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Today's Song: Cherry Bomb by The Runaways

My interest in girl rock groups lately inevitably leads me back to The Runaways -- who really did fit the "girl" group label, as they were all about 16 when they got started. They only lasted a couple of years and they really weren't hugely successful, but their reputation and legend has only grown since. (They did tour Europe and Japan -- they were huge in Japan, and they helped inspire later bands like Shonen Knife). At the time they were considered to be nothing more than a gimmick novelty act assembled by their producer Kim Fowley (who really did control them quite a bit while the band existed). However, Joan Jett and Sandy West had been trying to form an all-girl band before talking to Fowley about it. All the band members were proficient at their instruments and wrote or co-wrote most of their own material -- they were serious musicians, something that became much more obvious later on.

You're probably most familiar with Joan Jett, of course. She's had a long rock career with a lot of hits (I Love Rock and Roll, I Hate Myself For Loving You). Lead guitarist Lita Ford has also done well for herself, releasing a few solo albums and scoring a few hit songs (Kiss Me Deadly and the duet with Ozzy Ozbourne Close My Eyes Forever). Likewise Sandy West remained in rock music and had a long career with her Sandy West Band, and also did session work and taught drumming. Micki Steele went on to join The Bangles and of course they had a ton of hits in the eighties. Cheri Currie went on to become a successful actress but also released a few albums, and is now a chainsaw carving artist. Of the bassists that followed her, Jackie Fox went to Harvard and became a lawyer, Vickie Blue became a producer/director for television shows such as Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood and eventually produced a documentary on The Runaways called Edgeplay: A Film About The Runaways. Their last bassist Laurie McAllister joined another band that released one album, but no longer performs.

Cherry Bomb was one of their biggest hits. It's been covered by Shonen Knife and by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

The Runaways - Cherry Bomb
The Runaways - Cherry Bomb (a different performance)

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts - Cherry Bomb
Joan Jett with L7 - Cherry Bomb

Cherie Currie proves she's still got it at age 48....


miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)

December 2012

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