Posts Tagged ‘Joan Jett’

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Jackie in 1976 (pic:jackiefox.com)

1)Jackie, what’s been keeping you busy of late ? I’m going back into private practice as an entertainment attorney and on October 2nd will once again be personally representing actors, directors, writers, authors and bands.  So I’ve been busy wrapping up deals at my current job and packing.  Also I just bought a new house and I’ve been trying to get unpacked and get everything fixed and decorated before starting my new job. 2)Why has interest in the Runaways remained so high ? Good question and I’m not entirely sure of the answer. Probably because we were the first all-girl rock band, and because Joan and Lita became so successful as solo acts but have been inactive for awhile.  I don’t know maybe it has something to do with the internet, too. For the first time in almost 25 years, Runaways fans can really connect. 3)Favourite Runaways song/s and why ? Well, Cherry Bomb for all the obvious reasons is my favorite.  It’s just a great song.  Lot’s of bad girl attitude, great, simple chords, etc.  The Runaways were best when we kept it simple — Is It Day or Night, Secrets, American Nights, California Paradise, I Wanna Be Where the Boys Are.  I also love Dead End Justice — it’s so wonderfully cheesy!  Reminds me of those ’70’s women in prison movies with Linda Blair or Wendy O. Williams. 4)Fondest memory of the Japan tour ? (where The Runaways popularity was rivalled only by Kiss and Cheap Trick!) Meeting the fans.  I’ve never met nicer people than I met in Japan. 5)Can you name a couple highlights from your time in the band ?
Headlining over Cheap Trick and Tom Petty, being the cover story in Crawdaddy Magazine, just having albums out and playing in front of real people. 6)What are your thoughts on the forthcoming Runaways film/documentary ‘Edgeplay’ (written and directed by Vicki Blue)?
I was hesitant at first for there to be a documentary by a member of the band, but I’ve seen some of the footage and it looks great.  Vicki has chosen to focus on the more painful elements of the band, so it should be really interesting both for fans, and for people who may not have liked the band at the time, but will find the difficulties we went through interesting.  There is so much to say about the Runaways that Vicki is having to edit her movie down as it is, and she hasn’t even talked to everyone who has something to say.  But it’s a great movie, and it leaves the door open for someone else to present a different point of view. 7) Favourite Australian band/s We don’t really get to hear the cool ones here!  But I always had a soft spot for The Angels (who are known as Angel City in the states) because they were a good band and because I used to go out with Jim Hilbum and he’s a great guy.  If I had to pick a favorite though, I’d have to go with the Divinyls, who are one of my favorite all-time bands.  Christina Amphlett was doing the bad girl thing before the Runaways and their songs are great. 8)Name your 5 ‘desert island discs’ and why ? I never know if “greatest hits” packages count for these, cause they sure make picking easier!  Without selecting any greatest hits albums, though, off the top of my head I’d have to say The Stones ‘Let It Bleed’, Garbage’s first album, The Cult’s ‘Sonic Temple’ , The The’s ‘Dusk’, and David Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’

(Archive Source: Cat Scratch Fever/Vicious Kitten Records Newsletter Issue 5: Sept/Oct 2000) *This interview was also translated and appeared in Doll Magazine in Japan in 2000 (see below)

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Cherie Currie: The Queen of Noise hits Sydney (photo: D.Gray)

The California summer may never end, but tonight in downtown Sydney – it was a cold and chilly wind that greeted me when I arrived at Sydney University’s Manning Bar for a dose of Cherie Currie flavoured rock n roll.

I never in my wildest dreams, thought Cherie would jet downunder, yet here we are – half way through a run of gigs in both New Zealand and Australia. I for one, am appreciative. If you search this blog, you will correctly conclude I have been a Runaways disciple (and vocal supporter) for decades. In fact, 1977’s Waitin’ For The Night is forever etched in my top ten favourite records of all time. So again, having Cherie Currie announce a tour of Australia some months back was welcome news.

With no fanfare (or intro tape for that matter) – Currie and band crash the stage with a blistering take of ‘American Nights’. Kim Fowley wrote some mighty infectious songs throughout his life – and this is up there with the best of em, still sounding as potent as ever some forty years after he and former Hollywood Star Marc Anthony co-penned it.

The Velvet Underground classic ‘Rock n Roll’ figures in Runaway-history way back to when they were a trio – (Joan, Sandy and Micki Steele) and is aired next. Although considered sacrilegious by some to say anything negative about the Velvet Underground
– I will nevertheless take the risk and reiterate the long held belief of many – The Runaways’ recording of Rock n Roll from 1976 stomps all over the original – closely followed in my opinion by Mitch Ryder and Detroit’s interpretation from 1972. Ms Currie belts this out like it’s 1977 and the Sydney set are diggin’ it.

‘Rock n Roll Rosie’ – penned for the upcoming Suzi Quatro film is cool and catchy – and littered with lyrics expressing Currie’s admiration for one of Detroit’s finest. If you get ahold of Currie’s just-released ‘Midnight Music in London’ album – check out this one out closely as Quatro herself joins Cherie on stage for a guest stint. Two thumbs up from Mr Rockbrat.

The frenetic ‘Dear Mum’ is shadowed by a thumping ‘Is It Day Or Night’. I’ve always dug Fowley’s cryptic lyrics on this – ‘Porcupine kiss, novacaine lips’ – how the hell he came up with lines like that is beyond my comprehension. Most punters tonight seem familiar with the tune so I’m guessing the Runaways debut LP would be in their iTunes (modern talk for K-tel Record Selector)…

Y’know one of the best things to come out of the Runaways film – apart from turning kids onto the band – was that the youngsters got hipped to artists like Bowie and the great Nick Gilder. Tonight Cherie and band crank out a heavied-up take of Gilder’s ‘Roxy Roller’ and it’s a
night highlight. Man Nick Gilder had some tunes didn’t he !? Cherie’s rendition of ‘Roxy Roller’ smokes and her recorded version you can hear on her upcoming album due out in September.  Yes, finally – Blackheart Records will release the new Cherie Currie album (applause). About time.

I return from the bar just as Cherie cranks a bunch of my favourite Runaways tunes: “Heartbeat”, “Queens of Noise”, ‘California Paradise’ and a stunning “Midnight Music”. Currie’s voice is stonger than ever by the way – the proof is there for all to hear – especially in songs like the raging California Paradise. Currie knows how to work an audience so well, and I am beginning to think I shoulda got a ticket for another show as well. Darn it.

The impact David Bowie had on Cherie Currie is immense – life changing, and the couple of Bowie songs she performed in his honor tonight were heart felt and emotion charged. A visibly upset Cherie momentarily paused and spilled tears during a stunning rendition of Lady Grinning Soul. In many years of seeing live music, this is one moment I will treasure – nothing staged or pretentious, just warm and real. “Rebel Rebel” follows fast and man it’s good. Bowie would be smiling. So too Mick Ronson – whose contributions to much of
Bowie’s work must never be underestimated…(isn’t the integral piano part contained in Lady Grinning Soul played by Ronno?!)

Incidentally, if you view The Runaways movie – you’ll see Dakota Fanning performing Bowie’s Lady Grinning Soul at the school talent show and have food thrown at her… Cherie tonight re-corrects this with “actually I did 1984 and I won that fuckin’ show”. So there you go readers. For what it’s worth I reckon “1984” from Bowie’s Diamond Dogs album woulda been a better choice for Fanning to do…and it woulda kept the story straight.

“Believe” – lifted off the recent Reverie album is an album highlight and is aired tonight to welcoming ears. Maybe I’m all Kiss-ed out but I could do without the cover of Kiss’ Do You Love Me. Yep, thanks Sherlock, I am aware it’s another Fowley co-write, but as a life-long Kisser,  I could pass on this. Whoever does Cherie’s set-list, strike a line through the
Kiss cover and replace it with Russ Ballard’s Since You’ve Been Gone will ya !? Or how about the Roni Lee/Kim Fowley stomper ‘I Wanna Be Where The Boys Are’ ? ! Hell yeah !!!

The hour long set closes with a fiery “Cherry Bomb”. It’s become an anthem, and deservedly so.  It’s a memorable ending.

In closing let me state this: Cherie Currie is the real rock n roll deal. A trail blazer. If you know your facts – you’ll know her life has had many challenges, but Currie remains strong and is an inspiration to many. I have seen many great nights of live rock n roll, and tonight’s show by Cherie Currie is up there with the best of em.

Hear an interview conducted with Cherie on the eve of her Australian tour here

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birch_hill_gig_adThe town of Old Bridge is located in New Jersey, not too far from Staten Island, around 40km from Manhattan. It was also home to a live venue called Birch Hill – which me and the Cowboy made tracks for back in 1996. The reason ? Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. 40km doesn’t sound far – at least not for an Australian, who thinks nothing of driving a few hundred kilometres to get to the shops and back – well, you get my meaning. This gig stands out for a couple of reasons. See, me and the Cowboy were holed up in a flea-infested hostel around Chelsea, swilling cats piss one humid afternoon – whilst listening to local rock radio.  We hear the end of an advert for a Blackhearts show at ‘Albridge’, or was it ‘Aldridge’, ‘Old Ridge’ maybe ? No mention of the gig in the Village Voice either – hmmm. Anyway, we head to the Port Authority Bus Terminal on gig day and manage to annoy the ticket lady officer big time – by not actually knowing our destination. Fucking tourists. ‘Ohhh you mean, Old Bridge’ she whines in a Queens accent. ‘Uh huh, yeah’ we nod – like Beavis and Butthead and board the Jersey-bound bus excitedly.  From memory the Old Bridge bus stop was at a nearby mall – which meant a long walk back to the venue – a venue which first reminded me of Bob’s Country Bunker – chicken wire ? Unlike many Australian or British venue’s where you can hit the venue bar pre-show, this place seemed isolated and had the doors locked until like 8.00pm. The only thing to keep us entertained were the ‘Joan Clones’ who sat in their cars – cranking Jett/Runaways tunage, whiling the hours away. One geeky fan came up to us and even texta’d a number on our hands ! WTF ? (don’t want any queue-jumping at a Blackhearts show or Mr Laguna may wanna see you after school). Odd. It was humid in New Jersey that afternoon – so when the doors finally opened we darted to the bar – a man’s not a camel. Birch Hill was apparently a ground-breaking venue which had hosted up-and-coming acts like Marilyn Manson, Korn and the Goo Goo Dolls.  Others such as Eddie Money, Anthrax, Sepultura, Scorpions, Dokken, Cheap Trick, Dio, Motorhead, Dream Theatre, UFO, Vince Neil, Yngwie, Misfits, Great White, Cinderella and even  Iron Maiden (with Blaze) also played here – amongst countless other acts. Thrashers Overkill – who appear on this gig ad – hail from Old Bridge I believe. Anyway, back to the Jett show.

Boston’s two girl-one guy ‘Chelsea on Fire’ opened many Joan Jett shows in the late 90’s and did so on this occasion. They were unoriginal and unmemorable – and I instead made better use of my time by hitting on a couple of local chicks – big-haired Stevie Nicks-clones. and the booze kept flowing. Local outfit Mars Needs Women were next up – I think they gave me a demo tape – or did they hand em out (?) – and were capital A average. At some stage I recall ligging with Blackhearts Tony Bruno and Sean Koos – the bassist was far more impressed with my 1995 Aussie tour tee than his (ex-Saraya/Danger Danger) band mate (Bruno would later find greener pastures working as guitarist, music director for Enrique Iglesias). Eventually Joanie jumps the stage with shortly-cropped bright orange hair. Not one of her better looks. As usual – Miss Larkin and band fired on all cylinders – and her set was soon over – but not, as you’d expect – was our Old Bridge adventure.

There were no taxis anywhere – and a promised lift by some local Jett-head proved to be bullshit. Anyway, me and the Cowboy start walking alongside the freeway – when we stumble upon a local cop sitting in his car. ‘Any chance of a lift’ ? I ask – and after ID’s are confirmed – we jump in the back of the squad car. ‘I heard Joan Jett now has orange hair’ the officer mumbled. Sheesh – even the local law enforcement were up on recent Jett happenings ! Some minutes later – the kindly cop drops us at a 24 hour diner and says ‘hey when you get back to Australia, you tell Aussie cops that Jersey cops are cool’ ! Absoloutely, 10-4, that’ll be the first thing I do when we land at Mascot. With a hang-over starting to kick in – I slumped wearily into a booth at the diner – ordering coffee and spying the ‘texta-girl’ from the gig sitting nearby. We rolled back into the Port Authority terminal a little under the weather – but drenched in Joan Jett rock n roll. I am attaching the advert for this show in question. Man, I love looking over past gig ads – the names of bands who vanshed – or also conquered – lay before you. This one shows Hüsker Dü’s Bob Mould appearing, the afore-mentioned Overkill, and Northern Irish outfit Ash can be seen on a bill supporting Stabbing Westward – no doubt trying to sink their teeth into the vast North American market. Looking back – Merciful Fate – out on the road in support of their then released ‘Into The Unknown’ record with Voivod woulda been cool – hmm, nah, on second thought – I think I’d take the Marshall Tucker Band over the lot of em. The venue closed its doors back in 2003 – making way for some housing community. Often, just making your way to a show is half the fun – and this tale, from Old Bridge NJ in 1996, is just one of many I have tucked away. More road stories later…till then – respect the rock.

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We want to hear new rock n roll from this lady ! (photo courtesy of Devious Planet)

Like many other long-time Runaways devotees, I was ecstatic to hear that former vocalist Cherie Currie was locked in a studio and recording a new album ! This was a couple of years back now. After years of spinning Cherie’s solo albums – such as the one she did with sister Marie ‘Messin With The Boys’, and her very underrated 1978 LP ‘Beauty’s Only Skin Deep’ – I could not wait to hear some new material. Matt Sorum from Guns n Roses was producing, Slash and Duff McKagen also played on it – Billy Corgan penned a track – I mean, the whispers I’d heard were that this thing was turning out to be one hellava rock n roll album ! and then…well, there it stalled. And there it remains.

Why ? Well, at that time – Cherie was being managed by Kenny Laguna, who (after a 2010 gig supporting Joan Jett) apparently offered Cherie an album deal on his label – Blackheart Records with a tour to follow. For the rock n roll illiterate, Laguna is well-known for having managed the career of Joan Jett. Sure, he produced some hits in the 60’s for artists such as Tommy James and the Shondells, Darlene Love and The Ohio Express, but let’s call a spade (or a black heart!) a spade: he is most well-known for his management of Joan Jett.

Commenting on her current situation in a recent  interview at examiner.com, Currie said ‘for some reason Kenny hasn’t mastered it’ and ‘it’s still not being released and there’s not much I can do about that. Kenny wouldn’t let me play any shows after I performed with Joan either. For someone my age, a year is like five. Why wouldn’t he let me play? Even with the (Runaways) movie and my book, that would have been PR enough for me to be able to get out there and have fun and play Runaways songs, and say hi to the fans old and new, but he wouldn’t let me do it.’ Also – ‘I feel extremely betrayed by the whole thing. I don’t think Blackheart had any other hits out of that record company besides Joan, so it doesn’t seem to make sense to me’.  Makes no sense to Mr Rockbrat either. Currie continues ‘He just wants me to sign a record contract that I will not sign. It’s one of those 60/40 contracts that they own you for life. The record has been finished for three years. I’ve had to walk away and let it go and I thought the evil was out of this business. Joan’s record is coming out in October and it just blows my mind because she hadn’t even thought about making a record when I went in to make mine. I wish her the best, but it will be a cold day in f**king hell before I ever let anyone do this to me again.”

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Joan Jett caught in the Rockbrat lens back in 1995

Cherie’s comments made me furious – enough to sit down and write this post and I am left shaking my head at this situation. Should I care ? What’s the big deal ? Why does it matter you ask ? It matters to me. Cherie is a star. Full stop. She deserves better. I am also from an era where rock n roll mattered – it was all that ever mattered. It’s always been about the music. If it’s all about the music for you Kenny Laguna – you should go ahead and release her record. Consequently, after a frustrating two and a half years of waiting, Currie did not re-new her management contract with Laguna, which apparently expired back in March.

This all sounds kinda petty dontcha think Rockbrat friends ? I recently contacted Blackheart and asked for a release date for Cherie’s album, but as yet – have not received a reply. This is just the latest – in a string of strange decisions over time – from this man and his small record label which have left me baffled. A friend from San Francisco who runs a popular rock podcast has previously attempted (and failed) to get Cherie on his show, and told me ‘at one point I had an interview with Cherie lined up but apparently Blackheart told her she couldn’t do it’. Not sure of the real reason behind that one – but why wouldn’t you grant permission for an artist on your label to do a radio show ? Same deal with Joan – this podcaster is one of the biggest Jett-head’s on the planet – yet never seems to be able to secure an interview with her. A Kenny interview ? Yep, sure. A Blackhearts (band) interview ? no problem. But not Joanie herself. What’s up with that ? Maybe some at Blackheart still think it is 1982 and they can be selective with their main act ? Who knows. Off topic somewhat, buy another odd one is the amount of compilations Joan has released over the years – peculiar to say the least. There was sweet f.a released after 1994’s ‘Pure and Simple’ – but all we got were endless compilations – that rant another time folks.

An issue I also have which gets under my skin is Laguna’s apparent say in Runaways affairs. Can someone please explain to me the full extent of his involvement with the band and indeed their legacy ? I for one would like to know. For example does he get a cut from merchandise? He was listed as the executive producer of The Runaways film from 2010 – but apart from that ? Any legal ownership? He may have some kind of legal right over the Runaways – but not the moral right – (in my opinion) – to call any shots. (Especially with no band involvement in their heyday). Just calling it as I see it.

Actually, the making of that Runaways movie did not sit well with many. Guitarist Lita Ford was quoted at that time in Rolling Stone saying ‘I just want people to know that I have nothing to do with that film’. Ford also added ‘I’ve always loved Joan. I don’t know what the problem is with him (Laguna) – he really goes out of his way to f**k me up. I despise him for it’. You gotta admire Lita’s honesty folks. Incidentally – for all the hype around that film (which I dug, by the way) – nothing could prevent it from from fizzing out after a promising first couple of weeks in the cinemas. Online stats tell my miniscule mathematical brain that a $10 million budget lined up with a gross taking of $3 to 4 million is not what I’d call a (ahem) runaway success. I suggest you also seek out Vickie Blue’s ‘Edgeplay’ documentary (on the Runaways) as well – which includes honest and revealing interviews with most of the band members. Strangely Joan Jett was absent from the film. May I say how disappointed I was at that time when I learnt that she was not filmed for the Edgeplay doco (her decision I believe). Is it also true that Joan/Kenny would apparently not grant the rights required to air the band’s music in the film ? How sad. Even the Beatles managed to patch things up in the mid-90’s for their Anthology thing !

What do you Runaways fans think about the deplorable decision to pretty much ignore the role of  Jackie Fox in that film ? I-n-e-x-c-u-s-a-b-l-e ! How dare her contribution not receive adequate recognition! Yeah I know that film was pretty much based on Currie’s book – but come on. With no Jackie Fox, there would be no Runaways and her apparent omittance from that major film was an outrage. You may’ve got one past the unknowing 14 year old’s who trekked into the cinemas, but her absence was noticed by many like me. Runaways songs such as the blistering ‘Neon Angels on the Road to Ruin’ and the beautiful “Heartbeat” were co-written by one J.Fox ! She was essential to the chemistry of the band and she will forever be known as the bass player in The Runaways (whether that film accurately acknowledged it or not).

The relationship between Joan and Fox has long been rumored to be frosty – but things got even chillier back in 2009, when Joan Jett/Blackheart Records filed a lawsuit against Fox – which was dismissed some time later. From what I have read, Jett felt that Fox was meddling with the making of The Runaways movie. She hoped that the lawsuit would stop any continued interference. Ultimately the judge cited in favor of Fox. Apparently the filmmakers, (including Joan) didn’t secure Fox’s life rights before they made the movie. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Fox had asked (via letters she’d sent to the filmmakers) if her name/likeness were to be included in the movie. Jett apparently thought that Fox was unfairly attempting to halt the movie’s release and sued her for ‘tortuous interference’ (incidentally, the filmmakers had successfully secured life rights of former drummer Sandy West, ex-manager Kim Fowley and indeed Cherie Currie). Was it unreasonable of Fox – to ask/request/question the role of her character/name/likeness – and how she would be portrayed  ?! Judge for yourself.

As is well documented – the ladies in the Runaways never made serious money in the 70’s – none which went into their pockets at least. So a re-union could be great – couldn’t it ? For band and fans alike ? Apparently not. Recently, Joan Jett stated in LA Weekly that there was no point in a Runaways re-union, saying ‘she doesn’t see the benefit on her end’. Also ‘I don’t really get why we should do it – the downside is bigger than the upside’. May I state the bleeding obvious here Joan/Kenny. The Runaways ain’t about just you two. The Runaways are not Joan Jett and friends. It is indeed a band of five – Cherie, Lita, Jackie, Sandy and Joan. End of argument. Personally, the time for a re-union has passed. It should’ve happened in the mid-90s when Sandy was still alive. Not now. Not unless it’s done fairly for all involved.

I met Mr Laguna briefly a couple of times in the mid-90’s at some Blackhearts gigs – he seemed amicable. I recognise his input and legacy into pop music. I also acknowledge that he has been very good for Joan’s career. He has the respect of many in the music industry – but with decisions like this one involving Cherie Currie’s unreleased album (and his dealings in Runaways affairs), I – along with many other long-time Runaways fans – are fast becoming disillusioned.

As you can gather – I am a passionate Runaways disciple. I have previously interviewed Jackie Fox for the Japanese rock media some years back and found her to be friendly, honourable and decent. I also love Cherie, Lita Ford and have been a Joan fan for too many years to remember – always putting my hand in my pocket to buy new material. How exciting to hear a new album from Cherie Currie I thought ! Something I never imagined in the 80’s and 90’s ! Yet how unfortunate that the straight-forward process of releasing an album gets so freaking messy – why oh why complicate something simple ? Just let me rock.

Does Blackheart feel threatened that a Cherie Currie album could take some spotlight away from Joan ? Not enough room in the Blackheart stable for two Runaways maybe ? It’s a point which Currie alluded to in the Examiner interview saying ‘Joan really hasn’t had anyone else achieve the level of success as she has after The Runaways, but now Lita is back and drawing huge crowds and the original lead singer of The Runaways Cherie Currie is touring’.
So my question to you Mr Laguna and Blackheart Records is simple: when will the unreleased Cherie Currie album be released ? I am yet to receive a reply to my e-mail, so you are more than welcome to leave the answer below this article.

My advice to Cherie Currie is to re-record the album and have it fan-funded. Ginger Wildheart uses this method with great success – even breaking into the UK charts recently and outselling muppets like Justin Timberlake. I for one will offer you the first pledge.

I think I will end this post by quoting the lyrics contained in the Currie tune ‘Beauty’s Only Skin Deep’ which are: ‘I’ve been left for dead – by those who didn’t care – they never considered me or took me anywhere – I’ve got the songs to sing’. Yes folks – Cherie Currie does have the songs to sing – and the voice and charisma to perform them. She is currently out on tour and is in sizzling form. I encourage you to go and see a true rock n roll trailblazer.

http://www.cheriecurrie.com/

runaways_1977_shirt_frontWhat: Runaways 1977 European Tour T-Shirt
Buy It Now Price: $7,920 US
Listing Date: September  2013

Description: VINTAGE TOUR T-SHIRT JOAN JETT 70s OG
Original The Runaways concert tee from their ‘School Days’ European tour ’77! THE REAL DEAL AND ONE OF THE RAREST/COOLEST TOUR SHIRTS ON EARTH!!! Pink lipstick kisses print on front! Excellent vintage condition with no rips, holes or stains.

Tees were made a lot smaller back then so please go by these measurements (unstretched):

PIT TO PIT: 16 (has lots of stretch to go bigger)
BACK COLLAR TO BOTTOM: 21.75
TAG SIZE: Medium
TAG BRAND: Bonito T-shirts

Little sister, unstrap your rollerskates – cos It’s Friday nite and we’ve located this rare shirt listed on eBay. What a great find – an original Runaways tour tee-shirt – from their 1977 European tour. ‘Waiting For The Night’ is my favourite record from Joanie, Lita, Vicki and Sandy. The asking price of $7,920.00 is ridiculous – but the fact that there are nearly 50 watchers on this item – indicates that this band are becoming collectable. Nice to see a complete listing of all the European dates they played on this tour – as displayed on the back of the shirt. That is an image barbed wire at the base of the shirt – which ties in with the covert art from the album they were touring. I once owned a programme from this tour, which woulda made a nice pairing. Amazing !

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ImageWhat: Runaways – Waitin For The Night – Acetate
Winning Bid: $306 US
Starting Bids: $50 US
Sale Date: 26 October 2010

Waitin’ For The Night is one of my all-time top 10 records. Recently, my good pal Michael Butler focused on this album on his ‘Rock n Roll Geek Show’ podcast. So I’ve been re-playing it this week, and am falling in love with it all over again. What an album. Anyway, an acetate copy showed up on eBay some time back, and fetched around 300 dollars. I have been a fan of this band for over three decades – they were trailblazers who forged a new chapter in rock n roll without any blueprint. Their legacy looms large. Anyway, the lucky owner of this item has a genuine rock rarity to cherish….and Mr Rockbrat is envious !

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surely Lita is deserving of larger venues than these !

Tell you what, you could blow some serious money at the moment on the live rock circuit here in Australia. I cannot recall a time when there are so many bands announcing tours – a far cry from those days in the mid-8o’s when we had only the likes of Purple, or Queen, or Dio etc to cater for the rock hordes…..not that I mean ‘only’, I mean sheesh, I would give my right arm to see Queen or Dio nowadays, but the touring rock and metal acts who visited the Oceania region, were few and far between. It seemed like there was only one big show every few months…that’s my point….. But now ? Is the super-strong Australian dollar the reason behind so much touring activity ? I mean, I cannot remember a year where so many acts are touring downunder……here are some of the names locked in:

Deep Purple, Journey, Status Quo, Lita Ford, Joan Jett, The Darkness, Van Halen, Guns n Roses, Kiss, Thin Lizzy, Deniz Tek, Motley Crue, Ringo Starr, Aerosmith, Robert Plant, Slayer, Anthrax, Santana, Blue Oyster Cult, Flamin Groovies, Buzzcocks, Steve Miller, Neil Young, Iggy and The Stooges, Black Sabbath, ZZ Top, Rose Tattoo, Angels, Bryan Adams, Steve Stevens, Bruce Springsteen and the great Wilco.

If money is no object – you could see some great shows…..

Is there really an audience still out there for GnR ? You be the judge, but having the bearded Texans on the bill, along with the might Rosie Tatts could make me think not….me thinks Axl and his cut-outs are in danger of being wiped off the stage. Another visit from Iggy ? Sheesh, go see Deniz Tek instead….better yet, just have Tek in the Stooges !  Surely this must be the last time Kiss will be here…please – make it the last time. Take your unsold ice-blocks back with you and leave us with our 70’s memories.

Damn shame that Aerosmith are playing a large venue in Sydney like the Olympic Stadium….oh and shit like Grinspoon should bless their lucky stars they are opening the bill for legends.  My only advice is to arrive after the opening acts have done their ahem ‘thing’ and just see Boston’s finest. Joe Perry back in Australia – it will be great to have him back…..