LITA FORD - Gotta Keep A' Runnin'
by Martin Popoff
One of them became a lawyer and author, one of them became the icon and persona that is Joan Jett, one of them is a chainsaw-carver, and Sandy West has died. Of the original Runaways, it is Lita Ford that was the band's Ace Frehley solo album, as it were, the one who stayed truest to the vision of the band, kicking out the jams as the most famous hair metal girl during the '80s and sporadically keeping her hand in the game thereafter.
After a shocking level of personal strife with ex-husband Jim Gillette (Nitro guitarist turned Caribbean real estate developer) and even her kids, she's back with a new album that touches on that raw nerve. Living Like A Runaway is everything one want from a Lita Ford album, snarling vocals, big riffs, clean an' crushing production and confessional lyrics, all aided and betted by writing partner Gary Hoey, whiz guitarist with a few ideas of his own.
"Well, it's based around my life story," begins Lita, all of 54 and not changed a bit, save for a few scars at having made it through the emotional ringer. "At the time I was going through an ugly divorce, and it just really triggered a lot of emotions, being able to survive stuff like these ugly battles that people go through, whether it be divorce or whether it'd just be a bad day at the office. It's just about being able to survive this kind of stuff, by putting on your favourite record or your favourite piece of music. This album cover really should have one big finger on the cover. Just going, eff off, right? It's my way of saying screw you. And everybody, I'm sure, has somebody, whether it's somebody's teacher at school, but just somebody they think in their life, like why didn't I tell that person what I really thought? So I feel like a lot of emotion has gone into this record - and a lot of guitar riffs (laughs). Even the guitar riffs are crying, with beautiful guitar solos, things that we played harmonies on, Gary and I."
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