Where Are They Now?: The Runaways Are Still Your Wild Girls
Any girl with a penchant for rebellion, a bad reputation behind her all-knowing smirk, and a rockin’ pair of skinny jeans has uproariously chanted in her bedroom, “Hello Daddy! Hello Mom! I’m your Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Cherry BOMB!”
When The Runaways movie came out earlier this year, the theatres were full of hot rock chicks, worshipping at the altar of [lastfm]Joan Jett [/lastfm]and [lastfm]Cherie Curie[/lastfm]–even the Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart versions of them. A resurgence of Runaways obsession has dominated the sound waves ever since.
Wondering where those teenaged “Queens of Noise” are now? Slap on your satin unitard and your [lastfm]Bowie[/lastfm] make-up. After the break, we are taking you into the current lives of those punk rock fillies!
[pullquote quote="It's about sticking to your dreams. Walk your own way and don't let other people dictate your path." credit="Joan Jett"]
Singer Cherie Curie
Reputedly the most rebellious girl of the bunch, [lastfm]Cherie Curie[/lastfm] became the Lolita of punk rock. With an angel’s face dressed in the boudoir-esque garb of a working girl, Curie was the sex bomb of [lastfm]The Runaways[/lastfm]. Now age 50, [lastfm]Cherie Currie [/lastfm] wrote the book The Runaways movie was modeled after, Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway.
She left [lastfm]The Runaways[/lastfm] because of a cocaine addiction, but made a relatively successful foray into acting, but eventually became a drug counselor and personal trainer. She married and had a son, who is now 19. Despite a lifetime of different paths, Curie is still that “wild child” and not ready to settle down; she is now a success at one of the most dangerous artistic crafts in the world, chainsaw carving. Says Curie about her zen craving for carving,
“Creating art is very personal. There are only three things out there: the wood, the saw and me. I just love it.”
Guitarist/Singer Joan Jett
[lastfm]Joan Jett [/lastfm] is probably the most iconic face of [lastfm]The Runaways[/lastfm] after her amazingly successful career as a solo artist and as an activist for female and gay rights. After Jett left [lastfm]The Runaways[/lastfm], she embarked on a solo career that saw her turned down by 23 music labels. Not one to let the man get her down, Jett started her own label Blackheart Records in 1980. The success of her singles “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll,” “Crimson and Clover” and “Bad Reputation” made that same self-righteous man eat his judgements and 20 albums later, [lastfm]Joan Jett[/lastfm] is still rocking stages as well as acting. Jett has words of wisdom to any girl coming into her own,
“It’s about sticking to your dreams. Walk your own way and don’t let other people dictate your path.”
Guitarist Lita Ford
[lastfm]Joan Jett [/lastfm] wasn’t the only one with a successful music career; although lesser known, Runaways guitarist [lastfm]Lita Ford[/lastfm] also made her mark in a musical world full of men. Ford became a metal superstar with hits like hits like “Kiss Me Deadly” and “Close My Eyes Forever” with [lastfm]Ozzy Osbourne[/lastfm]. After marrying[lastfm] Nitro[/lastfm] singer [lastfm]Jim Gillette[/lastfm], Ford put her career on hold for more than a decade to home school their two sons. Even though she put out a new album last year called Wicked Wonderland, Ford thought her most educational experience was being a mom,
“You can’t do interviews while you’re trying to teach pages of multiplication, you know? Rocco visited three [European] countries on his last birthday. How much more educational can you get?”
Like her metal mate, [lastfm]Ozzy Osbourne[/lastfm] before her,[lastfm] Lita Ford [/lastfm] is now developing a reality show.
Bassists Micki Steele, Jackie Fox and Vicki Blue
The Runaways had an ever-rotating group of bassists starting off with [lastfm] Micki Steele[/lastfm] who left only months into their origins to be a part of [lastfm]The Bangles[/lastfm]. Their next bassist was [lastfm]Jackie Fox[/lastfm] went the academic route; she became an entertainment attorney with a degree from Harvard Law School. The last bassist, [lastfm]Vicki Blue[/lastfm], wrote and directed a 2004 documentary called Edgeplay: A Film About The Runaways. None of the music of [lastfm]The Runaways[/lastfm] was approved for the documentary and it became a point of contention between [lastfm]Vicki Blue[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Joan Jett[/lastfm].
Drummer Sandy West
The bona fide sweetheart of the bad-ass group, [lastfm]Sandy Wes[/lastfm]t co-founded the band with [lastfm]Joan Jett [/lastfm]and the two remained friends until West died in 2006 at age 47 of brain and lung cancer. Despite her problems with addiction and the law, West was remembered as the kindest soul of [lastfm]The Runaways[/lastfm]. [lastfm]Cherie Currie[/lastfm] elaborates:
“She was just a beautiful, beautiful human being who also had problems. Ever since The Runaways broke up, she just couldn’t find her footing. She was just the greatest friend you could ever hope for and it will never be the same without her.”
[lastfm]The Runaways[/lastfm] inspired so many girls to go forward with their dreams, regardless of what field inspired them. The showed women that they could be sexual, powerful, and innovators. [lastfm]Joan Jett [/lastfm] gives an example:
“People would say, ‘Girls can’t play rock ‘n’ roll,’ because socially, rock ‘n’ roll is sexual and that was threatening to a wide majority of people.”
According to [lastfm] Lita Ford[/lastfm], the state of music for females today would be totally different. The music and on-stage antics of [lastfm]The Runaways[/lastfm] inspired the pop stars of today:
“We were before our time. [lastfm]Lady Gaga[/lastfm], [lastfm]Beyoncé[/lastfm] – even though they’re not [musically] like us, we led the path for a lot of women in the industry.”
True. We think we’ve seen both [lastfm]Beyoncé [/lastfm]and [lastfm]Lady Gaga[/lastfm] rocking a similar outfit to [lastfm]Cherie Curie[/lastfm] in this vid of “Cherry Bomb” live in Japan during 1977.