Kim Fowley made a name for himself during the 1950's and 1960's. Although he
recorded some solo
records, it was the artists he produced and wrote material for that made him stay in the business.
which garnered his stay in the cult industry of rock and roll. He wrote songs for The Byrds, The Beach
Boys and Cat Stevens and produced some of the hottest acts of that time like Warren Zevon and Helen
Reddy. Which made him a hot name in showbiz by the mid seventies.
1975 at a party for Alice Cooper when Kim met a 14-year old runaway named Kari
Krome. She was
more than eager to share her lyrics and Kim's inspiration had grown to new levels. The idea for the first
all-girl rock band came to his mind (even though there were other all-girl-rock bands before).
A few days later, the two had met up again, and Kari brought afriend Joan Larken (aka Joan Jett) and
Kim introducing drummer Sandy Pesavento (aka Sandy West). They were instantly named The Runaways,
however, right after, Kim thanked Kari for her songs and then kicked her out from the band. He brought in
Micki Steele as her replacement as the lead singer.
After three months and less than a handful of small gigs at parties, Micki
was booted out of the band and
later showed up in The Bangles.
Afterwards Kim met the twins Marie and Cherie Currie. He wanted Marie to be The Runaways' new lead
singer, but she refused. However, Cherie was interested and told him so.
He was also hiring another bassist called Peggy, and Jacqueline Fuchs (aka Jackie Fox) to play guitar.
In November 1975, Lita Ford was introduced to the band and exceeded everyone's expectations with her
guitar playing. Her lead licks impressed Kim so much that he fired Jackie to hire Lita. However, in December,
a dispute between Peggy and Cherie over lead vocals led to Peggy's termination and Kim rehired Jackie,
but this time to play bass. But Jackie didn't know how to play bass. So, while she took lessons, Blondie's
Nigel Harrison stepped in during the recording of The Runaways' first LP.
In May 1976 their first self-titled debut album was released and their first
single "Cherry Bomb". Although
the album landed in #194 spot and a brief American tour (which featured Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
and Cheap Trick opening up for them!) didn't help matters too much either.
However, The Runaways returned to the studio and recorded another album ("Queens Of Noise"),
released in 1977. With songs like "Neon Angels On The Road To Ruin" and "I Love Playin' With Fire" and
now the album landed at #192 on Billboards Top 200.
Success had begun in Japan and their first LP was a hit. "Cherry Bomb"
had been #1 beating out "Hotel
California" by The Eagles.
They made a tour in Japan and recorded a live album. 'Live In Japan' was one of the rarest recordings
ever released by The Runaways.
Now Jackie made the decision to leave the band once the tour was over. For
reasons obviously clear,
she was not happy with the band (probably starting from when she was first fired). She was more of a
guitarist than a bass player. She also had a nasty cut on her hand from a shard of broken glass which
started the rumor that she had tried to commit suicide while in Japan.
Another surprise when they came back to LA after that tour was that Cherie
announced that also she
was leaving The Runaways - to start a solo career.
Joan took over the lead vocal and they replaced Jackie with Vicki Tischler Blue on bass.
As a quartet, The Runaways recorded and released their third album, 'Waitin' For The Night' in 1978 which
contained the impressive single "Little Sister". Although it recieved the best reviews out of all previous
efforts, it sold the least amount of copies.
Now they also fired Kim as their manager. And Mercury Records dropped the band
from their roster,
leaving them without a record label.
They recorded the LP 'And Now...The Runaways' (released in September 1978 by Cherry Red Records in
Europe and Asia, but not in America until 1981, by Rhino, with the title 'Little Lost Girls').
Although Vicki was pictured on the album cover and given the credit, she actually took ill during the
recording and couldn't play for the album. Lita played the bass for all of the songs.
Once she recovered, however, due to internal conflicts going on within The Runaways, Vicki chose to take
her leave just before the album saw it's European release.
The album was classified as their finest. Lita sang a few lead vocals which pleasantly surprised the fans.
Laurie McCallister now joined The Runaways as the new bassist for their European tour, but ironically
enough she had a bad case of road sickness, since she literally spent the entire tour throwing up (off
stage AND on!).
1979 Laurie dropped out of the band.
Joan was leaning towards punk rock while Lita and Sandy were favoring heavy
metal, which started many
disagreements about the direction of the band.
This led to the official split in April 1979 (although their last concert was on New Year's Eve 1978).
Cherie Currie (November 30, 1959)
Cherie released her first solo album, 'Beauty's Only Skin Deep'. Still working
with Kim Fowley.
In 1980 Cherie returned as a duo act with her sister Marie, with the album 'Messin' With The Boys'.
Afterwards Cherie turned her attention towards movies.
First up came the 1980 film 'Foxes' which she starred in the role of Annie
along with Jodie Foster,
Scott Baio, Sally Kellerman and Randy Quaid.
Later came 'Parasite' (with Demi Moore) and 'Wavelength' and a few more.
Later in the 80's Cherie focused her attention on television by appearing in
several popular TV shows,
such as 'Murder, She Wrote', two appearances on 'Matlock', 'The Street Singers', 'E! Biography' on Jodi
Foster and several guest shots on 'General Hospital'.
1991 Cherie returned to the big screen in the role of Michelle in 'Rich Girl' and later on in Vicki Blue's epic
'Edgeplay', about the first all-girl rock and roll band...The Runaways!
Today Cherie admits that she would be the second one to jump on board a Runaways
reunion (the first
one being that of Sandy West).
Cherie continues to play the music scene whenever she can, while spending time with her sister, painting,
which is a second hobby she has always enjoyed.
Jackie Fox (December 20, 1959)
After taking a few years off she finally began a musical career of a different
level when she went to work
as a record promotion executive for Ariola Records where some of her clients included Amii Stewert, Mary
MacGregor. and Eruption.
Eventually getting tired of promoting records that she really didn't like, Jackie took a brief job as a music
publishing executive with Tom Petty's publisher.
It wasn't until 1986 when Jackie decided to switch her career field altogether
when she began studying
law at UCLA. Two years later, she walked away with a degree in Linguistics and Italian with a Specialization
in Computing and graduated with a handful of honors.
After switching her name back to Jacqueline Fuchs, Jackie moved to Boston and thus was able to drop her
rock star past and begin a new career as a lawyer.
Jackie Fox has recently said that she would love to be a part of The Runaways
reunion if there ever is one.
Just as long as her lawyer bosses don't find out!
Joan Jett (b. September 22, 1958)
In 1980 she recorded an album titled 'Joan Jett'. the record was turned down
by no less than 23
record companies. It seemed that the recording industry had labeled her as a joke because of her
participation with The Runaways.
Eventually a record label in Europe released it overseas.
The first single from that album was "Bad Reputation" which was a minor hit in the UK. After that she
started her own independent record label called Blackheart Records together with a friend (Kenny Laguna).
In December, the first pressing of 'I Love Rock & Roll' was released on Blackheart Records, credited to
Joan Jett And The Blackhearts. In March 1982 it was Number One on Americas Billboard charts. The single
stayed in the pole position for an amazing seven weeks making Joan Jett the first female to front
a band with a Number One hit record.
The follow-up single, "Crimson And Clover" (a cover of Tommy James And The Shondells) continued her
success at #6. At this time, 'I Love Rock & Roll' saw it's own success in Europe and by year's end it
resulted in an astonishing 10 million copies!
In 1984 'Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth' was released with a Runaways classic, "Cherry Bomb".
Joan's next step was indeed a surprise to many of her fans and critics alike when she excepted the lead
role in a major motion picture to be called 'Born In The U.S.A.', based after Bruce Springsteen's 1984 hit
single. During the preproduction, however, the title had changed when Springsteen had written a new
song called "Light Of Day" for the project and in 1987, the film was released to rave reviews. Co-starring
Michael J. Fox (who was riding high as Alex P. Keaton in 'Family Ties' at the time), Joan played a tough
talking lead singer of a rock and roll band dubbed the Barbusters. The movie was well recieved as was
Joan's role, and it led to another Top 40 hit with the title track.
The following year The Blackhearts released 'Up Your Alley'. The lead single,
"I Hate Myself For Loving You"
was an instant smash, making it's way to #6 and eventually getting nominated for a Grammy the next year.
In 1990, Joan recorded an album of covers, 'The Hit List' and then followed it up with 'Notorious' in 1991.
Then she became an active participant in the underground movement that was called Riot Grrrls and had
a hand in getting other female outfits signed to major record labels (such as L7, Babes In Toyland, Bikini
Kill and 7 Year Bitch). She also found time to make a guest shot on TV's 'Highlander' series as a villain
named Felicia Martins.
In 1993 she released 'Flashback' and in 1994 'Pure And Simple' while sporting a new haircut.
1995 she released two CD EP's containing unreleased material as well as hooking up with another band
called The Gits for a tribute album. The Gits were a punk band hailing from Seattle which was comprised
of Mia Zapata on vocals. They had already one album under their hat (1992's 'Frenching The Bully') and
were working on their second when Zapata was tragically raped and killed in July of 1993. In an effort to
track and capture the killer, the remaining members of The Gits put together a fundraising tour in order to
acquire the money for an investigation.
Joan, who had heard about the killing, called The Gits and offered her services. The result was a sold out
American tour with Joan performing lead vocals.
By the end of 1995, a live album called 'Evil Stig' (Gits Live spelled backwards) was released.
The investigation was carried out (which included Joan's appearances on the TV shows 'America's Most
Wanted' and 'Unsolved Mysteries') but sadly the killer has yet to be brought to justice.
The later half of the '90's featured Joan in a variety of roles. She had become
an active supporter in
sports where she performed the National Anthem at an Orioles game and also recorded several different
songs for the WNBA.
Also at this time, Blackheart Records took the liberty of re-releasing Joan's first four U.S. albums on CD
which contains bonus tracks as well as interactive CD ROMS on them! And in 1997, Joan finally saw the
release of her very first Greatest Hits package, 'Fit To Be Tied: Great Hits By Joan Jett'.
Joan returned to film in 1998 with a role in the independent release 'Boogie Boy' as a character named
Jerk as well as began a longtime hosting gig for a local Maryland television show called 'Independent Eye'.
1999 a new Joan Jett album ('Fetish') was issued.
Added to that Joan has a major role in the onstage version of 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' as Columbia.
Lita Ford (September 18, 1958)
1983 she returned with her first solo album 'Out For Blood' and the following
year she put out 'Dancin'
On The Edge' a record which saw considerable success in England.
In 1987 she recorded her third solo album, 'Bride Wore Black' but the record company wasn't as
enthusiastic about it as they should have been, and therefore it was never released. This prompted
Lita's request to be released from her contract, she also switched managers to hook up with Sharon
Osbourne (Ozzy's wife). With a new record label, Lita's hard work and serious career decisions were
about to pay off.
In 1988, she released 'Lita' and hit the American charts for the first time
with "Kiss Me Deadly" (#15).
"Close My Eyes Forever" took her farther by reaching Billboard's Top 10 (#8). The 'Lita' album peaked
at #29 in America and scored her major tours with Poison and Bon-Jovi.
After dating several well-known rockers, such as Mötley Crüe's Nikki
Sixx and Toni Iommi from Black
Sabbath, Lita finally married WASP guitarist Chris Holmes on June 26th, 1990 and then released her
fourth solo album, 'Stiletto'. It failed to live up to the success of 'Lita' and her marriage to Holmes also
failed to stand the test of time because after a year the couple had split.
In 1991, Lita's new record, 'Dangerous Curves' was released and wasn't the
hit it should have been.
In 1992, she appeared in an episode of Hermans Head (called 'Love Me Two Timer') and made a cameo
appearance as a hitch hiker in the movie 'Highway To Hell'. She was a frequent guest in Howie Mandel's
house band on his CBS show 'Howie' and made several appearances on Howard Sterns television
outing as a celebrity guest.
On May 13th, 1994, she married ex-Nitro singer Jim Gillette and soon returned
to the studio for her sixth
solo album and in 1995, 'Black' was released.
At the same time, Lita appeared on the Robocop soundtrack for it's television series where she performed
a duet with Joe Walsh on "A Future To This Life". The song was originally supposed to have been done
with Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac) but at the last minute, Nicks backed out leaving the opening for Lita.
On May 13th, 1997, her first child, James Gillette was born.
Since then, Lita's values has suddenly changed. She's made the decision to spend all of her time with her
new born son, wanting to be his mother on a full time basis.
Then Lita gave birth to her and Jim's second child in June 2001 and she now lives in Florida.
Sandy West (Born July 10, 1959. Dead, October 21, 2006)
Sandy graduated into the front of the stage. Moving back to Los Angeles, she
quickly formed The Sandy
West Band and took control over the songwriting, singing as well as guitar playing! Playing local clubs
throughout much of the eighties.
August 30th, 2000 she and Cherie made an 8 hour appearance on Rocknrollstation.com,
which hosts a
live radio show over the internet. During the course of those 8 hours, Vicki stopped by and both Jackie
and Lita phoned in for on-air conversations.
Sadly Sandy West passed away in 2006. She died after a long battle with lung cancer, October 21, 2006.
Vicki Blue (September 16, 1959)
Vicki continued to form other bands in the Los Angeles area where they played
the local clubs. Some
of those bands eventually included Sandy West and Cherie Currie at seperate times as well as Mötley
Crüe's Tommy Lee.
1983 Vicki moved to London, England where she became good friends with Girlschool
Johnson and performed backing vocals on the album 'Play Dirty'. She also made a cameo appearance
in the film 'This Is Spinal Tap' around that time.
Vicki then moved back to Los Angeles and tried her hand at a proposed solo LP. She had written and
recorded several songs for the anticipated project but then her masters were stolen by her partner, thus
ending the outing. Several years later, one of her songs (rewritten and rerecorded) began recieving
airplay on the radio. With the threat of a lawsuit, the record was pulled from the airwaves and nothing
further ever came forth from the proposed solo album.
After that Vicki went to school to become a telvision producer and once she
graduated the earliest piece
of work she did was for the TV show 'Stories Of The Highway Patrol'.
1995 Vicki began work on a subject that would eventually take close to 6 years
to make. A motion picture
documentary on The Runaways.
Based on different circumstances than that of Cherie's tell-all tale 'Neon Angel' printed in 1989, Vicki's
production will feature archived video footage of The Runaways on stage with commentary running
throughout the film by Cherie, Sandy, and Lita Ford. Apparently Joan Jett does not want no part in it and
as of yet it's unclear if Jackie will make an appearance or not.
'Edgeplay' was planned to be released by Sacred Dogs Entertainment before the end of 2001.
Most of this info was found at http://home.att.net/~Dusters100/RUNAWAYS.html
Do you have questions about other artists or comments on the above?
Send your question and comments to: email@example.com
We'll try to find an answer as soon as possible...
Photos: Unknown (if you have the info or better pictures... please
let us know)