Posts Tagged ‘Runaways’

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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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ImageIf you did not have your ear to the Sydney underground in the early 90’s, you most likely woulda missed this outfit. I got sent this YouTube link today and it’s great. So many Australian underground bands never got filmed – so the fact that this video exists – ensures that long-lost rock n roll outfits like this, can be brought back to life online. I am fairly certain me and the Cowboy checked out Dizzy Dollz – probably at the KD or Springfields. Maybe they supported the Candy Harlots ? Dates and places are getting sketchy as the years roll by. In a different time and place maybe – Dizzy Dollz woulda had more of an impact – but they were lodged in an era of mostly mute kids all looking towards Seattle and buying shit like Pearl Jam or the horrendous Ugly Kid Joe. Vocalist Bella screams through Runaways covers like ‘Cherry Bomb’ and ‘I Love Playin’ With Fire’ with much gusto. Two thumbs up from Mr Rockbrat. Looking back – they weren’t all that different to Madame X – and they could belt out a couple of very cool originals. Can’t be sure – but I think the guitarist Glenn Read coulda also been in Starlet and Platinum Blakk – correct me if I’m wrong. Sadly, bass player Lisa passed away some time back. Anyway, enjoy this quick trip back in time to a winter’s night in 1992 at the western Sydney venue called the Cobra Club. Good, fun, rock n roll people – and ain’t that the way it’s supposed to be ?!

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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I am old enough to remember buying Lita Ford albums in 1985. Man, Mr. Rockbrat and I played the ‘Dressed To Kill’ album to death. We had some live footage from Lita of the song ‘Dressed To Kill’ and the video clip of “Gotta Let Go” which we taped off Beatbox back then which we watched over and over.  For a long long time, Mr Rockbrat only ever gave a damn about two bands – KI$$ and the Runaways, so it goes without saying that he was a devotee of Mr. Ford.  Twenty seven, (is it really that long?) years later, the black widow with the BC Rich Warlock is BACK in a big way with this, her new album in many years. And what a great album it is, without a shadow of a doubt – her best ever album. The songs are crafted and distinctive, her vocals are better than they’ve ever been, and her playing is superb. The theme or script  to the album is Ford’s acrimonious divorce. After several spins, she gives the listener a clear message that ex husband Jim Gillette is a blue ribbon jackass. Yet it’s not my intention to pass judgement on that. What is clear is that she has used the anger, pain and emotion to channel all her creative energy into creating an album of songs that are heavy rock of the finest order. Lyrically, it’s dark, and you can tell that she’s been through living hell. That’s testament to the writing process she went through to create this album, which involved working solidly for a year with producer Gary Hoey (Go check out the ‘Heavy Bones’ album he did in 1990 with Frankie Banali).  I have read some reviews that say Lita’s new album sounds like a throwback to the 80s’, but most of the reviews miss the point. This ain’t Helix singing about parties, beer and birds. This aint’ no Doro versus Lita debate either (put it away Coppen).  Sure, there’s a couple of riffs on here that are 80’s like, but that’s about it. Man, these lyrics are dark. If you didn’t know better, you’d say they were fictitious, but they aint.  In the opener ‘Branded”, with its cut throat riff, the opening line is “I Don’t Want To Fight With You No More”.  The scene is set. Killer tune, big hooks. The brooding “Hate” is another goodun, kinda reminiscent of something off KI$$’s ‘Carnival Of Souls’, but better than that. Comparisons are not needed for the songs best album, the title tune ‘Living Like  Runaway”, her ode to her time as a Runaway in 1977. Catchy as all hell, and one of the best songs Lita has ever penned. Perfect heavy pop (with a killer solo though). After going through such an ugly divorce, Lita is reminiscing and reaching back to fond times as a Runaway – and why the hell not ? Why shouldn’t she? She was so poorly represented in that film with Dakota Fanning, she has every right to reach out for her past. Word is she’s been trying to get something happening with Joan Larkin, and she recently did a video with Vicki Blue producing – so who knows? Never say never. Not too sure who would fill the drum stool though –  Roxy Petrucci? Anyway, the heavy wah on ‘Relentless’ I also dug, whilst ‘ Devil In My Head’ with its down tuning is just sheer brutal. The likeable, infectious heavy pop of ‘Love To Hate You’ is the surprise of the album, highlighted by Gary Hoey sharing lead and harmony vocals. Catchy, radio friendly and the ideal second single. ‘Mother’ is  plaintive, emotive and a message to her children – and it is utterly superb.  ‘Asylum’ is another high point. With it’s symphonic opening lines and melodious riff, I was thinking Maiden circa 1981 or 82– that’s endorsement enough. Again, lyrically, it paints the tale of the living hell she has been through in recent years, but musically – man this smokes.  Two thumbs up from Cowboy Col – 8.5 out of 10. Amazing album, one of the top ten albums of 2012. http://litafordonline.com/

 

What: Runaways 1976 London Concert Poster
Winning Bid: 34 GBP
Starting Bid: 30 GBP
Sale Date: 18 Aug 2007

Description:
Very rare RUNAWAYS gig poster from the Roundhouse, Camden, London. 1 October 1976. Size 38″x 28″ ( 97cm x 71cm ). Fair / good condition, a few rips on edges, scuffs, creases and a bit stained, in need of a bit of restoration after 30 years in ( various ) lofts. I bought this at the gig myself, and as I remember it was the only merchandise available on the night. The band only did a few dates around the U.K. before heading off to Europe & Japan, the only dates they did with the original line up. This is a genuine vintage item, not a reproduction. Sent in a strong cardboard tube with bubble wrap.


I just love finding original concert merch from the worlds greatest ever all-girl outfit. This would look so cool framed and on display….and the gig entry was under two quid !  Where is my time machine !

 

Y’know it would be easy for Mr Rockbrat to look upon the media hype surrounding The Runaways film with a cynical eye. I mean – being a fan of the band in the 80’s and 90’s was indeed a lonely undertaking. And so it was with some skepticism that I picked up the free magazine titled ‘mag’ from the local JB Hi-Fi store. Great name for a music publication by the way – very ingenious. For those outside Australia – these superstores are the nearest we have to a record store in 2010 – where DVD’s and CD’s sit comfortably next to big screen TVs, Set Top Boxes, Lap Tops, iPads and other assorted electronic crap. Often you can see spotty-faced teenagers in these stores – wailing away on the Guitar Hero – pulling faces like Rickey Medlocke – as they run their fingers down the plastic fretboard and tap their heads to long-lost rock tunes they’ve never heard of. It always makes Mr Rockbrat smile. “Go and buy a freaking guitar and amp set, a chord book and try the real thing you fools. Anyway where was I ? Oh yeah, so this chain store produces this self promoting publication and the November edition features Joan Jett…err Kristen Stewart on the cover. “ORIGINAL RIOT GRRRLS SMASH THE SCREEN!” screams the headline. I doubt whoever wrote that would be able to separate Bikini Kill from the Voodoo Queens or indeed Bratmobile from the Brood, the Pandoras from Phantom Blue etc. But whatever – it’s one cool term ”Riot Grrrl’ so we’ll use that. There were in fact all-girl outfits before Currie, Jett, Ford and Co….for example the excellent Birtha, the GTO’s, the Liverbirds, the Millington sisters in Fanny to name but a few (you are encouraged to go and explore Birtha cos they could play and wrote some great rock tunage). Again, whatever – oh and the Rockbrat didn’t use Wikipedia to research those names…he used his freaking brain kids ! Personally I thought the film was good, but not something I’d watch too many times. Maybe because I knew the storyline and band history so well. I gotta tell ya it was kinda cool collecting Runaways merch in the 80’s and early 90’s as nobody else seemed to be doing it ! I amassed quite a collection of shirts, magazines, records and the like. But that’s by the by. The article is pushing the DVD release of this film and features comments from Kat Spazzy from the very limited Spazzys (why are they still around ?) who offers no real insight into the band, and another comment from Magic Dirt’s Adalita. Man the press love Adalita. Magic Dirt had a charmed run for years and always seemed to be permanent Big Day Out fixtures ! Not that I’m complaining  – as I quite like some of their early work – I just got tired of seeing their name constantly listed on the Festivals over the years. In the article Adalita claims she ‘didn’t know a lot about the band until recently’ ? Huh ?!  I kinda find that hard to believe though I ain’t at all surprised.  Before the internet there were only fan clubs like ‘Blackmail News’ or Jett fan clubs to give you the scoop. At least she’s finally caught on. Like the rest of the world it would seem. It’s good to see you can buy a Runaways ‘Best Of’ CD for like ten bucks nowadays ! Gone are the distant days of walking into Melbourne’s Au Go Go Records and seeing a vinyl copy of “live In Japan’ for a whopping price tag of around $350 ! Sound the shark alarm kids !! Back then it was big money and I wonder if some poor sod ever handed over the cash. But that was then and this is now.  Anyone else out there digging the Runaways movie ?