Photo by Amy Keyishian
Photo from The Runaways
Please note the picture to the left. That's me, circa 1983. Now behold the picture to the right: the Runaways, circa 1976, in their full proto-grrrl-power glory. They were my idols, the ultimate fantasy. Maybe I missed the mark a bit with my New Jersey hair and my denim leisure suit, but I was trying. The Runaways meant that I didn't have to stare at my Led Zeppelin poster and imagine being a groupie. I could stare at the Runaways and imagine being the one onstage, the one commanding the audience with a husky-voiced wail and lead-singer swagger.
The Runaways started out as a pulled-together teen group, but when Joan Jett, Cherie Currie, Lita Ford and the rest got together, the result was pure magic. These girls had musical chops, they had a real love for rock 'n' roll, and they had raw power. They had huge hits and toured the world, which, as you can imagine, took its toll on their young (really young!) lives. There were major disasters, horrible situations, amazing highs and lows.
Lead singer Cherie Currie has penned a memoir out today from Harper Collins, called Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway. With an intro by Jett, it tells the tale of her amazing journey from rock and roll fantasy to utter nightmare -- and back. She pulls no punches, not that you'd expect her to.
The book has already inspired a movie, The Runaways, starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, out sometime this spring. I've already bought my Aquanet.
Did you listen to the Runaways?