January 28, 2021

The 70’s Weren’t That Awful, Remember “The Runaways”? (27 Pics)

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Gerald Ford occupied the WH after Tricky Dick slipped and the citizenry thought things couldn’t get any worse. But things did get worse when Jimmy Carter smiled to the cameras and was crowned The Worst President In History. A crown he wore until ’08 when a smooth talking Alinskyite with Newport breath, (and a hatred for capitalism) came along to “transform America”.

There were bell bottoms, disco & men folks were hard at work convincing lady folks that life would get better after removing the vile condition known simply as “70’s bush”.

A visit to the moon, a landing on Mars and the Vietcong were having a little fun with us.

Charlie Manson acted the fool, Elvis Presley never got up from the throne and Tehran told America to go eff itself (they still do today).

We began making babies in tubes, the Dolphins won the Super Bowl undefeated and two fellas in a garage were about to bring p0rn into every home… thanks Bill & Steve!

And let’s not forget the angel Farrah Fawcett who visited our imaginations (behind locked doors), and broke our hearts by hitchin’ to a ding-danged ol’ man with Bionic parts.

Anyhoot, the music was much more gooder, (even some disco), compared to the swill that woke yoots twerktoktik to. Well, there is one exception.

Anyone remember The Runaways?

They were formed in ’75 by drum gal Sandy West and guitar picker Joan Jett after they introduced themselves to producer Kim Fowley, who gave Jett’s phone number to West.

Fowley then helped them find other members.

Starting as a trio with singer/bassist Micki Steele, the Runaways began the party and club circuit around Los Angeles. They added lead guitarist Lita Ford, who originally auditioned for bass; Jett switched to rhythm guitar.

Steele went and got herself fired and was replaced by bassist Peggy Foster, who quit after just one month. Lead singer Cherie Currie was recruited in a local teen nightclub called the Sugar Shack, followed by Jackie Fox on bass.

The Runaways were signed to Mercury Records in ’76, and their self-titled debut album, The Runaways, was released. They toured the fruited plains to mostly sold-out shows. They shared stages with Cheap Trick, Van Halen, Talking Heads, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Their second album, Queens of Noise, was released in ’77, and the band began a world tour. The band were tight with mostly dude-centric punk bands like the Ramones, the Dead Boys and British rockers like the Damned, Generation X and the Sex Pistols.

Summer of ’77, their booking agent David Libert sent the ladies 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 (who you all know you like but won’t admit it), Kiss and Led Zeppelin in album sales and popularity.

Currie left the group after a blow-up with Ford in the fall of ’77. Jett, who had previously shared vocals with Currie, took over lead vocals full-time. They released their fourth album, Waitin’ for the Night, and started a world tour with the Ramones.

Due to money bickering and the management of the band, the Runaways and Kim Fowley parted ways in ’77.

They started coming at each other sideways over musical styles; Jett wanted to shift towards punk/glam while Ford and West wanted to go hard rock/heavy metal.  Finally, they played their last gig New Year’s Eve ’78 at the Cow Palace near San Francisco and officially parted ways April ’79.

Jett went on to work with producer and former Shondell, Kenny Laguna. After being rejected by 23 record labels, they formed Blackheart Records, in ’80.

This made Jett one of the first lady types to found their own label.

Ford returned solo to Polygram in the ’80’s, where she released a few albums before being taken in by Sharon Osbourne’s very capable management. She had success with songs like “Kiss Me Deadly” and “Close My Eyes Forever” (with the Ozz Himself). She went and got herself hitched to Chris Holmes of W.A.S.P., and to former Nitro crooner Jim Gillette, who she has two sons with.

West continued her association with John Alcock once the group disbanded. She and Ford attempted to record some music, but nothing materialized. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in ’05 and succumbed to the disease in October ’06.

Steele joined the band The Bangles in the early ’80s and made mucho pesos with songs ” like “Manic Monday”, “Walk Like an Egyptian” and “Eternal Flame”.

After splittin’ wit’ the Runaways, Currie released a ’78 solo album titled Beauty’s Only Skin Deep and a ’80 duet album with twin sister Marie Currie, Messin’ with the Boys, in which they backed by most of Toto.

She also appeared in a number of flicks, most notably Foxes with Jodie Foster. She married actor Robert Hays had a son together, Jake Hays, but went and got themselves divorced in ’97.

She still does the music thing but her current passion is chainsaw carving. She has an art gallery in Chatsworth, California where her works are currently on display.

Might I add she ain’t broke and has aged very well.

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, and remains in the entertainment field as an attorney who specializes in entertainment law. She also writes an L.A. cat care column for the Examiner and contributes to the website Listverse.

 And if that’s not enough she won four games on Jeopardy in 2018. Rock on.

Vicki Blue is now known as Victory Tischler-Blue. After leaving the Runaways, she shifted to film and TV production eventually becoming a producer/director for several reality and magazine-based TV shows like Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood and Real Stories of the Highway Patrol.

McAllister joined another of Fowley’s all-chick bands, the Orchids, who released a single LP in 1980. Laurie retired from music and worked as a vet tech in Eugene, Oregon. She passed away after complications from an asthma attack in 2011. She was 54.

They recorded:

  • The Runaways (1976) (went Gold)
  • Queens of Noise (1977)
  • Waitin’ for the Night (1977)
  • And Now… The Runaways (1978)
  • Live in Japan (1977) (Also went Gold)

Thanks for stopping by…


1 Comment

  1. Back In The Day Factoid Injected Vintage Celebrity Photos (29 Pics) · HarshBrutus February 2, 2021 at 04:54

    […] Eden in a 2001 Lifetime Intimate Portrait documentary.Mental Floss Joan Jett 1977 The girls in the Runaways all tried to model themselves on one of their rock n roll heroes. Jett chose Suzi Quatro, a singer […]

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