The Runaway Returns


What I thought about The Runaways when I saw them on the front of some dude's t-shirt in college, is "Cool, Chick Rockers!!" What I assumed much later? That they were exploited 15 year old girls who were recruited for a novelty act by a Hollywood music producer selling tickets to older guys who liked ogling young women playing at rock goddesses. The truth lies somewhere in between. Joan Jett's backstory is of a legitimate rocker who was raised on WLIR on Long Island at the beginning of AOR radio stations. She was by no means teenage girl window dressing. Lita Ford was aspiring to be her idol, Ritchie Blackmore in female form. And Cherie Currie and her sister Marie were child actor/singers who had a bit on 50's TV "My 3 Sons" (Google it because that's completely off our TV radar).

Anyway, whatever LA novelty music producer Kim Fowley's intentions were, the Runaways were a hit, opening for Van Halen, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty and the Talking Heads. They were eventually torn apart by, according to the movie about them, managerial skullduggery where Fowley would pit them against one another and the fact that Joan wanted the band to be more of a punk rock vehicle and Lita was heavy metal all the way.

Lost in the breakup, was "Cherry Bomb" inspiration, Cherie Currie, who has dabbled in solo projects, drug counselor, fitness trainer and recently art gallery owner and chainsaw carving. Taking a break to lend her voice to the Vicki and Chris Cornell children's charity performing "Black Hole Sun'.

106.7 WLLZ · Detroit's Wheels

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