By Martina Fasano
Lita Ford began her career in the seminal all-female punk band The Runaways, together with Joan Jett, Sandy West, Cherie Currie, and Jackie Fox. That would have been enough trailblazing for most people, but not Lita.
The first time I saw Lita Ford play her guitar I was about nine years old. It was a cold, winter night in Toronto, Canada, and I was waiting for the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game to start. Every Saturday night, the lead-up program to the game was the CHUM Top 40 Countdown. My family would gather at my grandmother’s house – where most Italian families gather on at least one day of the week – and we would eat, watch the Top 40 Countdown and argue about the music videos, and then watch the Maple Leafs blow a three-goal lead in the third period. It was a ritual. I distinctly remember the evening in question because I fell in love with a BC Rich Warlock that night, and it left such an impression on me that I only worked up the courage to buy one – a Lita Ford signature model Black Widow Warlock, loaded with the SH-6 Distortion in the bridge and the SH-4 JB in the neck, no less – two years ago. More importantly, I watched the screen and I saw a woman playing that Warlock. And she wasn’t strumming a couple of open chords either – she was shredding like it was nobody’s business.