Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Queens of Noise

 L.A. band the Runaways were the first teenage all-girl hardcore rock band. Guitarist/singer Joan Jett and drummer Sandy West were paired up first by manager Kim Fowley, and guitarist Lita Ford and singer Cherie Currie were all in the band by 1975. The bass player was ever-changing-- there were 6 over the band's 4 years, but the most permanent was Jackie Fox. They released their first album in '76, when no one in the band was older than 19. They had broken up by 1979, but in the meantime had released 5 albums and established themselves as a punk-rock phenomenon, associating themselves with bands like the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, and Blondie. They're known for "Cherry Bomb," "Queens of Noise," "Neon Angels," "Born To Be Bad," and "Rock 'n' Roll." Though the Runaways didn't make it big in the states by any means, they achieved huge success in Japan (Jett described the crowds there as being "like Beatlemania"). They broke up after lead singer Currie quit and the rest experienced creative differences; Jett wanted to stay punk, but Ford and West wanted to continue into hard rock. Most broke off into solo projects-- think the Bangles ("Walk Like An Egyptian" and "Eternal Flame") or Blackhearts ("Bad Reputation" and "I Love Rock 'n' Roll").
I want to dedicate this post to my friend Nina. We both find the Runaways strangely addictive and amazing! She also showed me the movie. :) She's my little punk rocker buddy (we're Paramore fanatics too).

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