Lita Ford is best known for blasting loud rock and metal onstage. That’s why it was a unique experience to see the shredder onstage last Monday (June 24) with the Les Paul Trio at New York City’s Iridium Jazz Club (a stage where the legendary Les Paul played every Monday night before passing away). Not only did the night give Lita a chance to sing the blues (including covers of B.B. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone,” Albert King’s “Born Under A Bad Sign” and a bluesy take on Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire”), but also saw her perform unique renditions of her own hits “Close My Eyes Forever” and “Kiss Me Deadly.”
After performing one of two sets that night, Lita took a moment to chat with us backstage. During our chat, Ford discussed how she approached performing with the Les Paul Trio, the response she’s received from fans contributing photos for her forthcoming live album, and her hopes to be a voice against parental alienation.
What was going through your mind before going on stage with the Les Paul Trio? This is a really different experience for you.
Tonight, I had to reflect back onto the blues. I can’t come in here with a Marshall stack and a JCM 800.
As much as I’m sure you wanted to!
I did. That’s what I’m used to. And I also grew up with just being able to plug a guitar into an amplifier and not use any effects and pedals and wah-wah’s and all that shit. I grew up in The Runaways. I came from the very basics, and I grew up on the blues. I just had to do my homework before I got here and recollect back on those days.
Was that the biggest difficulty then, trying to recall back to those days? Or was there something else that was difficult?
Nothing was really difficult. These guys are amazing musicians. They’re really easy to fit into. Like I said, to come in here with a huge Marshall stack and a JCM 800 is just inappropriate. It just doesn’t go. So I didn’t want to put that across. I was playing a Les Paul [guitar], and I wanted to put that across tonight. The beautiful way Les Paul used to play and this wonderful band, that’s what I wanted to put across.
How long did you actually practice with these guys beforehand?
Really?! So what I just saw was the first time you guys played together?
Wow, well it sounded amazing. And I never thought I’d hear “Kiss Me Deadly” with jazz piano!
I know, right? Isn’t that funny?