For years I have been hearing complaints about the commercialism of the Vans Warped Tour and this year, I got to see it for myself. Having been to the very first Warped Tour here in Montreal, I initially found it very difficult to believe what people were saying; the Warped Tour I went to as a kid was all about skateboarding, good music and, of course, Vans showing off its products, which people barely knew about at the time, but there was nothing overt or pushy about it. If you liked something they had in stock, you could buy it, but no one was forcing anything down your throat.
It may have been about 400 degrees outside (okay, maybe it was closer to 40, but who’s keeping track?) and Parc Jean-Drapeau isn’t exactly the shadiest of places, but that didn’t stop a flood of fans from continuously piling into the festival site throughout the day to catch a sliver, if not all, of the 69 bands on the bill.
Lita Ford has often been called the “Queen of Hard Rock”, and with a career as successful as hers, it’s no surprise. On the scene since her teenage years, Lita played with legendary Runaways before embarking on a successful solo career.
She’s best known for her 1988 commercial smash hit, Lita, which spawned hits like Kiss Me Deadly and the famous Ozzy Osbourne duet, Close My Eyes Forever.
In the late 90s Lita exchanged her musical career for quaint family life on a secluded Caribbean island and it wasn’t until October 6th of this year that she released her first studio effort, Wicked Wonderland, since her 1995 Black album.
The rocker was kind enough to chat with The Rock and Roll Report about all things Lita Ford. From the new record, to personal life, to the future of rock – nothing was left off limits.
Q: It is such a thrill to see you back on the scene after all these years. What was the driving factor to make a new record after a 15-year hiatus?
A: Rock n’ Roll is in my blood. Always has been and always will be. I was just waiting until my kids were ready and now they are totally ready. They have as much fun as Jim [Gillette] and I do!
All eyes are on Paramore…their sophomore release, 2007’s “Riot!”, was a huge breakthrough for this rock band. Propelled by a string of radio-friendly hits the record went platinum, and their mix of emo and alternative rock was pleasing the ears of many teens (and quite a few adults, too). So expectations are running high – was “Riot!” a fluke or does Paramore really have what it takes to have a sustained career in this business?
I wasn’t too thrilled about the first two tracks, which include the current single, “Ignorance”, which I think is mediocre at best. But the CD’s midsection is very melodic and saves “Brand New Eyes” from going straight into my CD trading pile. “Playing God” has a great Jimmy Eat World vibe, while “Brick By Boring Brick” sounds like it could have been included on “Riot!”. “Turn It Off” is an excellent midtempo pop rocker while “The Only Exception” gives vocalist Haley Williams a chance to showcase her righteous chops with a decent power ballad. But she saves the best for last and delivers a chill-inducing performance on the album’s closer, “All I Wanted”.