Friday, March 03, 2006

Chicks Rock!

Today in Music History:

In 1973, Slade's 'Cum On Feel The Noize', entered the UK charts at the No.1 position, making Slade the first act to achieve this since The Beatles.
The RunawaysTruly the first all female rock band in rock history, The Runaways paved the way for all girl rockers that followed. They rocked and lawdy miss clawdy, they are quite handsome girls. Many a teenage boys' living rock n roll wet dream. But I digress. For all intents and purposes I will refer to these 5 girls when talking about them as a whole, although in their short span they underwent several http://rapidshpersonnel changes. Pictured are Sandy West, Joan Jett, Cherie Curie, Lita Ford and Jackie Fox. I love this band, except for Lita Ford who I think is a skank. but that's beside the point.

The Runaways were born in 1975 at a party thrown by Alice Cooper, when Kim Fowley met a tough-talking 14-year old runaway named Kari Krome. Kari was a self-proclaimed lyricist and upon meeting Kim, she was more than eager to share her lyrics with the him. Fowley was impressed with Krome's stuff. The idea of a teenager singing about sexuality, and booze, and independence, all coming from a young female perspective, was appealing to Fowley and the idea for the first all-girl rock band came to mind. Krome's friend, guitarist Joan Jett, had been putting together a band with drummer Sandy West, and Fowley quickly had a trio on his hands. However, it soon became apparent that Krome was not much of a singer, and she was replaced by vocalist Michael "Micki" Steele. This lineup only lasted about three months and Micki was booted out of the band on not so good of terms, but don't feel bad for her as she had later success with the Bangles. Cherie Currie was brought in for vocals and some girl known only as Peggy came in on bass and Jackie Fox came on board with her guitar. A month or two later In November 1975, Lita Ford was introduced to the band and her lead licks impressed Fowley so much that he fired Jackie to hire Lita. However, in December, a dispute between the Peggy girl and Cherie over lead vocals led to Peggy's termination and he turned around and rehired Jackie to play bass. Which was good because homercat's teenage hormones were absolutely in lust with Jackie.Hot rocker alert With the lineup finally set with an average age of 17, The Runaways released their debut album in May 1976. However, it was not greeted well. Fowley was preceded by his reputation for overhyping gimmicky acts, and the number of roles he played in guiding the Runaways' career made him appear a manipulative, Svengali-like jerk. Many thought the Runaways were nothing more than a cheap exploitation act, teenage jailbait and all that. Plus the entire concept of the band -- teenage girls playing their own instruments and singing frankly and enthusiastically about sex, booze, and life on the streets -- was a little too much for mid seventies America. After their second album was released in 77 they toured Japan and found out they were huge over there selling out arenas and stadiums. To the Japanese these girls were no joke. After the tour, Jackie and Cherie left the group and Joan took over as lead vocalist, and new bassist Vicki Blue was hired for the group's third album. Waiting for the Night was released at the end of the year, and failed to even hit the U.S. charts. By this point, Fowley had lost interest in the band, and quit as manager early the next year. Meanwhile with Jackie gone homercat's lust turned towards the impish Joan Jett, all the time wishing that Jackie had stayed and skanky wench Lita Ford should have left. Jett's unofficial leadership role within the group became more serious, but unfortunately, musical differences were beginning to arise. Joan's love of punk and glam rock clashed with West and Ford's love of straight-up hard rock and heavy metal. One more album, And Now...The Runaways, appeared toward the end of 1978. The Runaways played their last gig on New Years Eve of 78, darn it.

The Runaways' sound and attitude proved crucially important in paving the way for female artists to crank up the volume on their guitars and rock as hard as the boys. One wonders what might have happened if promoter/manager Kim Fowley had not insisted on a sleazy jailbait image for the group This image made it easy for the press to dismiss them as nothing but a tasteless adolescent fantasy and America did not take them seriously. The first female rockers to play their own instruments and write their own songs and thirty years later, homercat does and always has taken them seriously. Rock on girls!
birds on paradeCherry Bomb by The Runaways
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)

Wait for Me by The Runaways
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)

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