Posts Tagged ‘Sandy West’

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

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)
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 !






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 !

street map of the area

street map of the area

‘All you boys way over there, and all you boys way down the back……I wanna be where the boys are !’. These very words were uttered by a tough-rock n roll teenager named Joan Jett – on the Runaways 1977 album ‘Live In Japan’. I have worshipped the Runaways for nearly three decades and I knew that record like a faithful old friend.
Joanie’s rallying cry was in fact the intro to the track ‘I Wanna Be Where The Boys Are’, and on this surprisingly warm Spring day in Tokyo, this boy just wants to be where The Runaways played !
As a resident of Japan, seeking out this particular concert venue was always on my list of things to do. Alas, I was too late. Yet another icons concert venue bites the dust. But some background first.
The album was recorded at two separate locations in Tokyo: the Koesi-Nenkin Hall here in Shinjuku (also known as Welcity), and at the nearby Shibuya Kōkaidō (Shibuya Public Hall). As a kid, I used to gaze over my gatefold, vinyl copy of ‘Live In Japan’ in true wonder.


the venue before demolition - image courtesy wikipedia

The screaming and excitement of those Tokyo teens was amazing, recorded on a tour which would turn out to be the high point of the band’s brief career. In my opinion, the album is a lasting document to the world’s greatest ever all-girl band, and captures that brief moment in time when Currie, Jett, Ford, Fox and West – held Japan under their rock n roll spell. Amazingly, this venue in Shinjuku stood for nearly fifty years, before closing on March 31, 2010. Besides the Runaways, many – in fact ‘most’ of the biggest names in the rock world walked onto that Shinjuku stage at some point: such as U2 back in 1983, Ian Gillan, Miles Davis, Judas Priest, Tangerine Dream, Bob Marley, Jethro Tull, Van Halen in 78, Ratt, Elton John, New Order, Nazereth and Queensryche to name but a few. I wonder if Cherie knew that

Bowie brought Ziggy to this same venue in 1973 – four year prior to her gracing that very same stage. Japan’s favourite HM sons – Loudness, recorded live product here as well. Japan has a rich rock n roll history. Venues such as the Budokan are known all around the world; but there are many others. The Sun Plaza in Nagano, Nagoya’s Rainbow Hall, and Sapporo’s Makomanai Ice Arena to name a couple.


2012 - only the rock n roll ghosts remain


So I recently made an effort to re-visit this rather unattractive buidling which held so many rock n roll memories, only to find it had been demolished. As I walked around the adjoining streets, I tried to imagine it was 1977 and the Runaways were in town…..the queues were long and teenage kids wore denim jeams, band buttons and tee-shirts. No such words as ‘iPads’ or ‘wi-fi’ were in the vocabularies of these kids. The only two words they cared about on those warm, June summer days back in 1977, were ‘rock n roll’ and the ‘Runaways’ –  a pinch of rock and a dose of roll: you bet !

As I climbed a bridge to take a photograph, a lady looked at me curiously and in my best japanese I said ‘The Queens of Noise’ played here !    and indeed, they did !



Tokyo's Kosei nenkin kaikan - another iconic concert venue bites the dust.

Not sure if you can still get ahold of this – Rockbrat associate Mr Giglizard purchased this VHS copy from Golden Apple Comics store in Los Angeles some ten-years back now and it’s long been a favorite of mine and the Cowboy’s. Cherie Currie really kicks major ass during this performance – held to coincide with the then re-release of the 1979 ‘Messin With Boys’ album. The band is composed of no-names like Craig Doucet and Kat Lowe – and assorted revolving musicians. The Knack’s Bruce Gary guests on the drums for a couple of tracks, as does the much-missed Sandy West, whose power hitting on the couple of Runaways tracks she performs with Cherie is astonishing. Back-up vocalist – Alaskin Julie Ragins for me is a highlight (apart from the Currie sisters) – who has a very strong set of vocals. A comic store is a bizarre place for a gig – what with onlookers on the street gazing in – but it only adds to this uniqueness of this show. Appearances from Rodney Bingenheimer and Marie Currie ensure a great afternoon is had by all. Try and hunt down the 2004 Live at the Viper Room album by Cherie Currie & The Mix as that is also a cracker. This 1998 live performance video is something I’ll never tire of watching – so  thankyou Mr Giglizard. It is people like you. As I write this Cherie is currently locked away in a L.A studio recording a new album – and that my friends is a good thing.  Visit Julie Ragins at

The rock n roll world is currently abuzz with the rumours that America’s finest all-girl band – The Runaways – may have some sort of re-union and play live in Japan in 2011. Details are sketchy, but long-time band supporter and Sunset Strip Mayor -Mr Rodney Bingenheimer – fuelled the fire recently, by mentioning this very rumour on his weekly KROQ radio show.  Here’s is how the Rockbrat sees it. Firstly, with the passing of drummer Sandy West back in 2006, a genuine band re-union can never occur. Sandy – if you watch the excellent Edgeplay documentary, was crying out for a re-union – and it would seem cruelly unjust to do it with someone else on the drum stool. Secondly, it should be a band only decision – just Joanie, Lita, Cherie and Jackie locked in a room to sort out the show details. Fly to Tokyo and play the Makuhari Messe or if you wish to be sentimental – the famous Budokan. You will not be able to play Tokyo’s Kōsei Nenkin Kaikan where the 1977 ‘Live In Japan’ album was recorded as it’s closed down – and the other venue where said recording took place – the Shibuya Kokaido (Shibuya Public Hall) – may not be big enough for such an event (or would it). May I also suggest the amazing former Phantom Blue hard-hitter Linda McDonald as a replacement for Sandy ? Also allow former bassplayer and now film maker Vicki Blue to film the thing for future DVD release. Kinda simple huh ? Well not quite – you see. Thirdly, is there enough interest for a re-union. Cherie toured Japan in 2000 and played tiny, tiny venues. The tour received very little publicity and even veteran Runaways disciple Mr Rockbrat (then a Japan resident) did not know of its occurrence. Japanese kids born post-1990 ain’t never heard of the band – and don’t tell me that many youngsters who saw the film there will attend cos I wouldn’t be so sure. Yes, the band had immense popularity there in the 70’s but that was then and this is now. The world is a different place. I did not see the Runaways live – so it would be good to finally see the band in concert….but there’s never been the re-union hype surrounding this band like say – the original KISS. The demand was there for Criss and Frehley to re-write a new KISS chapter. Who knows, maybe older Runaways fans and assorted Jettheads would fly to Japan to see this rare rock event take place. If it does go ahead, I sincerely hope that it is done well and that it is done for all the right reasons. Otherwise, let us just enjoy the great music as we gaze over the album artwork and savour the memories.

Where do I start, when reviewing possibly my all-time favourite record ? Let’s drift back in time shall we. The year 1977. Hollywood all-girl band The Runaways had already shaken the rock world, conquering Europe and Japan in the process, but after a turbulent summer which had seen the departure of vocalist Cherie Currie and bassist Jackie Fox, The Runaways chose to surge on as a four piece. Adding a new bass player in Vicki Blue and promoting Joan Jett to handle all vocal duties, they headed into the studio and cut their third studio album – the metallic ‘Waitin’ For The Night’. Manager Kim Fowley once again sat in the producer’s chair, giving the disc a hot and heavy, razer-sharp production which saw release in October 1977. The first single taken from ‘Waitin’ For The Night’ was the storming ‘School Days’, a Jett/Fowley offering that has more guts and more melody than anything the girls had put out before. The raunch and roll of ‘Little Sister’ is guaranteed to still melt turntables everywhere, and guitarist Lita Ford peels off some biting, Page-inspired licks. The Runaways laid down their best playing of their career on this LP, and Jett and Ford’s heavy riffing gives it a distinctly metal edge. Vickie Blue’s thumping bass curls itself tightly around Sandy West’s drum beat, resulting in a tight and explosive rhythm unit. The blistering guitars and incredibly addictive rhythms on ‘Wasted’ are mindblowing. Play loud. Ford’s solo sounds not unlike Space Ace Frehley from Kiss. ‘Gotta Get Out’ stinks of teenage lust and rebellion, with some delightful backing vocals displayed on the chorus. Joan’s scorching vocals on the up-tempo number ‘Wait For Me’ are like acid on flesh. (she later included an excellent, fresh sounding cover of this song on her 1991 album ‘Notorious’, proving that the material on ‘Waitin’ for The Night’ still stands, and was way ahead of it’s time). The Lita Ford penned ‘Fantasies’ is all teenage sweat and sexual abandon. Her only other inclusion – ‘Trash Can Murders’ is one of the greatest songs ever pressed onto black wax – the individual talents of Joan, Lita, Sandy and Vicki explode and burn together in one almighty rock n roll-bad-girl blaze. Cool opening line: “You’ve got me runnin’ round in circles, tied my little brother to a railroad track !” The good stuff continues with ‘Don’t Go Away’ and the heavy title track ‘Waitin’ For The Night’ following on. The anthemic ‘You’re Too Possessive’ is sheer rock pleasure (I’m surprised no riot grrrls out there ain’t covered this) and draws the curtain on one of the heaviest, most gutsiest, melodic and exciting albums ever cut. Rock and roll don’t come any better than this folks, and when I die, this record will be buried with me.