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'The Runaways' Trailer Released

Who is down for seeing The Runaways movie later this month? I never go to the movies because I think it's way too overpriced, but I'll be taking in this show.

The Runaways stars Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning. We all know the story of The Runaways, but the movie is most closely adapted from the book Neon Angel: The Cherie Currie Story. I'm not sure how I feel about the trailer: I mean, Joan Jett and Cherie Currie were a huge part of The Runaways but the preview sort of makes it seem like those two were the entire band.

The movie opens March 19.

Check it out for yourself.

Reader Comments (14)

Umm what about Lita Ford? or did she threaten to sue them?
March 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlooksthatkill
My ex-lead guitarist saw 'em open for the Ramones in '76. I so want to be him to have had that memory.

But this Movie will suffice, I guess, though the duo of (former child actress) Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart (of "Adventureland", and regrettably, "Twilight" fame), both very competent actresses, don't hold a candle to the originals, both in looks and vocal chops, obviously, if this trailer is any indication. Shoulda dubbed 'em.

Also, Ally has a point. Though Currie and Jett always dominantly fronted the band, if the film doesn't give proper due to the actual story and shed enough light on Jackie Fox (the original bass player) and Lita Ford (truly one of our Glam Metal National Treasures) by providing great actresses the chance to play their roles as fully formed and developed characters relevant to the story line, it will be a glaring shortfall of the movie.

Why can't The Runaways get back together for at least a one-off reunion, a la Zeppelin. Make it in honor of Sandy West, one of the founders and original drummer, who passed away from cancer not too long ago, and who, along with Jett made Rock and Roll History in one phone call. They could do it as a benefit for Cancer Research. Maybe the film will be the thing, at last, to spur them on.

It's incredible to think that two young teenage girls, Joan Jett and Sandy West, could have the vision of "The Runaways" when they did.

They beat Girlschool, The Slits, The Bangles, The Go-Go's, The B-Girls, Vixen, Precious Metal, The Pandoras, Phantom Blue, Cycle Sluts From Hell, Headpins, Kitty, Luscious Jackson, L7, The Donnas, et al, to the punch, most of these bands most likely being non-existent if it weren't for the Runaway's inspiration. (Remind me of who I forgot, kitties...)

About the only Rock'n'Roll all-chick acts they didn't beat were the Shangri-La's and the Shags (the latter, a bizzare indy garage phenom who were so terrible but in a cool way) from the Sixties.

The Runaways kinda stole their attitude and look from Suzi Quatro, though the tunes are so much better than anything she ever did (well, a couple of Quatro's tunes aren't that bad, actually).

Spawned by the simultaneous combustion of ideas of two girls, Sandy West and Joan Jett, who had not even met when they both had the concept of forming an all girl rock band, and mastermind Kim Fowley, longtime L.A. music scene fixture, resident freak producer, novelty record maker, child molester (according to Cherie Currie) and icon of The Sunset Strip, The Runaways were ahead of their time.

Though there's a lot of contrary accounts of how the band was formed, credit must be given to Fowley for having the vision to put them together, giving Sandy West Joan Jett's phone number.

See Fowley in action in the Rodney Bingenheimer documentary, "The Mayor of Sunset Strip" and on "The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder", (both available on DVD) along with killer performances from The Plasmatics and Iggy Pop, as well as priceless interviews with Wendy O. and an interview with Joan Jett who gets a little snippy with Fowley. as does Snyder. These may be on YouTube, too.

This is where Glam Rock and Punk collided in Rock'n'Roll History, including the influence of the Glam Rockers -- New York Dolls and Ziggy Era Bowie, Slade, T. Rex, etc., The Punks -- Generation X, The Dead Boys, The Damned, The Sex Pistols, Ramones, Blondie -- those two genres of Rock'n'Roll coupled with Heavy Metal and Hard Rock of the 60's and 70's like Zeppelin, The Who, Janis Joplin, Aerosmith, Kiss, Starz, Angel (looks-wise), AC/DC, Sabbath, Purple and Heart, etc...

...and, yes, The Runaways...

They gave us Joan Jett and Lita Ford. They made us Love Rock and Roll and they made us want to Kiss Deadly...

These were all the bands that helped shape the music we all love on here, 80's Glam Metal.

The Runaways also paved the way for so many of all the great Rock'n'Roll female lead singers, too, in terms of style and attitude as well, with the possible exception of the aforementioned Suzi Quatro and Patti Smith, who's classic album, 1975's "Horses", most likely influenced Jett and West. And, of course, Sandy Denny (of Fairport Convention, but really better known, at least in Hard Rock circles, as the chick who's impossibly wailing on the Stone's "Gimme Shelter" and Zeppelin's "The Battle of Evermore") and Janis Joplin and Grace Slick (of Jefferson Airplane) must have had a huge influence on the Runaways, as well as Smith and Quatro.

If there could be six songs sung by female Rock'n'Roll singers that might very well have had an early major influence on Jett and West when they were kids (and The Runaways only an apple in their eyes), I would contend they are (1) the Shocking Blue's chart topping, "Venus", which was "shockingly" sung phonetically by lead singer, Mariska Veres, (2) Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love" with Grace Slick's searing vocal, (3) Janis Joplin's "Down On Me", (4) Suzi Quatro's #1 Hit "Devil Gate Drive", (5) The Shangri-La's "Remember Walking In The Sand", and last but quite possibly, foremost, Patti Smith's groundbreaking cover of the Van Morrison penned "Gloria".

And I think there were probably two from the moments before they formed that must have had a major influence on them, Heart's "Magic Man" and "Barracuda", but mixed into a kind of Rock'n'Roll/Punk/Hard Rock cocktail along with Patti Smith's "Gloria" more so than the other possible influential songs I've listed.

Back to who The Runaways influenced... it wasn't just all-chick bands that were definitely inspired by The Runaways, it was also the female fronted bands, too.

And, though Patti Smith may have been there first, certainly the momentary success and big exposure of The Runaways must have helped her, as well.

The broad spectrum of Chick Rock'n'Rollers through the '70's and '80's like Debbie Harry (of Blondie -- Check out "Rip Her To Shreds" and "Hanging On The Telephone"), Penelope Houston (of seminal San Francisco Punk band, The Avengers -- check out "The American In Me"), Chrissie Hynde (of The Pretenders -- check out "The Wait"), Poly Styrene (of X-Ray Spex -- check out "Oh Bondage, Up Yours"), Madonna (image-wise -- Hey, who was sporting the lingerie first, Currie or Madonna? I rest my case -- well, Liza in "Cabaret", but does that count?), Saraya, Robin Beck (check out her Kiss cover of "Hide your Heart"), Fiona (check out "Ain't That Just Like Love"), Chrissie Steele, Wendy O. Williams (The Plasmatics -- check out "Butcher Baby"), Vickie Razorblade (of Venus & The Razorblades, another Fowley produced band), Pat Benatar ("Heartbreaker" could have been a Runaways tune, for sure), Christina Amphlett (The Divinyls -- check out "All The Boys In Town". Same as above), Belinda Carlisle, Kim Wilde -- check out "The Kids In America"), Holly Vincent, Aimee Man ('Til Tuesday), Nena (of Nena and "99 Luftballoons" fame), Exene Cervenka (of L.A. Punk band, X), Beki Bond(age) (of Vice Squad), Wendy James (of Transvision Vamp), Shirley Manson (of Garbage), Lorraine Lewis (Femme Fatale, Mercy), and Metal Mama, Doro, et al, to name a few, have all been influenced, in some shape or form, one way or another, whether directly or indirectly, by...

The Runaways!

And the Runaways have had a clear influence on all of those Pop Punkettes out there, for better or worse, including some who are still with us but aren't making albums anymore, among the likes of Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Hillary Duff, Mandy Moore, Lindsay Lohan, the notorious Ashley Simpson and especially the zany Julliette Lewis, who outrocks 'em all these days, though one gets the feeling that, most likely only Julliette Lewis and Kelly Clarkson, to her credit, might have known about Joan Jett's historied past.

And lately, we've got Orianthi (Guitar Whiz Chick of Micheal Jackson's last band, and of all people, Fergie (on Slash's new forthcoming album), as well as Lzzy of Halestorm, Liv from Sister Sin and all-chick Glam Metallers, Crucified Barbara, as further examples of The Runaway's influence.

And the Runaways kind of defy all the categorizing you may have noticed I tend to fall prey for. Were they Glam Rock? Were they Punk? Listen to their version of Slade's "Mama We're All Crazee Now" (which beat Quiet Riot's cover of the same onto the airwaves by a full 6 years). And listen to "I Love Playin' With Fire".

You can hear the L.A. Glam Metal screamin' to get out.

And I contend it did, because, though, there's no denying The Runaways had a huge influence on all the Chick Rockers out there, once you listen to all their stuff, you'll realize it was all progenitor material for nearly every All-Dude Glam and Sleaze Metal act within a three thousand mile radius of Sunset Strip to cherry pick (no pun intended) from 1980 on! Am I right, Nikki?

(Epilogue: If this "bio-pic" movie is good for one thing and one thing alone, it will be that, once and for all, the likes of Hillary Duff, et al, will now understand why their handlers wanted them to Rock Out! But let's make it about how "The Runaways" can cause the further advancement of our objective of creating awareness that helps to, as stated at the beginning of this thing... Bring Back Glam!)
March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Oh, yeah, forgot to mention, I did finally see Joan Jett in 1982, 3rd row, at Painter's Mill Music Fair in Owing's Mills, Maryland (now, alas, Painter's Mill is no more, this bastion of Rock and Roll having burned to the ground in a case of arson in '91).

She was glamourifically resplendent in a white sequined Motor Cycle Jacket, white vinyl go-go boots and weilding her trademark white Gibson Melody Maker axe.

Needless to say, she brought everyone to their feet when she cranked up "I Love Rock And Roll" and kept them there for the rest of the show as she and the Blackhearts brought the house down when she chucked the jacket, rolling up her sleeves of her white T-shirt replete with the requisite hard pack of Marlboro Reds rolled up in the left one and proceeding to tear through every Glam Hard Rocker after Glam Hard Rocker 'til the roof came off the place!

She was 24.
March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
When I interviewed Lita, she said she had nothing to do with the movie.

I also read a review of the movie and it said that the movie consists mostly of Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning with only a sprinkle of the rest. The review also stated that the bass player in the movie is not their real bass player; they made up her character because the band went through a few bass players.

Regardless of what I've read, I'm still excited to see it.
March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristine Sixx
Great historical run through a lot of female rockers and their lineage, Metalboy. Although I wasn't a huge fan of The Runaways, their spot in music history and their influence cannot be denied. Particularly with Pat Benatar (even though she ruled the charts from 1980-1985, I thought she was actually a little underrated), Exene from X, and Wendy O. Williams. You could argue that Stevie Nicks' early arrival into Fleetwood Mac might deserve a spot on your expansive list. There's a live Youtube clip of 'Rhiannon' back around 1976 or so, and Stevie absolutely WAILS. Good stuff.

This could be an interesting movie, but I feel that by all but ignoring Lita Ford (an insult to us BBG fans), and morphing the various bass players into one entity doesn't exactly bode well...
March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGator
still all aside it has to o be better than Avatar, HA! can't wait to see it.
March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShadow
All valid points, all!

Christine Sixx is right. I seem to recall the criticism of this project months ago. If Jett was indeed a consultant on this, it's a shame she was willing to compromise the story.

And as always, Only The Shadow Knows. Sir, you are wise way beyond your years, not going along with the sheep following "The King Of The World" down the path of wanting a crass and goofball nerd-cartoon to get Best Picture.

"Hurt Locker" is a great example of how creating an "Avatar" out of The Runaways' bass player character may not be the best move here. Sorry for the bad puns and mixed metaphors, I'm still detoxing from The Oscars. Don't even get me started on that!

Remember when Rock and Roll could get on there once in a while? Why wasn't Anvil nominated? Or is that next year?

How sweet would that be?

Lips goin' out in the audience, like he did on That Metal Show, but in this case, blowin' the toupee's off members of the Academy.

Okay, I digress...

Back on "The Runaways", the movie. If the bass player character is an amalgamation of all their bass players in terms of incidents that may have happened to all of them and how they are part of the story, it could still work.

But this thing scares me a little bit because the Trailer somehow duzn't seem to do the subject justice. Let's just hope it's one of those rare cases where we've got a bad trailer for a great movie.

I wouldn't be suprised if they don't recut another trailer to replace this one, if the movie is better than what I fear, though this flick is opening pretty soon.

Gator, appreciate the nod on the historical run through and your perspective. And I hear ya on Nicks. I was fortunate to see the Mac at the U.S. Naval Academy in '76 (hahaha!!!) and she sure did wail! And she seems like she's still more or less got her chops intact, most recently having saved Taylor Swift on the Grammy's just a few weeks ago.

I'm actually a big fan of Nicks, but it's a whole different genre to me than what we are discussing, which is why I left her out. This is about tons of E-chords cranked to 11 and b*lls out Rock'n'Roll!

Unless Stevie wants to do a Ramonesesque high-speed treatment of "Dreams", I don't see how she really belongs in this conversation, though I did throw Sandy Denny in, true, for here work on "Battle of Evermore", which is kind of a mellowish tune by Zep standards.

I guess I chucked her in because of my sense that perhaps Joan and Sandy West may have heard her since they were major Rock and Rollers, whereas I'm not so sure Stevie was that on their radar, at least in terms of what they wanted to do. She was a part of that other West Coast Singer/Songwriter scene. You know, the one in Laurel Canyon.

The Runaways were part of the West Coast Singer/Songwriter scene that was way more Rock! And at the time, that one was much smaller. Like it was the size of Joan Jett, if you really want to start thinkin' about it.

Any of the other bands really getting to the heart of Rock and Roll (The LOUD one) goin' at that time weren't West Coast bands. Aerosmith, The Dolls, Patti Smith and The Ramones were in NYC. Zep, Sabbath, The Who, Purple and yes, The Pistols and The Damned, too, were in the U.K.

Nick's is actually probably more talented than The Runaways, too, but this is about ideas and attitude as much as anything.

I would even claim that The Runaways are far more groundbreaking than Fleetwood Mac, which is much more of a Joni Mitchell kinda trip. Conceptually, there's much more to The Runaways than either in terms of new groundbreaking ideas at the time.

They just plainly and unabashedly Rocked non-stop!

I don't think Nicks was hangin' at Rodney's English Pub with Zep the way the Runaways were.

Gator, check The Runaways again. Dude, c'mon! They're killer!

Pat Benatar came out blazin' with "Heartbreaker" and then put the final nail in my coffin with "Love Is A Battlefield", particularly the video, which is even more laughable if you have the courage to look at it again, which I don't, especially since I was force fed the thing 24/7 on MTV as a young boy. Yeech!

Remember, album sales have nothing to do with it. That's where so many people get hung up on here. Who cares how many albums someone sells. That should not validate them more in your eyes, one act over the other. It's ideas, man! I keep sayin' it!

F*ck album sales!

Look, I know our bands need 'em, but I only want them to be successful so they can live well and be properly rewarded for bringing their music to the world, which, we know has always generally been no easy feat, in most cases!

But I don't need 'em to go multi-platinum in sales strictly for the purposes of their validation in my or anyone's eyes. It's about the music! Not the album, sales!!!

So, come on!

Put the needle on the record or pop the CD in or download it into your frickin' brains, I don't care! But judge it on it's own merits!

Sorry to freak, but I'm just hot off my read on Crash Diet and just frustrated as hell that theez guyz can't break into the U.S.! Our cause would be so much further advanced if they could. (And how come Crash Diet aren't on iTunes?!)

Maybe they will cuz of Allyson and a precious few others out there in the New Media, but where are the Rodney Bingenheimer's of the world to break 'em? (See that documentary, "Mayor of Sunset Strip" if you haven't already, kidz!... Tellin' ya!).

I sure wish they had Lita involved. I wonder what the beef is with Joan and Lita, let alone Currie, though I heard she gets along with both of them. I sure wish she could get them together.

I think it may also have something to do with playin' now together and worried about looking like Vixen, which is pretty scary, though I do admire them for still gettin' out there (and believe me, this is comin' from a guy that if you guyz meet me at M3, you'll probably mistake me for one of the Hot Dog and Peanut vendors there, looks-wise, and probably ask me if I have any more packets of mustard).

So, not sure about this flick, given some of it's expected shortfalls.

Still, like Christine, I'm excited to see it, just for the atmosphere and the wing-job hairdo's.
March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
I read somewhere that Joan Jett offered Lita an offensive sum of money for the rights to her life story. By offensive, I mean that the amount she offered was so little that it would've offended a homeless person.
March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristine Sixx

If true, what made her do such a thing, Christine?

Stay tuned.
March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Christine, when I talked to Lita several months ago, that was one of the stipulations: NO RUNAWAY QUESTIONS - NOT ABOUT THE MOVIE, NOT ABOUT THE BAND. Obviously some bitter history there, and so I left it alone. But after she met Scout Compton (the actress playing her in the movie, best known as Laurie Strode in RZ's Halloween movies), she softened her stance on the movie and stated that she thought she might get a fair shake after all.

It will be interesting to hear her reaction after the movie is released, if she is still cordial toward Scout and the movie makers or not.
March 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJT
Yeah, and if they don't wind up putting half of Scout's performance on the cutting room floor. Let's hope not. Lita is killer!
March 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Hey, man, did you all just see Jett on Leno?

She just did "Cherry Bomb"! Killer!

And her interview with Leno was really interesting to watch.

Talk about a serious Rock and Roller! Hard to believe she's 51!

You can probably go on or YouTube to check it again, if it's not on free In-Demand or whatever.

Joan Jett Rocks!
March 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Er... Um... That's ON-Demand. Fletch is right, I am an idiot!
March 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
never called you an idiot, MB! Idiotic, perhaps and many, many, much stronger words, but maybe the harshest word was wrong
March 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfletch

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