You wouldn't think that someone who plays as loudly as Lita Ford does would have much trouble making herself heard. But as far as her dealings with the music industry are concerned, it took years before she could get anyone to listen to her point of view.
Never mind that she's been in the business since her teen-age years, when she was the lead guitarist of the Runaways, the all-girl hard rock group that also produced Joan Jett. When Ford began her solo career, a dozen years ago, it was automatically assumed that she was just another dumb rock and roller.
"I don't think it was difficult because I'm a woman," she says, over the phone from her Los Angeles home. "It's just difficult, period. I mean, I have taken a lot of abuse for being a woman, but there are different aspects of not being taken seriously [regarding] whatever it is that you want to do."
How that attitude manifests itself varies from artist to artist, of course; in Ford's case, it was a matter of her old record company thinking it knew best when it came to choosing songs and producers.
"As a matter of fact," she says, "they threw me off the label because I didn't want to work with the producer they wanted me to use. Can you believe that? I had had such bad experiences in the past with other producers that I put my foot down. Things got really complicated, and they threw me off the label.
"It was the best thing that ever happened to me."
Indeed, since signing with RCA, Ford has had the greatest success of her career -- even cutting a Top-10 single, 1988's "Close My Eyes Forever." And, she says, her new album, "Dangerous Curves," is "even better" than its predecessors.
"It was produced by Tom Werman, who did Motley Crue and Poison and Cheap Trick," she enthuses. "Plus I co-wrote two songs with Jim Vallance, who co-wrote all those great Bryan Adams tracks. He co-wrote the first single, 'Shot of Poison,' and another one called 'Playing With Fire.' "
It helps that her singing has gotten stronger. "It's not something that I was born with," she admits. "I haven't really been singing for that long, and it's something that I had to work real hard to get."
But her relationship with the record company is what really makes the difference. "I've never had anything from RCA shoved down my throat," she says. "They just ask me, and if I say no, they don't push the issue. They work with me on it, they don't force me into things.
"I think now -- finally -- I am being taken seriously. As of these last three records, I'm finally getting the respect that I deserve."
When: Nov. 23, 9 p.m.
Where: Hammerjacks, 1102 S. Howard St.
% Call: (410) 659-7625.