|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
The Runaways were an all-female teenage American rock band that recorded and performed in the second half of the 1970s. The band released four studio albums and one live set during its run. Among their best-known songs are "Cherry Bomb", "Hollywood", "Queens of Noise" and a cover version of the Velvet Underground’s "Rock & Roll". Never a major success in the United States, the Runaways became a sensation overseas, especially in Japan, thanks to the hit single "Cherry Bomb".
The Runaways were formed in late 1975 by drummer Sandy West and guitarist Joan Jett after they had both introduced themselves to producer Kim Fowley, who gave Jett's phone number to West. The two met on their own at West's home and later called Fowley to let him hear the outcome. Fowley then helped the girls find other members. Two decades later he said, "I didn't put the Runaways together, I had an idea, they had ideas, we all met, there was combustion and out of five different versions of that group came the five girls who were the ones that people liked."
Starting as a power trio with singer/bassist Micki Steele, the Runaways began the party and club circuit around Los Angeles. They soon added lead guitarist Lita Ford, who had originally auditioned for the bass spot; Jett switched to rhythm guitar. Steele was fired from the group, replaced by local bassist Peggy Foster, who left after just one month. Lead singer Cherie Currie was found and recruited in a local teen nightclub called the Sugar Shack, followed by Jackie Fox (who had originally auditioned for the lead guitar spot) on bass.
The Runaways were signed to Mercury Records in 1976 and their debut album, The Runaways , was released shortly after. The band toured the U.S. and played numerous sold-out shows. Their early shows included sharing a bill with such groups as Cheap Trick, Van Halen, Talking Heads, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.The documentary Edgeplay: A Film About the Runaways , directed by former Runaway bassist Vicki Blue revealed each girl patterned herself after an idol: Currie on David Bowie, Jett on Suzi Quatro, Ford a cross between Jeff Beck and Ritchie Blackmore, West on Roger Taylor, and Fox on Gene Simmons.
Their second album, Queens of Noise , was released in 1977, and the band began a world tour. The Runaways quickly became lumped in with the growing punk rock movement. The band (already fixtures on the West Coast punk scene) formed alliances with mostly male punk bands such as the Ramones and the Dead Boys (via New York City's CBGB) as well as the British punk scene by hanging out with the likes of the Damned, Generation X and the Sex Pistols.
In the summer of 1977, their booking agent David Libert sent the group to Japan, where they played a string of sold-out shows. The Runaways were the number four imported music act in Japan at the time, behind ABBA, Kiss and Led Zeppelin in album sales and popularity.[ citation needed ] They were unprepared for the onslaught of fans that greeted them at the airport. Jett later described the mass hysteria as "like Beatlemania". While in Japan, the Runaways had their own TV special, did numerous television appearances and released the album Live in Japan, which went gold. Also in Japan, Fox left the band shortly before the group was scheduled to appear at the 1977 Tokyo Music Festival. She told the Telegraph her relationship with the band deteriorated after Fowley raped her in front of a roomful of people. Jett temporarily took over bass duties. When the group returned home, they replaced Fox with Vicki Blue.
Currie then left the group after a blow-up with Ford in the fall of 1977. Jett, who had previously shared vocals with Currie, took over lead vocals full-time. The band released their fourth album, Waitin' for the Night, and started a world tour with their friends the Ramones.
Currie released a solo LP, Beauty's Only Skin Deep, produced by Fowley, and began a separate U.S. tour, which included her identical twin sister Marie. Mercury Records chose not to release Currie's album in the U.S., although it was available as a pricey import via France. In 1980, billed as Cherie and Marie Currie, the sisters released an album for Capitol, Messin' with the Boys , produced by Jai Winding. Featured on the album was Steve Lukather, who later married Marie Currie. Cherie and Marie's single "Since You Been Gone" peaked at number 95 on U.S. charts.
Due to disagreements over money and the management of the band, the Runaways and Kim Fowley parted ways in 1977. The group quickly hired new management, Toby Mamis, who also worked for Blondie and Suzi Quatro. When the group split with Fowley, they also parted with their record label Mercury/Polygram, to which their deal was tied. In the Edgeplay documentary, members of the group (especially Fox and Currie) as well as the parents of Currie and West, have accused Fowley, and others assigned to look after the band, of broken promises as to schooling and other care, using divide and conquer tactics to keep control of the band, along with the verbal taunting of band members. The band reportedly spent much time enjoying the excesses of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle during this time. They partnered with Thin Lizzy producer John Alcock, after Jett's future partner Kenny Laguna turned down the job, to record their last album And Now... The Runaways .
Blue left the group due to medical problems and was briefly replaced by Laurie McAllister in November 1978. Laurie McAllister was referred to the band by her neighbor, Duane Hitchings, who played keyboards on And Now... The Runaways. Before joining the Runaways, McAllister played with Baby Roulette and the Rave Ons, who had one song released on a Kim Fowley compilation LP called Vampires From Outer Space. McAllister appeared onstage with the Runaways at their final shows in California during the last weeks of December 1978 and she quit soon after in January 1979.
Disagreement among band members included the musical style; Joan Jett wanted the band to take a musical change, shifting towards punk rock/glam rock while Lita Ford and Sandy West wanted to continue playing hard rock/heavy metal music.Neither would accept the other's point of view. Finally, the band played their last concert on New Year's Eve 1978 at the Cow Palace near San Francisco and officially broke up in April 1979.
Jett went on to work with producer and former Shondell Kenny Laguna. After being rejected by 23 record labels, they formed their own label, Blackheart Records, in 1980. In doing so, Jett became one of the first female recording artists to found her own record label.The label continues to release albums by the Blackhearts, and also other new up and coming bands. Jett went on to have massive success with a cover of the Arrows' song "I Love Rock 'n' Roll", as well as other hits such as "Crimson and Clover", "Bad Reputation" and "I Hate Myself for Loving You". Jett also co-starred in the 1987 film Light of Day with Michael J. Fox, and appeared in the 2000 Broadway revival of The Rocky Horror Show as Columbia. Jett is also on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". In 2013, she released a new studio album titled Unvarnished which charted number 47 on U.S. charts. In 2015, she and her band The Blackhearts were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She continues playing and touring all over the world to this day.
West continued her association with John Alcock once the group disbanded. She and Ford attempted to record some music, but nothing materialized. She formed the Sandy West Band and toured California throughout the 1980s and 1990s, sometimes with Cherie Currie. She also did session work with John Entwistle of The Who and became a drum teacher. West was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005 and, after many treatments, succumbed to the disease in October 2006. A memorial tribute concert was later held in Los Angeles, featuring the Sandy West Band, Cherie Currie, The Bangles, The Donnas, and Carmine and Vinny Appice, among several others.
Steele joined the band The Bangles in the early 1980s and went on to success with songs such as "Manic Monday", "Walk Like an Egyptian" and "Eternal Flame".
Upon leaving the Runaways, Currie released a 1978 solo album titled Beauty's Only Skin Deep and a 1980 duet album with her sister Marie Currie, Messin' with the Boys , in which the duo was backed by most of Toto. Cherie and Marie Currie's song "Since You Been Gone" charted number 95 on U.S. charts. She also appeared in a number of films, most notably Foxes with Jodie Foster. Throughout the 1990s, Currie worked as a drug counselor for addicted teens and as a personal fitness trainer. She married actor Robert Hays; they have a son together, Jake Hays, but the couple divorced in 1997.
Currie still performs and records but her current passion is chainsaw carving. She has an art gallery in Chatsworth, California where her works are currently on display. She is also currently under contract with Jett's Blackheart Records label.
In 2012, she has been recording songs co-written with her son Jake, produced by Steve Lukather. Lukather suspended the project for summer 2012, to go on tour with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band.In the meantime, Currie announced plans to perform and possibly record new material with Lita Ford.
In 2013, Cherie recorded two songs with Alexx Michael for the Munich-based hard rock-glam metal supergroup Shameless, which were released on the album Beautiful Disaster on October 2, 2013.
Ford returned as a solo artist to Polygram in the 1980s, where she released several albums before pairing with manager Sharon Osbourne. She also had success with songs like "Kiss Me Deadly" and "Close My Eyes Forever" (the second a duet with her manager's husband Ozzy Osbourne). She was married to Chris Holmes of W.A.S.P., and to former Nitro singer Jim Gillette, with whom she has two sons. After a long hiatus, Ford staged a comeback, performing at Rock The Bayou,and other hard-rock festivals during the summer of 2008. She released Wicked Wonderland , her first studio album in 14 years, on October 6, 2009. During 2009, Lita toured as a special guest during many shows of the American Soldier tour for the progressive metal band, Queensrÿche where she performed two songs from Wicked Wonderland and reprised her duet "Close My Eyes Forever" with Queensrÿche lead singer, Geoff Tate. Ford is also currently making her rounds on television, appearing on VH1's Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp , That Metal Show , and recently filmed a guest spot on the Nickelodeon show Big Time Rush .
In early 2012, Ford announced that she would likely be touring, and possibly recording new songs, with Cherie Currie.
Fox returned to using her birth name of Fuchs and graduated from UCLA summa cum laude, with a B.A. in Linguistics and Italian, and received her J.D. from Harvard becoming a lawyer, focusing on entertainment.She co-wrote "Delilah's Scissors" with Tischler-Blue and executive-produced and appeared in Edgeplay, Tischler-Blue's 2005 documentary about the Runaways. She also writes an L.A. cat care column for Examiner.com and is an occasional contributor to Listverse.com. Fuchs has a popular website and blog at www.myspace.com/jackiefuchs and was the first guest blogger for the Environmental Working Group’s Pets for the Environment website. She is the author of The Well, an unpublished work of young adult historical fiction, and is currently working on her second novel. In December 2018 she won four games on the game show Jeopardy!
In July 2015, after Fowley's death, Fuchs revealed publicly that Fowley raped her on New Year’s Eve 1975 at a party after a Runaways performance at an Orange County club. Sixteen years old at the time, she was reportedly given Quaaludes by a man who she thought was a roadie and raped while she was incapacitated. Currie said she spoke up against Fowley's actions, then stormed out of the room when he refused to stop.
Vicki Blue is now known as Victory Tischler-Blue. After leaving the Runaways, she shifted her focus to film and television production eventually becoming a producer/director for several reality- and magazine-based television shows, including Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood and Real Stories of the Highway Patrol—receiving an Emmy nomination along the way. She went on to form Sacred Dogs Entertainment Group—a motion picture production company and released a documentary on the Runaways called Edgeplay: A Film About the Runaways . Edgeplay went on to win numerous awards and became the highest rated rock documentary film on the Showtime Networks.[ citation needed ] In 2005, Tischler-Blue directed Naked Under Leather, a documentary about fellow female rocker Suzi Quatro, which was selected for the Santa Cruz Film Festival in May 2004 but in the end was never released. Focusing on music driven productions, she was tapped to executive produce a network special: The Bee Gees "Unbroken Fever"—The 30th Anniversary of Saturday Night Fever. Additionally, Tischler-Blue and Ford have teamed up together with Ford recording music for El Guitarrista, an animated series that Sacred Dogs Entertainment Group is producing.
McAllister joined another of Fowley's all-female bands, The Orchids, who released a single LP in 1980. The original Orchids members were Laurie Bell on drums, Jan King on vocals, McAllister on bass, Sunbie Sinn on rhythm guitar, and Sandy Fury on rhythm guitar and vocals (later replaced by Che Zuro on lead guitar). Laurie retired from the music industry and worked as a veterinarian technician in Eugene, Oregon. McAllister died of complications from an asthma attack on August 25, 2011. She was 54 years old.
|1980|| Flaming Schoolgirls |
Compilation of previously unreleased outtakes
|Cherry Red BRED9|
|1981||Little Lost Girls|
Re-issue of ″And Now... The Runaways″ with a different cover photo and a different sequence of the songs under a different label.
|Rhino Records RNDF 250|
|1982||The Best of the Runaways||Mercury 826 279-1|
|I Love Playin' with Fire|
Compilation of: And Now... The Runaways + 4 tracks from Flaming Schoolgirls
|Cherry Red PLAKER1|
|1991||Born to be Bad|
Compilation of early demo recordings
|1992||Neon Angels||Mercury 838 583-2|
|1997||The Runaways featuring Joan Jett and Lita Ford||PolyGram 520 398-2|
|2005||20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Runaways||Universal B0004609-02|
|2010||Mercury Albums Anthology|
Comprises The Runaways / Queens of Noise / Live in Japan / Waitin' for the Night
|Live in Japan||Japan||Gold||100,000|
|Year||Single : A-Side / B-Side||Label||Chart Positions|
|1976||"Cherry Bomb" / "Blackmail" |
|"Cherry Bomb" / "Is It Day or Night?" |
|Mercury 6167 405||—||—||—||—|
|"Secrets" / "Rock and Roll" |
|"American Nights" / "Secrets" |
|Mercury - 6167 677||—||—||—||—|
|1977||"You Drive Me Wild" / "Rock and Roll" |
|Mercury 6837 453||—||—||—||—|
|"Queens of Noise" / "Born to Be Bad" |
|Mercury 6167 493||—||—||—||—|
|"Midnight Music" / "Neon Angels on the Road to Ruin" |
|Mercury 6167 495||—||—||—||—|
|"Heartbeat" / "Neon Angels on the Road to Ruin" |
USA & Australia release
|Mercury 6167 496||110||—||—||—|
|"I Love Playin' with Fire" / "Neon Angels on the Road to Ruin" |
|Mercury 6167 516||—||—||—||—|
|"Neon Angels on the Roads to Ruin" / "Queens of Noise" |
|"All Right You Guys" / "Blackmail" |
|"School Days" / "Wasted" |
|Mercury 6167 587||—||—||29||—|
|"Little Sister" / "School Days" |
|"Waitin' For The Night" / "You're Too Possessive" |
|Mercury – 6853 005||—||—||—||—|
|1978||"Mama Weer All Crazee Now" / "Right Now" |
|Mercury 6837 524||—||—||—||—|
|1979||"Right Now" / "Black Leather" |
|Cherry Red CHERRY8||—||—||—||—|
|1994||"Born to Be Bad" / no B-side |
|Marilyn USM 1004/10||—||—||—||—|
The Runaways' success paved the way for many successful female artists and female bands over the past 30 years, including the Go-Go's, Sahara Hotnights, L7, the Donnas, and Vixen to enter the male-dominated arena of rock music.They are named as influences by several male and female artists, including the Germs, Courtney Love, the Adolescents, Taylor Momsen, White Flag, and Rhino Bucket who acknowledged the Runaways' influence on their music during their performance at the December 2006 tribute concert honoring Sandy West.
A biographical film about the band inspired by Currie's memoir was released in 2010. Jett was one of the executive producers for the film. Actresses Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning starred as Jett and Currie, respectively. Michael Shannon played Fowley. None of the band's former bass players were featured in the film; Fox did not want to be involved in any part of the film, and requested that her name be changed in the story. The fictional replacement is named Robin Robbins.The film was written and directed by Floria Sigismondi, and was released to limited theaters on March 19, 2010.
The Runaways received generally positive reviews from critics.On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 70% rating based on 187 reviews, and an average rating of 6.19/10.
In the early 1980s, Gayle Welch, an ambitious 13-year-old girl from Kaitaia, New Zealand, wrote a song "Day of Age", and recorded it in Mandrell Recording Studios in Auckland, New Zealand. The resulting tape found its way to Fowley's desk. He played the Welch tape for colleague and Los Angeles deejay legend Rodney Bingenheimer who played the song on his show on radio KROQ and included it on his annual compilation of his most-liked music for the year. Also on that compilation was a song that featured Chicago-native guitarist Bill Millay.
It did not take long before Fowley, who still owned the Runaways trademark, was putting together a new Runaways band built around Welch. Missy Bonilla was recruited from the typing pool of CBS records, Denise Pryor came from Compton and Kathrine Dombrowski ("Kathy DiAmber") was also added. Welch was present only on tape and only on the first song on the CD, "I Want to Run With the Bad Boys". Millay played guitar, David Carr played keyboards and a drum machine rounded out the team. Glenn Holland,also from New Zealand, a friend of both Bingenheimer and Fowley, facilitated. The album, Young and Fast was released in 1987, and was a minor hit.
Lita Rossana Ford is an English-born, American heavy metal guitarist, actress, vocalist and songwriter who was the lead guitarist for the Runaways in the late 1970s before embarking on a successful solo career in the 1980s. The 1989 single "Close My Eyes Forever", a duet with Ozzy Osbourne, remains Ford's most successful song, reaching No. 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Joan Jett is an American rock singer, songwriter, composer, musician, record producer and occasional actress. Jett is best known for her work as the frontwoman of her band Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, and for earlier founding and performing with the Runaways, which recorded and released the hit song "Cherry Bomb". The Blackhearts' version of the song "I Love Rock 'n Roll" was number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks in 1982. Jett's other notable hit songs include "Bad Reputation", "Crimson and Clover", "Do You Wanna Touch Me ", "Light of Day", "I Hate Myself for Loving You" and "Dirty Deeds".
Cherie Ann Currie is an American musician, actress and artist. Currie was the lead vocalist of the Runaways, a rock band from Los Angeles, in the mid-to-late 1970s. After the Runaways, she became a solo artist. Then she teamed up with her identical twin sister, Marie Currie, and released an album with her. Their duet "Since You've Been Gone" reached number 95 on US charts. Their band was called Cherie and Marie Currie. She is also well known for her role in the movie Foxes.
Kim Vincent Fowley was an American record producer, singer, songwriter and musician. He is best known for his role behind a string of novelty and cult pop rock singles in the 1960s, and for managing the Runaways in the 1970s. He has been described as "one of the most colorful characters in the annals of rock & roll," as well as "a shadowy cult figure well outside the margins of the mainstream."
Queens of Noise is the second studio album by the American rock band The Runaways. Released in January 1977 on Mercury Records, it is fundamentally a hard rock album, although it also exhibits influences from punk rock, heavy metal, glam rock, and blues rock. While the album features a range of different tempos, most of it consists of the "heavy" guitar-driven tracks that have come to be seen as The Runaways' signature sound, although it also features two noticeably softer songs that have sometimes been described as early power ballads. While stylistically similar to the band's self-titled debut album The Runaways, Queens of Noise features greater emphases on volume and musical sophistication. The album has received generally positive reviews and has remained the band's best-selling record in the United States.
The Runaways is the debut studio album by American rock band the Runaways. It was released on June 1, 1976, by Mercury Records.
And Now... The Runaways is the fourth and final studio album by American rock band The Runaways, released in Europe in late 1978 and Japan in 1979. This was The Runaways last album before disbanding. The album was issued by Cherry Red Records in the UK and released in the United States on Polydor Records. In 1981, Rhino Records re-issued it as a picture disc under the title Little Lost Girls, with a different cover photo and a different sequence of the songs.
Waitin' for the Night is the third studio album by American all-female rock band the Runaways. It was originally released in October 1977, on the Mercury label. This is the first album to feature the band as a quartet, as rhythm guitarist Joan Jett took over lead vocals in the wake of the departure of Cherie Currie for a solo career and Vicki Blue replaced Jackie Fox on bass. Though it failed to chart in the US, it was successful in Europe. The album entered at No. 34 on the Swedish Albums Chart, and the lead single 'School Days' peaked at No. 29 in Belgium.
Sandy West was an American musician, singer, songwriter and drummer. She was one of the founding members of the Runaways, the first teenage all-girl hard rock band to record and achieve widespread commercial success in the 1970s.
Jacqueline Louise Fuchs is an American attorney and former musician. Under her stage name Jackie Fox, she played bass guitar for the pioneering all-girl teenage rock band the Runaways. She is the sister of screenwriter Carol Fuchs and sister-in-law of Castle Rock Entertainment co-founder Martin Shafer.
Victory Tischler-Blue is an American film producer, director, writer, musician and photographer. She was born and raised in Newport Beach, California. Tischler-Blue began working in the entertainment industry at age 17, using the name Vicki Blue as the bassist in the American all-girl teenage rock band The Runaways. After the demise of the band, she was cast as Cindy by director Rob Reiner in This Is Spinal Tap. Her film Edgeplay was based on her tenure in The Runaways.
Live in Japan is a 1977 live album from The Runaways. The album was originally released only in Japan, and some other regions including; Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It was not intended for release in the United States or the United Kingdom.
Flaming Schoolgirls is the all-female rock band The Runaways' fifth and final album, released in 1980, a year after the band had broken up. A compilation of previously unreleased recordings, the album consists of one alternate version and three unreleased tracks from the sessions for the 1977 album Queens of Noise, five live tracks left over from the 1977 album Live in Japan, and two Cherie Currie demo recordings.
The Runaways is a 2010 American biographical drama film about the 1970s rock band of the same name written and directed by Floria Sigismondi. It is based on the book Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway by the band's lead vocalist Cherie Currie. The film stars Dakota Fanning as Currie, Kristen Stewart as rhythm guitarist and vocalist Joan Jett, and Michael Shannon as record producer Kim Fowley. The Runaways depicts the formation of the band in 1975 and focuses on the relationship between Currie and Jett until Currie's departure from the band. The film grossed around $4.6 million worldwide and received generally favorable reviews from critics.
Edgeplay: A Film about the Runaways is a 2004 American documentary film produced and directed by former Runaways bassist Victory Tischler-Blue. Edgeplay chronicles the history of the all-teenage-girl rock band The Runaways, whose members included future rock stars Lita Ford and Joan Jett. The film premiered as part of filmmaker Allison Anders' 2004 "Don't Knock the Rock Film and Music Festival".
"Cherry Bomb" is a 1976 punk-influenced hard rock single by the all-female band the Runaways from their self-titled debut album, and is often regarded as the band's signature song. "Cherry Bomb" was also ranked 52nd on VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs. It peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart in the U.S.
Marie Michelle Currie is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and artist. Currie is best known for playing in a band with her identical twin Cherie Currie called Cherie & Marie Currie. Their song "Since You Been Gone" charted at number 95 on the US charts. Marie played Singing Maid Marie in The Rosebud Beach Hotel and is now a popular multi-media sculptress and artist.
Young and Wild is a compilation by Cherie & Marie Currie. This album has all 10 original tracks from Messin' with the Boys, six songs from Beauty's Only Skin Deep, three songs Cherie Currie sang with The Runaways, and one new track co-written by Marie Currie, "Longer Than Forever". "Longer Than Forever" was the B side of the single "Since You Been Gone".
Reverie is the third full-length studio album by Cherie Currie. Released on iTunes March 16, 2015. Cherie released the CD version of this album June 5, 2015 on her eBay page cheriecurriedirect. There is a 35-year gap between Cherie's last full-length studio album, 1980's Messin' with the Boys, and 2015's Reverie. This was the final studio album produced by Kim Fowley before his death in 2015. Kim helped Cherie release this album to make amends with her after all the money he swindled her out of when she was in the Runaways and for releasing her and Marie's music on Young and Wild without their approval. After Kim's death Cherie's son, Jake Hays, took over producing.
Bad Reputation is a 2018 American documentary film about the career of rock musician Joan Jett, directed by Kevin Kerslake and written by Joel Marcus. The documentary traces Jett's musical career from the formation of the Runaways through her subsequent partnership with songwriter and producer Kenny Laguna. Continuing with the creation of the band Joan Jett & the Blackhearts as well as the establishment of the record label Blackheart Records with Laguna, the narrative concludes with the induction of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Class of 2015.
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