Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wild Girls of the Road

So the other day, over at Box Office, I was musing about the forthcoming bio-pic on pioneering all-girl punk/glam rockers The Runaways, featuring Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett, Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie and the great Michael Shannon (from Revolutionary Road) as the group's creepy manager/Svengali Kim Fowley.

My basic take, based solely on the trailer and the fact that Jett exec-produced, is that this could be a very interesting flick, on a number of levels. But it dawned on me that I'm not sure if I ever saw the actual band live (maybe at CBGBs, although I'm not certain). And I couldn't remember if there was any decent video footage of them, either.

Turns out there is. This official video for the "Cherry Bomb" single, for starters.

They're not terribly good, are they? Although jeebus knows you can't take your eyes off of them.

In any case, I pulled out my old Stereo Review write-up of the the album, from 1976, and let's just say that there are things about it that haven't stood the test of time. Although I think dismissing the group as "Three Lavernes and two Shirleys" was kind of funny, if not necessarily to the point. In any case, no way I'm reprinting it.


FD13NYC said...

Yes Steve, it was CBGBs, August 1976. I was there, with a couple of friends that I told about the first album. Right up front, with Cherie and Joan spitting and sweating on me (I sound like Kim Fowley) No but really that was the one. The music was amateur, but as you said, us twenty something letches couldn't take our eyes off them.

As for the biopic, should be a little interesting, especially since I saw the real thing. Shannon probably had to take off some weight for the role. He was also good in Shotgun Stories.

MBowen said...

I'm pretty sure they appeared on Midnight Special or Don Kirschner's Rock Concert, although I wouldn't swear to it.

Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary said...

I am - & have always been - in love with Joan Jett. I could die happily, if you know what I mean.

Thanks for this.

And I recall seeing one Messrs. Simels, Forte, Ali Gator & somebody else at CBGB's one Sunday night way back when, don't I?

steve simels said...

I went to a post-gig Ramones press party once, at the pool hall next door to the Academy of Music on 14th street. Late 70s, I guess.

Not sure if the pool hall is still there, given the gentrification of the neighborhood.

Anyway, Joan Jett was there, shooting pool with some other tough chicks, as I recall. I was kind of in awe...

Noam Sane said...

I was just reading a write-up/interview with Fowley in some odd rock mag. That guy was all over the place in the 60s, and an argument could be made that he was as influential as Phil Spector.

He also put out a nasty little song named "Bubble Gum" on his own in the 70s that's worth looking around for (it rips off The Kinks, beautifully). You'll probably want to shower after listening to it.

Fowley was the youngest dirty old man in showbiz, but he knew his shit.

I admire Jett/the Runaways from afar, the music just don't move me.

spotcheck said...

I remember those days. The singer was working a slightly less feminine version of David Bowie's act of a few years earlier. Who would have guessed that two of the five would go on to actual musical careers?

Wendy said...

Yes, they were awful. Cute, but awful. :-)

dave™© said...

pulled out my old Stereo Review write-up of the the album, from 1976, and let's just say that there are things about it that haven't stood the test of time.

Ha! I seem to recall a couple of those type of reviews from that era... being a young proto-punk smartass at the time (I think I bought the Runaways elpee the same day as the first Ramones album, which was also the day the Modern Lovers record - the version with Jerry Harrison - came in the mail(, I just wrote them off as the sad advancement of old age. :)