Whether it’s musicians, sports stars or film stars (or in more modern times reality TV performers) every generation has had their own pin up icons – Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Bridget Fonda or David Beckham.
Heavy music is no different, but in the early years there was a much smaller ratio of those for the boys. In the 70’s it would be a leather clad Suzi Quatro, Girlschool or The Runaways. Moving into the 80’s Wendy O’Williams, Lee Aaron or Doro Pesch from Warlock.
It is so strange now to look through magazines, watch dedicated rock music video channels or listen to rock radio and see and hear so many female fronted bands, or even bands with girls present in the line up.
Rolling back to the end of my school years and slightly beyond, as a kid my walls and ceiling in my bedroom would be covered in band posters. Nestling amongst the Metallica, Maiden, Dio, Megadeth, Voivod and Kreator posters would be the aforementioned Doro, Vixen, at one point even L7 and from The Runways Lita Ford.
Lita had been in The Runaways with Joan Jett between 1975 and 1979, then they all went along their separate paths with their solo careers. Even though Lita had released solo material in 1983 and 1984 it was the self titled 1988 release that broke her into the metal scene – unless of course you happened to like The Runaways and followed their career. That album just so happened to be released on February 2nd, 28 years ago.
I heard Kiss Me Deadly first on BBC Radio 1 during Tommy Vance’s late night Rock Show. It was compulsory that you had to tune in every Friday at 10pm, those few hours would be the only time you hear anything remotely heavy and metallic on national radio. To me, at that age and time in my life, Tommy Vance was much more influential that John Peel, who I discovered more when I started listening to the uglier stuff.
The song that sold her to the metal heads though was Close My Eyes Forever, a duet with Ozzy Osbourne who was riding high on the crest of a wave at the time. His wife Sharon also happened to be Lita Ford’s newest manager too.