My Little Red Book

Living Like a Runaway

Lita Ford

My Little Red Book

In name alone, metal and hardcore are the two toughest musical genres. Hollywood's Runaways, b. 1975 – Joan Jett, Cherie Currie, Lita Ford, Sandy West, and Jackie Fox – trysted punk's raw DIY ethos with metal's leather-bearing power chords into a "Cherry Bomb" heard 'round the music sphere. Long Beach bombshell Ford, 16 when she ran away to join the free-for-all, earns her memoir on that note alone, yet the lead guitarist never wasted a day before or since, beginning with honest-to-God baby boomer DNA: Her father was one of nine survivors of an entire UK battalion (1,000) at the battle of Anzio during World War II, who then fell in love and married the Italian nurse who cared for him in the hospital afterward. Ford's platinum highs and low misadventures never shake that air of fait accompli, from "Kiss (and tell) Me Deadly" metal paramours Ritchie Blackmore, Glenn Tipton, Tony Iommi, and Nikki Sixx (even Jon Bon Jovi) – not to mention Dee Dee Ramone and Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook – to a falling out with allegedly jealous manager Sharon Osbourne in the aftermath of Ford's Top 10 hit duet with Ozzy Osbourne on 1987's "Close My Eyes Forever." That's jukebox stakes compared to a desert isle marriage that stripped Ford of her career, family, and freedom. She's back now, but Lita went boom.

Living Like a Runaway

by Lita Ford
Dey Street, 272 pp., $26.99

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Lita Ford, Summer Reading 2016, Runaways, Joan Jett, Ritchie Blackmore, Sex Pistols, Ramones, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Black Sabbath, Bon Jovi, Judas Priest

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