Love Lessons With Lita Ford
In honor of me being kne/erd-deep in Chuck Klosterman’s Fargo Rock City, I’ve decided to delve further into the oeuvure of Lita Ford. For those of you unfamiliar, Lita started out as the guitarist for The Runaways– a band most known for being fronted by Joan Jett (incidentally, a movie is coming out about them and stars Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning…I have mixed feelings). While Joan went her own way in becoming a lesbian icon to Riot Grrls of the early 90s, Lita was more interested in the heavy metal scene for most, if not all of her career.
As Klosterman asserts, Lita is typically the “go-to” in talking exceptions about heavy metal not being all sexist, satanic cock rock (which I don’t think it necessarily is, with or without Lita). The thing that strikes me most about Lita, aside from her ridiculous-yet awesome outfits, is that she was particularly and unapologetically aggressive in the way she presented sex and her own sexuality, even though it seemed that on the surface, she was catering to the “woman in a heavy metal video” aesthetic. Oh yeah, and she fucking shreds on guitar. Regardless how problematic she may or may not be, I think women can and should take a page from the book of Lita when it comes to sex and dating:
1. Dancin’ on the Edge
I like how she’s simultaneously making fun of the dude in the song for being up his own ass and teasing him with sex at the same time:
I see you standin’ in the shadows/You smell of sex/Do you want more?/Cold and lonely in the dark/Lost on the avenue, what’s it all for?/Can’t you see I’m true/Why don’t you open your mind/But I know it’s hard for you/You’re always dancin’ on the edge….Wish you could see my love/Why don’t you open your mind/But, I know it’s hard for you/You’re always dancin’ on the edge
Basically: quit being such a neurotic fucktard, and fuck me.
2. Fire In My Heart
Here, Lita acknowledges that love, or even lust, doesn’t necessarily last forever, but that it’s also important to listen to and follow one’s desires. Pretty self-aware, no?:
…No, I can’t put out the fire in my heart/I don’t feel shy, I’m not alone/But you’re caught in my dreams, that’s the way it seems/No matter how I try, I just can’t put out the fire in my heart/Fire in my heart/One look in my eyes/And you’ll realize/The fire in my heart/Is burnin’ for you/Fire in my heart/The fire in my heart…..You feel right/You know you’re everything/No matter if we cry/We gotta turn around and walk our separate ways/The fire in my heart/One look in my eyes/And you’ll realize/The fire in my heart
I just love how unapologetic she is about her own desire and doesn’t make any sweeping statements about “what this all means”. She’s too smart for fairytales, and isn’t ashamed to be bombastic about the fact that she’s down to get down.
3. Gotta Let Go
The video pretty much says it all: Lita’s not going to be tied down by anyone– whether it be a stereotypical nuclear family type-husband or some metal asshole dudes who try to break in to her house and possibly rape her. She just wants you to be real with her, because as she sees it, it ain’t worth getting down if you’re not completely unbridled:
Well, you gotta let go if you really want to rock tonight/Don’t try to fight it/Just give me all you got/You can’t control it when it gets this hot/It’s like this jungle, bye-bye to modern man/We’re talkin’ rock you’ll never understand/It doesn’t matter if the world’s exploding/It doesn’t matter where the night is going/If you wanna set the night on fire
4. Kiss Me Deadly
Though I’m not really sure what kissing someone deadly entails, I do know this: Lita knows she likes dancing with you, and she knows you like dancing with her. So simple, it just might work! Because really, what else needs to be thought about sometimes? I say, keep this in mind whenever you’re scared about approaching a dude you’re getting a good vibe from.
5. Back to the Cave
I’m pretty sure this song expresses the following sentiment: “Fuck everything we had to do today, let’s just go back to my place & have sex”. Lita, once again, in classic Being There savant-type fashion, speaks the truth: “Who ever told us we had time to waste?” I know when I’m with someone, be it a boyfriend or even some guy I’m with just on account of him being hot/good in bed, sometimes I need a little reminder as to how to focus the best use of our time. No, no, thank YOU, Lita Ford.
6. Falling In and Out of Love
Though this song was co-written with Nikki Sixx, the fact that Lita sings it, putting it more in the perspective of a woman, cheesy lyrics like “Set me free to live my life like a rolling stone /Look away from the homeward road/I’m feeling love in a daydream/Making love first morning light/Walking slowly in the summer rain/Alone I lie, fantasize” seem a bit more…significant. Rather than coming off like “hey, I’m some metal guy getting really tired of this random groupie for the 8 millionth time”, it more like “hey metal guy, you’re kind of unfulfilling, and though I may be sexually attracted to you, you’re ultimately not enough for me.” I honestly think that’s a really important piece of dating advice to always keep in mind when you’re just not feeling it anymore– that there’s nothing wrong with YOU, it’ just that you have standards, and it’s probably just better to be alone rather than to remain in a relationship you’re lukewarm about.