Memoir" was released on February 23 via Dey Street Books (formerly It Books), an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Lita Ford lived her dreams, until her life turned into a nightmare. She left home at age sixteen to join the world's first all-female rock group, THE RUNAWAYS — a band whose legend was sealed by the 2010 hit movie starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning — and went on to become the first woman hard rock guitarist, a platinum-selling star who gave Ozzy Osbourne his first Top Ten hit, a bare-ass, leather-clad sexy babe whose hair was bigger and guitar licks were hotter than any of the guys. She is also the mother of two sons whose harrowing tale of her catastrophic marriage to a metal rocker makes Ike and Tina Turner sound like life at the country club.
But in the end, Lita's story changes from a music story to a woman's story — a wrenching, desperate drama of human bondage and a mother's love, a life-and-death struggle over her own soul. Trapped in an increasingly terrifying marriage, systematically stripped of her connections to the outside world, Lita Ford became a prisoner in her own life, a slave to her husband's demands, living like a captive. She plotted her escape and her freedom cost her the boys she stayed in the marriage to protect. Her graphic, explicit story will terrify and horrify readers, but they won't be able to put it down.
"Living Like A Runaway" will shock people with the candor that Lita Ford shines on her dramatic life story. At ease as a woman in the previously all-male world of rock, Lita shares with her male counterparts an unvarnished directness when it comes to topics such as sex, drugs, money or fame. No female rock star of Lita's stature has ever before told the real story of women in rock. With unprecedented rawness and honesty, "Living Like A Runaway" reminds us that Lita Ford is not only one of music's greatest pioneers, but also one of its fiercest survivors.
In a January 2014 interview with PureGrainAudio.com, Ford stated about her book: "It's an autobiography about, well, my life, the paths I've taken, all the different musical eras. It's got all my favorite stories in it. It covers everything really from me growing up to THE RUNAWAYS to Lita and all the things I've been through and experiences I've had."
She added: "The hardest thing was how things kept popping out and I'm going crazy thinking, 'Hell, I've got to include that... oh no... that needs to go in as well and... hey, do you remember that time...' — every time I think I've got everything, one of us remembers something else and we're back where we started. It's never-ending."
Asked how writing a book is different from composing music, Lita told PopCultureMadness.com: "It's completely two different animals. Just trying to come up with something that captures the reader and keeps the interest flowing. You don't wanna lose the reader's interest. So I think I did that; I think I was able to do that on this book. It starts off in a time in a period and you have to get into it a little bit, and once you do, you can't put it down — you can't put it down. What happens next? You can't wait for the next chapter. It's really cool."
Regarding whether it was hard to revisit certain episodes in her life while writing the book, Lita said: "Well, things are emotional. There's deaths, there's divorce, there's things that are so goddamn funny that you can't help it but cry laughing. It's just a very emotional book. And you have to really go there mentally — you have to go there in order to be able to put it down on paper and in a book for people to read. So it was a challenge. And you really don't have a choice as to when… 'I don't feel like doing it right now.' Fuck that! Go there. You have to go there [and] get it done. So it was tough."
Photo credit: Dustin Jack