The Runaways (1975-1979), pictured in 1976 (l-r: Lita Ford, Cherie Currie, Sandy West, Joan Jett, Jackie Fox)

The Runaways were an all-female teenage American rock band that recorded and performed in the second half of the 1970s. The band released four studio albums and one live set during its run. Among their best-known songs are “Cherry Bomb”, “Hollywood”, “Queens of Noise” and a cover version of the Velvet Underground’s “Rock & Roll”. The Runaways, though never a major success in the United States, became a sensation overseas, especially in Japan, thanks to the hit single “Cherry Bomb”.

The Runaways were formed in late 1975 by drummer Sandy West and rhythm guitarist Joan Jett after they had both introduced themselves to producer Kim Fowley, who gave Jett’s phone number to West. The two met on their own at West’s home and later called Fowley to let him hear the outcome. Fowley then helped the girls find other members. Two decades later he said, “I didn’t put the Runaways together, I had an idea, they had ideas, we all met, there was combustion and out of five different versions of that group came the five girls who were the ones that people liked.”

Starting as a power trio with singer/bassist Micki Steele (aka Michael Steele of the Bangles), the Runaways began the party and club circuit around Los Angeles. They soon added lead guitarist Lita Ford, who had originally auditioned for the bass spot. Steele was fired from the group, replaced by local bassist Peggy Foster, who left after just one month. Lead singer Cherie Currie was found and recruited in a local teen nightclub called the Sugar Shack, followed by Jackie Fox (who had originally auditioned for the lead guitar spot) on bass.

Band Members, past and present

Sandy West (1959-2006), drums 1975-1979

Joan Jett (1958-), guitars & vocals 1975-1979

Micki Steele (1955-), bass 1975

Lita Ford (1958-), guitars & vocals 1975-1979
Peggy Foster, bass 1975 [Google Sites]

Cherie Currie (1959-), vocals 1975-1977
Jackie Fox (1959-), bass 1975-1977 [therunawaysband.wikia]
Vicki Blue (1959-), bass 1977-1978 [Wikiheights]
Laurie McAllister (1958-2011), bass 1978-1979 [Photofeatures]


The Runaways (1976) by the Runaways

Queens of Noise (1977) by the Runaways

Live in Japan (1977) by the Runaways

Waitin’ for the Night (1977) by the Runaways

And Now…The Runaways (1978) by the Runaways

Flaming Schoolgirls (1980) by the Runaways with Cherie Currie