Dear Guitar Hero: Lita Ford

To read the full Dear Guitar Hero feature with Lita Ford, pick up Guitar World Holiday 2008, on sale now.

She’s a former Runaway who paved the way for female hair metal guitarists and then quit the rat race for life on a desert island. But what Guitar World readers really want to know is…

It was awesome to hear that you performed at Rocklahoma. How was it? —Harry Kane

The welcome back was overwhelming. Honestly, I had no idea what it would be like. I literally have been on an island for so long, and I haven’t seen anybody or talked to anybody. But people were so happy to see me, and it was a heartwarming experience. Then an hour before I was to play Rocklahoma a massive storm came through and leveled the stage I was to play on. The gods were mad at me. So we went on late, and I felt bad for the people who stayed, because they were standing in the mud in a torrential downpour. It was a sea of umbrellas, but they were still so excited.

In the Mötley Crüe biography, The Dirt, there’s a section about you and Nikki being in a “haunted” apartment, with forks flying everywhere. Did that really happen? —Roy Mosny

Forks? Well, I wasn’t there for that one, I don’t think…

What is your career highlight?—Lamar Underwood

I feel like I haven’t done it yet. My dear friend Vicki Blue, who’s the Runaways’ bassist, just did a documentary on the Runaways. She wants to do one on Lita Ford, but I told her if we did this we could only do the first half because I don’t have a second half yet. I need to go out there and live it. And I have to say it’s a little scary. I see a great big tidal wave coming at me full of good things…and I just hope I make it through it. [laughs]

The Eighties were known to be an especially crazy time in metal. I’m wondering what’s the craziest thing you saw during that time? —Nim Pho

I’ve seen some fans do some wacky stuff. We played an arena, Long Beach Arena, I think, and people were flinging themselves down from the balconies. And that’s like a 40-foot drop to the stage! That’s insane. That was pretty heavy-duty stuff. Of course they got carted off by ambulance.

The Go-Go’s were notoriously horrible to their male groupies. How did you deal with your groupies? —Yoshi Aino

They were horrible to them? Huh. I wonder why. That’s stupid. No, my male groupies have always treated me with respect and have been awesome. I’ve never had any trouble with groupies, thank god. I’ve always respected them as much as they’ve respected me.

You’ve hung around with/dated a lot of metal’s bad boys, like Ozzy, Nikki Sixx and Chris Holmes. How did you manage to stay out of trouble? —Jerry Perlinski

I didn’t really. But it all depends on what kind of trouble you’re talking about. [laughs] Oh, I had my share of trouble, but I never did anything major. I was always at the right place at the right time. When I think of all the things that could have happened to me, I think, Oh god, I could have gone to jail that night, or I could have died that night, or how did I get home? I guess I was just lucky. I guess God has always looked out for me.

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Guitar World Editors

Since 1980, Guitar World has brought guitarists the best in-depth interviews with great players, along with exclusive lessons, informative gear reviews and insightful columns that help guitarists grow and excel on their instrument. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is your guide.