Seymour Duncan conducted an interview with ’80s hard rock queen Lita Ford at this year’s NAMM show, which took place January 22-24 in Anaheim, California. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On her new memoir, “Lita Ford – Living Like A Runaway: A Memoir”:
Lita: “It took a while to get started on the book, because I couldn’t find the right writer to write with me. The first man I wrote with was a chauvinist, and coming out of a marriage where you’re married to a chauvinist, it just didn’t click. So we got rid of him and moved on to this little young girl who knew nothing about rock and roll at all; she knew nothing about the bandmembers or any history in music. So that didn’t work. And then we moved on to this little Italian chick, and she was a Godsend. She helped me finish the book. If I wouldn’t have met her, I don’t think I would have been finished with the book; I don’t think it would be coming out. I believe she was sent to me from God. And, for some reason, since I left my ex-husband, who was the Devil himself, I’ve been getting a lot of Godsends, and I include her [as] one of them.”
On whether she has noticed any changes in the rock scene as it pertains to women, as players and audience members, in the last four decades:
Lita: “Yeah, a lot, actually. The audience used to be all guys, all dudes. There’d be like maybe one chick in the corner that would be scared to death. And there would be a sea of denim and leather, and all just raging dudes. It’s pretty scary when you’re up there and you’re seventeen years old, and you’ve got a sea of raging dudes [and their] hormones. But now, in 2016, I’ve noticed that the front row is a lot of women cheering you on. Their husbands are there, their boyfriends are there, they support them, they’re fans, so it’s a joint effort. It’s become a unisex; it’s a universal language now. It’s not just for men.”
Former NITRO singer Jim Gillette last year dismissed Lita Ford‘s “self-serving claims and slanderous allegations” as “completely and 100% ludicrous,” insisting that his ex-wife’s accusations have been “more than a little frightening for our family.”
Ford and Gillette were married for 16 years but split up in 2011. According to Ford, her difficult divorce helped inspire her latest album, “Living Like A Runaway” — which she originally planned to title “The Healing” — and she accused her former husband of turning their two sons against her.
In an interview with Metal Sludge, Gillette broke his silence on the situation, saying, “Unlike Lita, I don’t believe it’s right to say bad things about a child’s parent publicly or in private. I think divorce is hard enough on kids and they certainly don’t need to be hurt or embarrassed by an irrational parent who has an agenda. That said, I suppose I could finally shed a little light on the subject without being too harsh.
“First of all and for the record, I have sole legal and physical custody of our sons. Unfortunately, it goes much further than that. As heartbreaking and unbelievable as this might sound, Lita Ford is not even allowed to see our sons by way of an agreed-upon court order. This order was signed after nearly two years of litigation, during which time the courts only allowed her supervised visitation.”
He continued: “Everything is legal about the boys being with me, and all of Lita‘s self-serving claims and slanderous allegations are completely and 100% ludicrous. Quite frankly, all of this is more than a little frightening for our family.
“Our sons have urged me for years to tell the world our side of the story but this is all I’m prepared to share at this point in time.”
Lita told Classic Rock Revisited in a 2011 interview that she had become afraid of Gillette, who is a bodybuilder and martial artist. “Yes, he’s big and yes, he’s scary and it is real,” she said. “There is nothing phony about him at all and I don’t like it. When you’re that big, and you’re that scary, then you need to pick on somebody your own size.
“I wanted to get a divorce because he was hurting me,” Ford continued. “You see how big he is; it’s not right. I got an attorney and I asked her, ‘How do I get out of the house?’ She said, ‘Wait until there is nobody around and then get your stuff and get out.’ I said, ‘I can’t leave my kids.’ I don’t know why, or how the hell he knew, but he knew I was going to try and take my kids and he wouldn’t let them out of his sight. He changed them. I don’t know what he said to them but right now my kids are scared to death of me.”
“Lita Ford – Living Like A Runaway: A Memoir” will be released on February 23 via Dey Street Books (formerly It Books), an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.