Tag Archives: Lita Ford

Are Female Guitarists Scrutinized More Than Their Male Counterparts?

By Andrew Catania

A guitar has been one of the instruments that make music sound great. However, these tunes depend on who is playing it. There has been a huge stereotype that guitarist has to be males. To a big point of analysis of what has been actually happening, this can be said to be plain truth.

In the recent past, the saying of “what a man can do a woman can do better” has been put into reality. Ladies have been seen to be in a revolution of taking up the roles that the general society referred as male oriented. Guitar playing has not been one of them. However, this has been coming in a handful of challenges.

Taking into consideration that there aren’t many female guitar playing role models, the unique one who stands to break the norm gets herself cornered with a lot of curiosity from examined in cases where they would want to go public and be involved in some musical bands. Be that as it may, we have to comprehend what causes this. One purpose behind young ladies not taking up the instrument is that the female guitarist has been fetishized and generalized to a degree which is offensive in its mildest shape, and intensely horrendous something else

The artists among you who visit YouTube would have most likely experienced channels and recordings of young ladies playing guitar. In the event that you look down the remark areas of these recordings, you will see a considerable measure of indecent references to their looks, the most pleasant of which would read “wed me” and much more. Individuals post recordings of themselves on Youtube for approval of their abilities. When other females who were already feeling persuaded meets this, they end up holding back since they would never wish to get themselves in such situations.

When it comes to matters performance in clubs and such entertainment halls, you may get a huge multitude not coming to enjoy the music but to just have a look at a lady guitarist. In cases where long and risky performances, women are known to be the most vulnerable. They fear the unknown that may happen.

Indeed, even at school the part of the gang persona related with young ladies who play guitar prompts them getting undue thankfulness for their abilities. Then it is like how young ladies who claim to be such a nerd. Then again, the most mainstream male clients on Youtube are in fact practically immaculate. This still leaves the big names and innovative virtuosos, about every one of whom is male.

Lita Ford broke the barrier for most female guitarists today.  In my interview with Lita, she said she endured horrific treatment from others.  We’re lucky enough today to have super talented, strong, creative women guitarists that don’t have to deal with what Lita Ford did some 30 years ago.  Guitarists like Gretchen Menn, Courtney Cox, Nikki Stringfield, Ori, Jennifer Batten, Nita Strauss among others are better players than a lot of men.

All said and done, I believe guitar playing is more of a matter of passion than any learning. An individual only needs to be self-motivated to try it out. The female guitarists of today are phenomenal.

 

 

All That Shreds List of the Top Ten Female Shredders!

By Andrew Catania

There are so many talented female guitarists out there it was hard to choose the top 10.  I watched countless hours of YouTube videos, watching these ladies tone, technique, skill, and playing.  This is my top ten female shredders.  Most of these ladies are more than just shredders.  They’re overall extremely talented guitarists that can play any genre!

  1. Gretchen Menn.   Gretchen tops this list for her incredible talent.  Gretchen has a beautiful feel for the instrument.  Her cover of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli’s “Minor Swing” is out of this world.  She uses her guitar talents on a daily basis practicing her favorite artists. Gretchen held a BA in Music and studied classical guitar and composition.  She’s a talented player in Zepparella.  She released her first solo album in 2011 titled “Hale Souls.”  Her 2016 release, “Abandon All Hope,” is phenomenal.  Gretchen can shred and play any other genre with ease.  She has played with some of the all-time greats in her career.
  2. Nili Brosh.  Nili has a sound technique.  Playing with the likes of Tony MacAlpine, Nili has to be an excellent player.  Born in Boston. MA she studied music at Berklee College of Music. She has self-released an album in 2010 “Through The Looking Glass” an instrumental album. In 2011 she joined the metal band Seven the Hardway. In 2013 she joined the Ethan Brosh band as the second guitarist, August 2012 she joined Tony MacAlpine for the Maximum Security tour.  Nili also released her latest record, A Matter of Perception in 2014.
  3. Alexandra Zerner.  Bulgarian guitarist who is a session musician, sound engineer, composer and teacher. She is a solo artist and the lead in Another Destiny Project since Sept 2014. In 2016 she started playing with “Vivaldi Metal Project.” She is also ranked in the top 15 guitar shredders by Metalholic.com.
  4. Tina S.  17-year-old French guitarist is into heavy metal, and her latest exhibition is shredding “Beethoven’s Midnight Sonata” She has done previous videos of Metallica’s “Master of Puppets,” Jason Becker’s “Altitudes” and Dragon Force Z’s.  Tina has a bright future ahead of her where I hope we can hear some original material from her.
  5. Courtney Cox.  “CC Shred” can play the strings off the fretboard.  Courtney was in a female fronted band called Queen Diamond before her current gig with the Iron Maidens.  Courtney has proving she has the talent and skill to play anything.  I hope Courtney puts out some original material so all of us could enjoy her dedication to the guitar!
  6. Nikki Stringfield.  Strings are the other  1/2 of the female tribute band The Iron Maidens.  Schecter Guitars endorse this college educated Texas native.   Like Courtney, Strings can tear down the house with her playing.  I’m hopeful Strings can get out of the shadow of tribute bands and start recording original material.
  7. Jennifer Batten. Jennifer was hired by Michael Jackson in 1987.  She was a guitarist for his upcoming tour “Bad” she worked with him for 18 months, then off and on through the years. In 1998, she joined Jeff Beck’s backing band. Staying with Beck, she has played on 1999’s “Who Else!” And 2001’s” You Had It Coming” albums and several tours.  Jennifer continues to dominate the fretboard and tour with the likes of Uli Jon Roth and Andy Timmons.
  8. Orianthi.  This Australian born female guitarist has plenty to her credit. Her music has been on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2010, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and other shows where her guitar can be heard. She was the last guitarist to work with Michael Jackson on the “This Is It” production.  She’s currently working with Ritchie Sambora.
  9. Lita Ford English-born American, she was a guitarist/vocalist with “The Runaways” in the late 70s. She embarked on a solo career in the 80s to 1985 that debuted with a solo album “Out For Blood” in 1983 and then a second in 1984 “Dancin on the Edge” her solo efforts gained moderate success. She had done songs with Ozzie Osbourne and went on hiatus when she moved to the islands with her then husband, Jim Gillette.  Lita came back and has released solo releases lately that have been produced by Gary Hoey.
  10. Sarah Longfield is a guitarist from Madison WI. She plays various musical styles from progressive to experimental sounds. The band she plays with is called The Fine Constant. She composes, records, and mixes her music for the band and her solo endeavors.

Congratulations to these talented guitarists for their dedication to the guitar!  Please check out each guitarist’s respective websites:

http://gretchenmenn.com/

http://www.nilibrosh.com/

http://www.alexandrazerner.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/malabar777

https://www.facebook.com/Courtneycoxofficial/

https://www.facebook.com/xNikki.Stringfieldx/

http://www.batten.com/

http://www.orianthimusic.com/

http://litafordonline.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/MissSmiles4u

Interview: The Legacy of Lita Ford

By Andrew Catania

There’s not many guitarists that have had the career and legacy that Lita Ford has had.  Litа wаѕ bоrn оn Sерtеmbеr 19, 1958 in Lоndоn, Englаnd, and grew up in Lоѕ Angеlеѕ. She became the lead guitаriѕt in thе аll-girl hard rосk band Thе Runaways, whose dеbut аlbum wаѕ rеlеаѕеd in 1976. With thеir рunkiѕh ѕоund, рrоvосаtivе ѕtаgе outfits аnd rеbеlliоuѕ lуriсѕ, thе band ѕhосkеd mаnу in thе rосk wоrld, аnd асhiеvеd mild рорulаritу until they brоkе up in 1979. Fоrd then enjoyed a ѕuссеѕѕful ѕоlо саrееr in heavy mеtаl, with ѕuсh hitѕ аѕ “Kiѕѕ Me Dеаdlу” аnd “Close Mу Eуеѕ Fоrеvеr.”

Ford was bоrn Cаrmеlitа Rоѕѕаnnа Fоrd tо a Britiѕh fаthеr, and аn Itаliаn mother in Lоndоn, Englаnd. Shе mоvеd with hеr fаmilу to the Unitеd Stаtеѕ аt аgе 4. Shе bеgаn рlауing thе guitаr at аgе 11. Hеr vосаl rаngе iѕ thаt of a mеzzо-ѕорrаnо.

Aftеr the grоuр ѕрlit in 1979, ѕhе bеgаn a solo career. Hеr firѕt album, Out fоr Blood inсluding thе titlе ѕinglе wаѕ released in 1983 аnd hаd nо luсk оn thе сhаrtѕ. The next effort, Dancin’ оn thе Edgе оf 1984 асhiеvеd mоdеrаtе success. It inсludеd the single “Fire In Mу Hеаrt” whiсh reached thе Tор 10 in ѕеvеrаl соuntriеѕ. The nеxt ѕinglе “Gotta Lеt Gо” wаѕ оnе of Fоrd’ѕ biggеѕt hitѕ. It reached Numbеr One on thе Mainstream Rосk сhаrtѕ.

Fоrd tоurеd еxtеnѕivеlу аnd mаdе ѕеvеrаl guеѕt арреаrаnсеѕ оn TV shows for the next four years, but had nо rеlеаѕеѕ; a fоllоw-uр tо Dаnсin’ On Thе Edgе, titled Thе Bridе Wоrе Blасk, wаѕ abandoned аnd never rеlеаѕеd because Ford did not likе thе production оf thе аlbum аnd this upset the hеаd оf hеr record label, lеаding to Fоrd ѕwitсhing from Mеrсurу RecordsRCA Rесоrdѕ. Thе аrtiѕt hаѕ dеѕсribеd thе аlbum as bеing in “Lаbеl hell! Whо knоwѕ what ѕhеlf thаt iѕ ѕitting оn!”

Bу thе timе Fоrd rеturnеd again, thе lighter рор-mеtаl ѕhе had lоng fаvоrеd hаd brоkеn thrоugh tо mаinѕtrеаm аudiеnсеѕ, which set the ѕtаgе fоr hеr most соmmеrсiаllу successful album, 1988’ѕ Lita. With Shаrоn Oѕbоurnе аѕ her mаnаgеr, аnd again рrоduсеd bу herself, the album fеаturеd fоur commercial hitѕ, including “Kiss Me Dеаdlу“, “Bасk Tо Thе Cаvе“, “Close My Eyes Fоrеvеr“, and “Falling In And Out Of Love” (co-written with Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüе). The bаllаd “Close Mу Eуеѕ Fоrеvеr“, a duet with Ozzу Osbourne, wаѕ hеr оnlу Tор 10 Billbоаrd Hоt 100 hit, rеасhing #8.

Hеr nеxt release was called Stilеttо. It fеаturеd the ѕinglеѕ “Hungry” and “Liѕа” (the ѕесоnd wаѕ dedicated to hеr mоthеr). Hоwеvеr thiѕ album was nоt as ѕuссеѕѕful аѕ Dаnсin’ On The Edge аnd Litа.

Fоrd’ѕ next rеlеаѕе was Dаngеrоuѕ Curvеѕ, which fеаturеd her lаѕt сhаrting ѕinglе “Shоt Of Pоiѕоn.” Ford’s lаѕt release would be with ZYX Rесоrdѕ and wоuld bе titled Blасk. It failed tо repeat thе ѕuссеѕѕ оf 1991’ѕ Dangerous Curves.

During hеr ѕоlо уеаrѕ, ѕhе wаѕ аn еndоrѕеr оf B.C. Riсh guitаrѕ аnd used Warlock, Eаglе, Mockingbird аnd Biсh ѕinglе аnd dоublе-nесk models. Fоrd арреаrѕ in the 1992 film Highway tо Hell as ‘The Hitchhiker‘. Ford wаѕ аlѕо аѕkеd by VH-1 tо be in thе cast оf The Surrеаl Life fоr itѕ 7th season, in 2007. She dесlinеd.

In Junе 2008, Fоrd аnd hеr nеw ѕоlо bаnd рlауеd ѕеvеrаl warm-up gigs рriоr to Rосklаhоmа undеr thе name Kiѕѕ Me Deadly in thе Nеw Yоrk City аrеа.

In Junе 2009, Litа bеgаn touring the US аnd Eurоре, with a new line-up consisting of Rоn ‘Bumblеfооt’ Thal (Ex Guns N’ Roses) on Guitаr, Dеnniѕ Lееflаng (Bumblеfооt drummer) аnd PJ Fаrlеу оn bаѕѕ (Trixtеr, Ra) аnd Miсhаеl T. Rоѕѕ (Angеl/XYZ).

Fоrd rеlеаѕеd a new аlbum Wicked Wonderland on Oсtоbеr 6, 2009 viа JLRG Entеrtаinmеnt

Thе album wаѕ writtеn аnd produced by Fоrd, ex-huѕbаnd Jim Gillеttе, and Greg Hampton. Litа would tour the US in the Fаll аnd Wintеr оf 2009, inсluding dаtеѕ оn Quееnѕrусhе’ѕ Amеriсаn Soldier Tоur.

Lita would then release a 2012 record titled Living Like a Runaway, a live record in 2014, and her present release called Time Capsule.  Time Capsule is old recordings that Lita had for over 20 years.  She brought them to LA from the Islands where she was living and remastered them.  Time Capsule has several guests on it including Gene Simmons from Kiss.  Regardless of how old these recordings are on Time Capsule, this is some of Lita’s best work of her career.

Lita’s crtically acclaimed 2016 memoir, Living Like a Runaway, details the hardships and sacrifices she had to endure in a mostly male environment coming up the ranks as a musician and guitarist.

If Lita has an attitude, she has every right to have one.  She’s paved the way for female guitarists/musicians that wouldn’t have to be exposed to what she was 30 years ago.  A talented guitarist and musician, I had the pleasure of speaking with Lita on her career.

lita-graveyard_8x10

Hi Lita!  It is a pleasure to have you here at All That Shreds!

Lita, you have used BC Rich Guitars since the start of your career.  Is there something specific about them you have liked over the years?

Oh yes, the original BC Rich guitars are so different than the 2016 guitars. There is no comparison. They are strong and beefy sounding. Mine are iconic, and have pre-amps built into them, the double neck has a chorus and a flanger switch. They are balls to the walls guitars. LOL…

 

I interviewed Gary Hoey back in June.  Gary said he’s going to be working with you on your new record.  You and Gary have worked together previously.  What should we expect from the new record?

Gary and I have a chemistry together like no other.  For me, it takes chemistry to make your music what you expect it to be. Powerful.

 

Do you write the song first or the lyrics?

I have a lyricist named Michael Dan Ehmig. He is the best I have ever worked with. Together the 3 of us wrote LIVING LIKE A RUNAWAY.  It really doesn’t matter which comes first, the lyric or the music. So long as the finished product is awesome and you are happy with it.

In terms of gear, what are you using at present?  

I use my Marshall DSL 100 amps, they are beefy as all Hell. And I still use my original BC Richs, Double neck Rich Bich, my Warlocks, Mockingbird, my black Hamer Standard which I used in The Runaways days.  It keeps my sound true and very LITA.

Do you change gear every tour?

No.

Who’s inspired you for your lead guitar skills?

I was inspired by many greats; Richie Blackmore was my #1 idol. Sabbath.  Jeff Beck.  Jimmy Page. Johnny WinterGilmore. Hendrix.

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With the recent discussion of how YouTube compensates, or lack thereof, artists do you have an opinion on the matter?

I didn’t come from a YouTube world. I think it’s something you need to grow up with to appreciate.

 

With the number of female guitarists on the rise, and some of them saying you inspired them, is there any one you feel you could “pass the torch on” to?

As far as guitar playing goes, and singing together at the same time, not really anyone can do it right now except Lizzy Hale.  She’s an amazing vocalist and she is a good player. A great talent.   So, if any one of the young woman who are out and about on the music scene today, I’d have to say Lizzy Hale.

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Is there one artist that you’d love to work with, but, haven’t?

I don’t know. We’ll have to see what 2017 brings.

 

I’ve been noticing that bands from the 80’s are prospering more in Europe than the US.  Would you agree?

I have not noticed. It does seem that Europe is more embracing of metal.

 

Do you have any plans of producing? 

I have produced a Canadian band called SAVAGE PLAYGROUND.  A bunch of teenaged, young men, a great band with a lot of potential. I also produced a lot of my own recordings.  I’d love to get into the studio with the right line up. Yes.  I have the experience and would do a great job, I love being in the studio!

 

Your appearance on That Metal Show was great!  Do you think anything more needs to be done to highlight female guitarists? 

Yes,  I suppose it’s a start though. But it’s sad that females must have their own category.  At least woman have their foot in the door now, which is great and all that really matters.  I’d like to think I had a helping hand with that.

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I loved your book, Living Like a Runaway.  It was a powerful portrayal of the highs and lows of your career.  Is there one thing you’d want a reader to take away from reading your book?

One thing?   There are a lot of things, growing up a female guitarist where females were not recognized as musicians, a teen in a man’s world, it was bad ass. The hurdles I had to jump and BS I had to put up with to survive in this world as a musician. But I guess if I had to pick one thing out of my book, it would be how corrupt our family legal system is and how they destroy families and children for money. They are an evil bunch of despicable people who hopefully will be caught at this crime one day.

 

Lastly, do you have any advice for up and coming female guitarists?

That’s hard to say, because everyone is different. But I’d say follow your heart and dreams, don’t let anyone tell you you’re doing something wrong. In Rock N Roll, there are ‘’no rules’’!

 

Be sure to check Lita out at her official site @ http://litafordonline.com/