“Heavy metal's leading female rocker” (Rolling Stone) bares all, opening up about the Runaways, the glory days of the punk and hard-rock scenes, and the highs and lows of her trailblazing career
Wielding her signature black guitar, Lita Ford shredded the stereotypes of female musicians throughout the 1970s and '80s. Then followed more than a decade of silence and darkness-until rock and roll repaid the debt it owed this pioneer, helped Lita reclaim her soul, and restored the Queen of Metal to her throne.
In 1975, Lita Ford left home at age sixteen to join the world's first major all-female rock group, the Runaways-“a pioneering band” (New York Times) that became the subject of a Hollywood movie starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning. Lita went on to become “heavy rock's first female guitar hero” (Washington Post), a platinum-selling solo star who shared the bill with the Ramones, Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Poison, and others and who gave Ozzy Osbourne his first Top 10 hit. She was a bare-ass, leather-clad babe whose hair was bigger and whose guitar licks were hotter than any of the guys'.
Hailed by Elle as “one of the greatest female electric guitar players to ever pick up the instrument,” Lita spurred the meteoric rise of Joan Jett, Cherie Currie, and the rest of the Runaways. Her phenomenal talent on the fret board also carried her to tremendous individual success after the group's 1979 disbandment, when she established herself as a “legendary metal icon” (Guitar World) and a fixture of the 1980s music scene who held her own after hours with Nikki Sixx, Jon Bon Jovi, Eddie Van Halen, Tommy Lee, Motörhead's Lemmy, Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi (to whom she was engaged), and others.
Featuring a foreword by Dee Snider, Living Like a Runaway also provides never-before-told details of Lita's dramatic personal story. For Lita, life as a woman in the male-dominated rock scene was never easy, a constant battle with the music establishment. But then, at a low point in her career, came a tumultuous marriage that left her feeling trapped, isolated from the rock-and-roll scene for more than a decade, and-most tragically-alienated from her two beloved sons. And yet, after a dramatic and emotional personal odyssey, Lita picked up her guitar and stormed back to the stage. As Guitar Player hailed in 2014 when they inducted her into their hall of fame of guitar greats: “She is as badass as ever.”
Fearless, revealing, and compulsively readable, Lita Ford's Living Like a Runaway is the long-awaited memoir from one of rock's greatest pioneers-and fiercest survivors.
“It was in the late spring of 1984 when I finally met Lita in person. Twisted Sister was just starting to tour, promoting our Stay Hungry album, and Lita Ford was the opener, working her second solo album, Dancin' on the Edge. Having never gotten to see the Runaways live, I was truly impressed not only by Lita's performing but also by her guitar playing. Here was a girl who could really play! And I'm not talking playing good ‘for a girl,' I'm talking playing good for anybody. Lita Ford could wail, and night after night she rocked the house. Let's face it, up to that point, with rare exception, a ‘female rocker' was pretty much viewed as an oxymoron. Lita Ford was standing flat-footed on the stage each night, wearing denim and leather, shredding on her guitar, and daring anyone to deny her right to be there. And nobody could. Lita Ford was just what the women's movement in the rock-and-roll world needed.”-Dee Snider, Twisted Sister, from the foreword
Praise for Lita Ford and Living Like a Runaway
“Lita Ford is the coolest and most rock-and-roll female guitarist I ever heard. No guitarist-male or female-ever looked better with a Gibson Explorer than Lita.”-SLASH
“Lita Now there's one hot guitar maestro who has a hell of a story to tell. This book begs to be a film. Lita's always been the best!”-ROBIN ZANDER, Cheap Trick
“Lita Ford is the Queen of Rock. There are some musicians who fall off the path, and there are others who blaze their own trails. Lita took the latter and refused to be ignored in a primarily man's world. Lita will never leave us, 'cause she is the real deal.”-GLENN HUGHES, Trapeze, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath
“Not only did Lita Ford compete in a predominantly male-occupied world, but she also showed all the testosterone-and-adrenaline-driven rock guys how to do it. She came out guns blazing, a singer-guitarist heroine who brought the angst, the (bombshell) sex appeal, the ‘never say die' attitude, and-dare I say it-the balls to show how it's done. And many years later, when so many others have hung up their spandex leggings in favor of a midlife gut, she is still here.”-PHIL SOUSSAN, Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol, and The Vince Neil Band
Lita Ford was the lead guitarist of the Runaways before embarking on her platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated solo career. In 2014 Lita received Guitar Player’s Certified Legend Award and was inducted into their Hall of Fame. She lives in Southern California.