Cherie Currie’s Guide to Life: Who was a true member of the Runaways?

Posted: January 30, 2009 by ginavivinetto in Cherie Currie's Guide to Life, film, gender stuff, music
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By Cherie Currie

GOD!!! I’ve been hearing of all these girls that claim they were a member of my band, The Runaways. Frankly, I don’t remember them! I will not name names, I don’t want to be cruel, but hey! In the midst of all that’s going on with the movie, all the blood, sweat and tears that were shed by us five girls: Sandy West — RIP, we love and miss you, baby, Joan Jett, Lita Ford, me, and Jackie Fox, I can’t think of a single person that deserves to carry the torch as the family that were, as Jackie puts it, “The Famous Five”.


Yes, Vicki Blue joined after Jackie left. I only did a photo session and a rehearsal or two with her. She did go on tour and was a ‘part’ of the band. Micki Steele was a part of the trio before Jackie and I were involved but there was no deal. (So glad she succeeded with The Bangles. She’s a truly gifted artist).

Frankly, I’m sick of these women, staking their claim to something that we (the original five) made happen. And if you (meaning these girls) think that I’m going to stand by idle and let you bask in the sunshine that we five worked our asses off for, you are sadly mistaken.

This movie The Runaways is based on my book. I spent years working on the new version, which the movie is based on. I refuse to let these gals walk in and claim they were or are a part of it in any way.

I’m so proud of Joan Jett and Lita Ford that they continued on in this ‘heavier then hell’ business and made a success of themselves. You are true pioneers and I love you both with all my heart.


The Runaways were five girls that kicked some major ass. We fought the male-dominated musical world against all odds. I refuse to let anyone other then us bask in glory of what was a fight like no other.

If you want to ‘stake your claim,’ you have to go through me baby… and GOOD LUCK!!!

Cherie Currie of the one and ONLY, The Runaways!

By the way, with the hope that The Runaways be graced by the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame, the ORIGINAL five members should be inducted. No one else.

Cherie Currie was the lead singer of The Runaways. She’s a professional musician, actress, author, and one of the few women in America who create chainsaw art. She writes Cherie Currie’s Guide to Life because she loves you.

  1. Bette says:

    I’ve been wanting to blog on a similarly related subject, but my “audience” isn’t necessarily Runaways fans, so it would just have fallen flat. But now I can put forth this question to all reading this: Who were the REAL Runaways members, ie who could have been replaced and never have been missed, and who were the integral Runaways members?

    I postulate that the following were the truest Runaways members, and without whom, the band would have been absolutely nothing : Joan, Cherie, Sandy. That’s it. This will make me unpopular, for I am leaving out Lita, but I’m used to that, so…

  2. Danny says:

    I’ll have to disagree with that comment just a little. To me, all five played an important part in the sound that resulted in the collaboration that was the “famous five.” Jackie’s presence is certainly felt and heard both in backing vocals and on bass. As far as Lita, I don’t think there was another female guitarist (and few males!) at the time, that could contiend with her play-ability.

    Just my two cents…

  3. Dan says:

    Right on Cherie! Nice to read the feelings of one of the ‘famous five’ right from the horse’s mouth (so to speak). Thanks for clarifying your viewpoint, and I CAN’T WAIT to see this movie!!!

  4. Gus says:

    All 5 were important to the mix! For me, the lead singer in a band is always the major focal point, so Cherie ruled the day with her dynamic vocal stylings! Joan, of coarse was also important, in that respect but to a lesser degree. Of coarse her song writing skills were, without a doubt, essential to the bands success and longevity!
    Joan’s rythm and Jackie’s bass were top notch but Lita’s talent, on lead guitar, and Sandy’s, on the drums, raised the quality of the music to an extraordinary level of kick ass Rock N Roll!

    Lita once said that when Cherie left the band, they should have all taken a break and then asked her back. I couldn’t agree more!
    If the Fab Five had stayed together, I have no doubt they would have gone to the top and stayed there for many many years!

  5. Jimmy says:

    There are five albums by The Runaways (and a few compilations)

    The first three ones with Cherie, Joan, Sandy, Lita and jackie was:

    “The Runaways”
    “Queens of Noise”
    “Live in Japan”

    Cherie and Jackie left the band and Vicki joined to play bass.

    “Waiting for the night”
    “And now…” were released.

    So, as far as I can tell, it’s pretty stupid by those impostors to pretend.

    It’s very sad that the band never got the proper acclaim, and it’s a bloody disgrace they weren’t treated better.

    Because I truly believe they were not only a milestone in rock history, a pioneer group in a “wave” of it’s own that finally inspired many bands musically, but also the proof that a band doesn’t need a male member to be a rough, but high quality, rock band.

    I do think I’m not alone to day dream of what it would have been like if they never split.

  6. Jimmy says:

    Did I make any sense? Correcting last sentence:

    I do think I’m not alone today to dream of what it would have been like, if they never split.

  7. Mark Proctor says:

    Hello. My name is Mark, and for the last few years it has been my privilege to be the ‘guardian’ (if you like) of Sandy West’s tribute page on MySpace.

    I read Cherie’s comments with interest and I am moved to chip in with my two-penneth. Please read all the way through and consider my comments. Your feedback is most welcome. OK, here goes:-

    Without a doubt, the “Famous Five” captured for posterity on “Live in Japan” ARE The Runaways. Cherie is right about that, and nobody would argue with her rightful claim to being a key player in rock history. I have the greatest respect for Cherie, and I know she is determined to tell her story – but history cannot ignore that The Runaways carried on after she left – and they were around before she joined…

    In fact, had it not been for the embryonic (Micki and Peggy) Runaways’ development, we may not have had a “Famous Five” at all. This unsettled and shambolic phase would inevitably result in Jackie and Cherie’s services being favoured by the band. So is it not a valid part of The Runaways’ story?

    It is equally unwise to dismiss Vicki’s contribution, as (having acknowledged that The Runaways carried on after Cherie’s exit in 1977) this is to ignore 2 out of 4 of The Runaways’ studio albums. But if one were to play devil’s advocate, one might argue that (like Vicki) Jackie and Cherie played their part on only half the band’s studio output… yet these later (Cherie-less) albums are again key to Runaways’ folklore…

    Both Joan and Lita grabbed the opportunity to give free rein to their own styles, which (as Cherie herself acknowledges) served them well through the next couple of decades. But at the cost of The Runaways.

    And that just left founder member Sandy. The one who was there at the beginning and the only one who actually still wanted to be in a band called The Runaways at the end. Sandy’s mates had all fallen out with each other and her group was gone. Perhaps it was not their time, and it had all proved too much too soon. But Sandy’s gone now. And her time came way too soon.

    As hard to accept as these things may be (and as tragic and as final as it has ultimately become) they are still ‘chapters’ in Runaways’ history. To remove these links is to effectively present us with just Cherie’s time in The Runaways… and I guess there’s nothing wrong with that. Cherie IS producing the movie and it IS based on her book “Neon Angels”… but I can’t help feeling that they have missed an opportunity here.

    If (as seems likely) the film is going to be an adaptation of Cherie’s book, the fans might have been better served if the film-makers had stuck with the book’s title. It’s no accident that Cherie chose “Neon Angels” to “tell you what we’ve been doing… on the road to ruin” but, alas, her story is only part of THE story of The Runaways.

    This film will probably be the only chance we get to see the story of ‘five gals who shook the world’ and for that reason I have a real problem with calling the movie “The Runaways”. By adopting the name of the band as its title, fans might reasonably expect to see the story of The Runaways – warts and all, from birth to death. .

    Cherie… if you ever get to read this – I mean you no disservice. The Runaways were never better than when you fronted them. “Live In Japan” is proof of that. I have campaigned long and hard to get The Runaways the recognition they deserve. I hope one day the Hall Of Fame does acknowledge what you did. But everyone had a part to play, and I (like soooo many others out there) just want to see the whole story of who, how, why and what were The Runaways.

    “Neon Angels” would have been a fantastic movie in its own right – and it may have spurred someone into releasing the oft-rumoured “Live In Japan” DVD… but “The Runaways” promises so much more. We’ve waited over 30 years for this. Don’t short-change the fans now.

    My love and respect to you all – Cherie, Sandy, Joan, Jackie, Lita, Vicki, Peggy, Laurie and Mikki… The Runaways.

    xxxxxxxxx (one each)

  8. Jimmy says:

    Mark, with all respect, Joan Jett is producing the movie, and she was a member from the start to the end, I reckon she’s been thinking of it all. She’s a very VERY clever woman with great integrecy (I didn’t spell that right) and I have no doubt she’ll make it a great film.

    I’m so looking forward to it, and I hope the girls will get the acclaim they deserve.

  9. says:

    What do you think of the movie, Cherie? And Dakota playing you?? Must’ve been a little surreal on that set huh? 🙂

  10. Jimmy says:

    It’s a great pleasure to watch the girls transform to their roles!

  11. Sascha says:

    thank you … umm … i was just a kid when i found out about the runaways from my buddy’s older brother who was a punk rocker and it pretty much influenced my idea of what is sexy

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