Monday, February 8, 2010

used to be a troublemaker, hated homework, was a sweet heart breaker.

With the release of the film about the Runaways just around the corner, I figured it was about time to pay homage to one of the most influential all-female rock'n'roll groups! I'm still not sure how I feel about Dakota Fanning playing the iconic Cherie Currie or Twilight's Kristin Stewart taking a stab at Joan Jett but I'll have to wait for the movie to premiere in San Francisco before I judge young Hollywood on their adaptation of one of my favorite bands of all time.

Anywho, onto the Runaways!

Formed in 1975 with the aid of Kim Fowley, the original Runaways lineup would set the path for all girl heavy rock bands for years to come. While the band's career as a whole was a short lived one (ending in April of '79), the girls of the Runaways would go on to bigger, more recognized projects and ultimately rule over the rock'n'roll scene of the early 1980's.

The most well recognized member of the Runaways, rhythm guitarist Joan Jett, went on to create her solo band "Joan Jett and the Blackhearts". Jett has gained infamy for her widely known cover of the Arrows "I Love Rock and Roll" as well as being the first female artist to own her first record label, Blackheart Records.

While never reaching fame with a band outside of the Runaways, singer Cherie Currie tried her hand at an acting career and appeared in several films in the late 70's and early 80's. While Cherie did release a duet album with her sister in 1980, her music career ultimately took a dive after the dissolution of the Runaways.

Other members of the Runaways played part in the female rock'n'roll scene of the 80's, most notably lead guitarist Lita Ford and original bassist Mickie Steel. Ford continued her music career as a solo artist, releasing several albums on Polygram Records. Her biggest, and most well known, hit was titled "Kiss Me Deadly" which still happens to be one of my favorite songs, mind you! Mickie Steel joined the all-girl group The Bangles in the 1980's, reaching great success with songs like "Walk Like an Egyptian" and "Eternal Flame".

cover of Lita Ford's "Dancin' on the Edge" LP

The Bangles!

bonus fact: the bangles were originally known as "The Bangs" but had to change their name due to legal issues. The band released one single as "The Bangs" which included, in my opinion, one of their best tracks titled "Getting Out of Hand". They later re-released the single with the extra "les" at the end of their name, but the original EP is now worth a pretty penny!

While the band's last bassist Laurie McCallister never became a household name, the band she went on to do after the Runaways happens to be one of Kim Fowley's most unrecognized music "projects", the album she played on with the Orchids definitely is worth a listen. I picked up the album for relatively cheap many years back and there are a handful of good tracks that made it well worth the measly 3 or 4 bucks I paid for the vinyl copy. Hell, if nothing else, the cover sure has some good fashion inspiration. Check out all those color block outfits!