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September 19, 2023

20 Amazing Photographs of a Young Lita Ford on Stage From the 1970s and 1980s

“Rock and roll is basically a man’s world,” guitarist and vocalist Lita Ford explained in People. “You have to play, sing and shake your ass onstage--and not be afraid to let your make-up run.” Once a bandmate of Joan Jett in the 1970s all-female rock band the Runaways, Ford has led her own band––besides her, all men––since 1983. She was the first woman to appear on the cover of Hit Parader after the publication became a heavy metal magazine, and was the first woman in two decades to be inducted into Circus magazine’s Hall of Fame. Winner of several Best Female Performer magazine polls, including Metal Edge and Guitar, she is considered the foremost female guitarist in the macho world of heavy metal. Karen Schoemer surmised in the New York Times that Hard Rock Queen Lita Ford survives “the male-dominated metal world by simultaneously fulfilling the stereotypes of both sexes.”

Lita Ford (born Lita Rossana Ford on September 19, 1958 in London, U.K.) is a hard rock singer and guitarist who achieved popularity during the 1980s. Ford was born in London but is of Italian heritage. She moved with her family to the United States while still very young. She began playing the guitar at age 11.

In 1976 at the age of 17 she became one of the founding members of the legendary teenage all-female hard rock band The Runaways. There she played lead guitar.

After the group folded in 1979, she began a solo career. Her guitar playing was well respected amongst her peers, both when she was a member of The Runaways and as a solo act. When she had the material to back her up, Ford was inarguably capable of rocking out aggressively and assertively, and more times than not, better than the best of her male counterparts. Her first two albums, Out for Blood and Dancin’ on the Edge were relatively successful, and in 1985, Ford was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Performance for “Gotta Let Go,” along with Wendy O. Williams and Pia Zadora. However the musical genre of “arena metal rock” had already crested and was now beginning its decline in the second half of the 1980s.

Nothing was heard from Ford for the next four years; a follow-up to Dancin’ on the Edge, titled The Bride Wore Black, was abandoned and never released, as Ford switched from Mercury Records to RCA Records. By the time Ford returned again, the lighter pop-metal she had long favored had broken through to mainstream audiences, which set the stage for her most commercially successful album, 1988’s Lita. With Sharon Osbourne as her manager, and slickly produced by Mike Chapman, the album featured Ford’s first commercial hit, the #12 “Kiss Me Deadly.” Its follow-up ballad, a duet with Ozzy Osbourne entitled “Close My Eyes Forever,” provided both artists with their first Top Ten single.

Here’s a selection of 20 amazing photographs of a young Lita Ford on stage from between the 1970s and 1980s:


  1. She looks cool each time appearing on her stage

  2. One of the best rockstars! Lita Ford and Cassalei Monique Jackson were true star!

  3. She looks really cool! I love Lita. Made sure I love my idols and games the most.




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