RUNAWAYS ( with Lita FOrd ) Female Rock Record Collectors Guide


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"The Runaways"

  The RUNAWAYS were an American all-girl 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 its best known songs: "Cherry Bomb", "Queens of Noise", "Neon Angels On the Road to Ruin", "California Paradise" "Dead End Justice", and the cover of The Velvet Underground's "Rock n Roll". The Runaways, though never a major success in the U.S., became a sensation in 1977 Japan thanks to the hit single "Cherry Bomb." The lead guitarist of the Runaways was "Lita Ford"

The Runaways Band Information:

The Runaways were an all-female rock band that emerged in the 1970s and had a significant impact on the music industry. The band consisted of members Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Cherie Currie, Jackie Fox, and Sandy West. They formed in Los Angeles in 1975 and gained popularity with their high-energy performances and rebellious attitude.

At the time of their formation, the idea of an all-female rock band was unheard of. The music industry was dominated by male musicians and it was difficult for female artists to break through. However, the Runaways were determined to make their mark on the industry and they did just that. They were unique not only because they were an all-female band, but also because of their style and sound. They were heavily influenced by punk rock, but they also incorporated elements of hard rock, glam rock, and heavy metal.

One of the most iconic members of the Runaways was Joan Jett. She was the lead guitarist and vocalist and was known for her tough image and powerful voice. She later went on to have a successful solo career and became a feminist icon. Lita Ford was another standout member of the band, known for her incredible guitar skills and her contributions to the songwriting process. Cherie Currie was the lead vocalist and had a unique and powerful voice that helped to define the band's sound.

The Runaways' music was often controversial and they faced criticism for their provocative lyrics and image. They were often seen as a threat to traditional gender roles and were accused of promoting promiscuity and rebellion. Despite this, they continued to gain popularity and released several successful albums, including their debut self-titled album in 1976, and the hit single "Cherry Bomb".

In addition to their music, the Runaways also had a significant impact on female representation in the music industry. They paved the way for other all-female bands, such as The Bangles and The Go-Go's, and helped to break down barriers for female musicians. They proved that women could be just as talented and successful as their male counterparts, and that they deserved a place in the music industry.

Unfortunately, the Runaways were not without their struggles. The band faced internal conflict and members came and went over the years. They also struggled with addiction and financial difficulties. Despite these challenges, the Runaways continued to tour and perform, and their legacy lives on today. 

Cherrie Currie Biography:

Cherie Currie is an American musician, actress, and author, best known as the lead vocalist of the influential all-female rock band, The Runaways. She was born on 30 November 1959, in Encino, California.

Currie's musical journey began at a young age. Growing up in a creative environment, she discovered her passion for singing and performing. In 1975, at the age of 15, she auditioned for a new all-female rock band called The Runaways, which was being formed by producer Kim Fowley and guitarist Joan Jett. Impressed by her vocal abilities and rebellious attitude, Currie was chosen as the lead vocalist for the band.

With The Runaways, Currie gained international recognition and became an iconic figure in the world of rock music. The band released their self-titled debut album in 1976, featuring the hit single "Cherry Bomb", which became their signature song. Their raw energy, aggressive sound, and provocative image challenged gender stereotypes in the male-dominated rock scene of the time.

Despite their success, The Runaways faced internal conflicts and lineup changes. Currie left the band in 1977 to pursue a solo career and explore other artistic endeavors. She released her first solo album, "Beauty's Only Skin Deep", in 1978, which showcased her versatility as an artist. However, her solo career didn't achieve the same level of commercial success as her time with The Runaways.

In addition to her musical pursuits, Currie ventured into acting. She appeared in several films, including "Foxes" (1980) alongside Jodie Foster, and "Wavelength" (1983). However, her focus shifted back to music in the 1980s when she formed a short-lived band called Cherie and Marie Currie with her twin sister.

Over the years, Currie faced personal challenges and struggled with drug addiction. However, she eventually overcame her addiction and embarked on a path of recovery. In the 2000s, she reunited with her former bandmates from The Runaways for special performances and was featured in the biographical film "The Runaways" (2010), where she was portrayed by Dakota Fanning.

In recent years, Currie has continued to make music, releasing solo albums such as "Reverie" (2015) and "Blvds of Splendor" (2019). She has also collaborated with various artists and participated in music projects, showcasing her enduring passion for rock and roll.

Apart from her musical endeavors, Currie is an author and has written her memoir titled "Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway", published in 1989. The book delves into her experiences with The Runaways and provides insights into her life and struggles.

Cherie Currie's impact on the music industry extends beyond her time with The Runaways. She has inspired generations of female musicians and remains an influential figure in rock music, known for her powerful vocals, rebellious spirit, and unapologetic attitude. Her journey serves as a testament to the enduring power of rock and roll.

Lita Ford Biography:

Lita Ford is an iconic American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter who rose to prominence as a member of the all-female rock band, The Runaways, and later achieved success as a solo artist. She was born on 19 September 19 1958, in London, England, but was raised in the United States.

Ford's passion for music began at a young age when she started playing the guitar. She honed her skills and developed her unique style, drawing inspiration from various rock and blues influences. In the late 1970s, she joined The Runaways as their lead guitarist, becoming an integral part of the band's sound and image.

During her time with The Runaways, Ford contributed to the band's success, co-writing many of their songs and captivating audiences with her electrifying guitar solos. The Runaways released several albums, including "The Runaways" (1976), "Queens of Noise" (1977), and "Waitin' for the Night" (1977), which showcased Ford's exceptional guitar skills and solidified her status as one of rock's leading female guitarists.

After The Runaways disbanded in 1979, Ford embarked on a solo career, establishing herself as a prominent figure in the world of hard rock and heavy metal. In 1983, she released her debut solo album, "Out for Blood", which showcased her powerful vocals and fierce guitar playing. The album achieved moderate success and laid the foundation for her subsequent releases.

Ford's breakthrough came with her second solo album, "Dancin' on the Edge" (1984), which included the hit single "Gotta Let Go". The album showcased her growth as a songwriter and her ability to craft anthemic rock songs. Her third solo album, "Lita" (1988), became her most successful release, featuring the chart-topping power ballad "Close My Eyes Forever", a duet with Ozzy Osbourne. The song remains one of Ford's signature tracks to this day.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Ford continued to release albums, including "Stiletto" (1990) and "Dangerous Curves" (1991), which showcased her versatility as an artist and her ability to adapt to changing musical trends. However, as the music landscape shifted in the mid-1990s, Ford took a break from the industry to focus on her personal life and raising her family.

After a hiatus, Ford made a triumphant return to the music scene in the early 2000s, releasing the critically acclaimed album "Wicked Wonderland" (2009), which marked a stylistic shift towards heavier and darker sounds. She has since continued to release new music, including "Living Like a Runaway" (2012) and "Time Capsule" (2016), showcasing her enduring talent and dedication to rock music.

Lita Ford's contributions to rock music extend beyond her musical accomplishments. She has shattered stereotypes and paved the way for women in a male-dominated genre, inspiring countless aspiring musicians. Her innovative guitar playing, powerful vocals, and dynamic stage presence have made her a beloved figure among rock fans worldwide.

Today, Lita Ford remains an influential and respected artist, continuing to tour and perform, as well as being recognized as one of the most talented and influential female guitarists in the history of rock music. Her enduring legacy is a testament to her indomitable spirit and unwavering commitment to rock and roll.

Joan Jett Biography:

Joan Jett, born Joan Marie Larkin on September 22, 1958, in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, is an American rock musician, singer, songwriter, and producer. She is best known as the founding member of the rock band Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and for her influential contributions to the punk and rock genres.

Jett's passion for music began at an early age. She received her first guitar at the age of 14 and quickly fell in love with rock and roll. In the mid-1970s, Jett formed the groundbreaking all-female rock band, The Runaways, along with drummer Sandy West. The band's rebellious sound and attitude challenged gender norms and gained them a dedicated following. Jett played rhythm guitar and provided lead vocals, showcasing her distinctive voice and unapologetic attitude.

After The Runaways disbanded in 1979, Jett embarked on a solo career, forming her own band, the Blackhearts. In 1981, she released her debut album, "Bad Reputation", which included the hit single of the same name. The album solidified Jett's reputation as a fierce rock musician, known for her gritty guitar riffs and empowering lyrics.

In 1982, Jett achieved mainstream success with the release of "I Love Rock 'n Roll", the second album with the Blackhearts. The title track, a cover of the Arrows' song, became an instant classic and reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album also spawned other hits like "Crimson and Clover" and "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)". Jett's infectious energy, fierce stage presence, and her signature black leather attire made her an icon of the rock music scene.

Throughout her career, Jett continued to release successful albums, including "Album" (1983), "Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth" (1984), and "Up Your Alley" (1988). She maintained her punk-rock edge while experimenting with different sounds and collaborations. Her music often conveyed messages of empowerment, individuality, and rebellion, resonating with fans of all ages.

In addition to her musical achievements, Jett was a trailblazer for women in the music industry, defying stereotypes and paving the way for future female rock musicians. She faced numerous challenges and rejections but remained determined and persevered, ultimately leaving a lasting impact on the industry.

Jett's influence extends beyond her own music. She has collaborated with various artists, including her role in the hit duet "I Hate Myself for Loving You" with fellow rock icon, Lita Ford. Jett has also been involved in humanitarian and animal rights causes, advocating for equality and compassion.

In recognition of her contributions, Joan Jett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. She continues to tour and record new music, remaining an active and influential figure in the rock music scene. Joan Jett's enduring legacy lies not only in her iconic songs but also in her fearless spirit, determination, and her unwavering commitment to rock and roll.

Jackie Fox Biography:

Jackie Fox, born Jacqueline Fuchs on 20 December 20 1959, in Los Angeles, California, is an American musician and former member of the iconic all-female rock band, The Runaways. While her time with the band was relatively short, Jackie Fox made a significant impact as their bass guitarist.

Fox's musical journey began in her teenage years when she joined The Runaways in 1975. She replaced Micki Steele as the bass guitarist and quickly became an integral part of the band's sound and stage presence. Known for her technical skills and solid bass lines, Fox contributed to the band's energetic and rebellious punk rock sound.

During her time with The Runaways, the band experienced a surge in popularity. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1976, followed by "Queens of Noise" (1977) and "Waitin' for the Night" (1977). These albums showcased Fox's bass playing on tracks like "Neon Angels on the Road to Ruin" and "American Nights", highlighting her ability to provide a strong foundation to the band's music.

Despite their success, The Runaways faced internal conflicts and tensions, which eventually led to Fox's departure from the band in 1977. After leaving The Runaways, Fox pursued a different path and decided to shift her focus to academia. She attended the prestigious Harvard University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics. She later earned a law degree from Columbia Law School and embarked on a successful career as an entertainment lawyer.

While Fox's time with The Runaways was relatively short-lived, her contribution to the band's music and legacy remains significant. She played a pivotal role during their formative years, helping to shape their sound and image. Her bass skills, combined with her stage presence, added depth and power to The Runaways' performances.

In recent years, Fox has occasionally made appearances and participated in reunions with her former bandmates, showcasing the enduring bond and camaraderie they share. Her contributions to rock music as a member of The Runaways continue to be celebrated by fans worldwide.

Beyond her musical career, Jackie Fox's accomplishments in academia and law demonstrate her intellect and versatility. While her time with The Runaways represents a significant chapter in her life, Fox's subsequent achievements in other fields exemplify her multifaceted talents.

Jackie Fox's story is one of a talented musician who left an indelible mark on rock music history as a member of The Runaways. Her bass playing and contribution to the band's early success will always be remembered, and her subsequent achievements serve as a testament to her determination and diverse skill set.

Sandy West Biography:

Sandy West, born Sandy Pesavento on 10 July 1959, in Long Beach, California, was an American drummer and one of the founding members of the pioneering all-female rock band, The Runaways. Known for her energetic drumming style and powerful stage presence, West made a significant impact on the rock music scene during her career.

West's passion for music developed at a young age. She was introduced to drums by her older sister and quickly fell in love with the instrument. In 1975, at the age of 15, she joined forces with guitarist Joan Jett to form The Runaways, a groundbreaking band that challenged gender norms and became an influential force in the punk and rock genres.

As the drummer of The Runaways, West played a crucial role in defining the band's sound. Her energetic drumming style and tight rhythm provided the foundation for their raw and rebellious sound. The band's self-titled debut album was released in 1976, featuring the hit single "Cherry Bomb", which helped establish The Runaways as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.

Throughout their short but impactful career, The Runaways released several albums, including "Queens of Noise" (1977) and "Waitin' for the Night" (1977), which showcased West's powerful drumming skills and her ability to drive the band's high-energy performances. Their music and image inspired a generation of aspiring female musicians and left a lasting legacy in rock music history.

After The Runaways disbanded in 1979, West continued to pursue her musical endeavors. She formed her own band called Sandy West's Wild West Show and released a solo album titled "The Beat is Back" in 1980. However, she faced challenges in maintaining the same level of success achieved during her time with The Runaways.

West's career took a different direction in the following years as she explored various artistic ventures. She ventured into songwriting, worked as a producer, and even pursued acting. While she faced personal and professional challenges, her love for music remained steadfast.

Tragically, Sandy West passed away on October 21, 2006, at the age of 47 after a battle with lung cancer. Her untimely death was a loss to the music community, and her contributions to rock music were recognized and celebrated by her peers and fans alike.

Sandy West's legacy lies not only in her dynamic drumming skills but also in her role as a trailblazer for female musicians. Her talent, passion, and fearless spirit helped pave the way for future generations of women in rock music. Though her life was cut short, her impact on the music industry will forever be remembered and cherished.

Queens of Noise: The Runaways' Definitive Discography of High-Energy Rock and Roll Rebellion

RUNAWAYS - And Now The Runaways 12" Vinyl LP
RUNAWAYS - And Now The Runaways  album front cover vinyl record

"And Now... The Runaways" marked a significant shift in the band's musical style and themes. While it received mixed reviews from critics, it showcased the band's versatility and musical growth.

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RUNAWAYS - Live in Japan (French & Netherlands Releases) 12" Vinyl LP
RUNAWAYS - Live in Japan (French & Netherlands Releases)
 album front cover vinyl record

The album "Live in Japan" was originally released only in Japan, and some other regions including; Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands. It was not intended for release in the United States or the United Kingdom.

RUNAWAYS - Live in Japan (1977, France) RUNAWAYS - Live in Japan (1977, Holland)
RUNAWAYS - S/T Self-Titled 12" Vinyl LP
RUNAWAYS - S/T Self-Titled album front cover vinyl record

The Runaways' 1976 self-titled debut on 12" vinyl is a high-energy blast of punk-infused rock. Fronted by Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, anthems like "Cherry Bomb" made them one of the first successful all-female rock bands.

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RUNAWAYS - Waitin' For The Night 12" Vinyl LP
RUNAWAYS - Waitin' For The Night  album front cover vinyl record

Released in 1977, "Waitin' For The Night" is a vinyl record featuring The Runaways' raw hard-rock sound. It showcases early contributions from Joan Jett and Lita Ford, who became rock icons.

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