The Runaways in their heyday keep reminding me of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the latter of whom I have long considered the Baddest Band in the Land in the summer of 1976.
The Runaways were pretty damn bad then, too, and by “bad” I mean what Isaac Hayes was talking ‘bout when he said Shaft was a “bad mother-“ only to be interrupted by the backup singers.
I was reminded of that halcyon summer this week when I listened to the latest episode of Let It Roll. I was 15 and I knew about the Runaways by then because I had a subscription to Creem, and I was certainly intrigued but they never got any radio airplay so I didn’t take the plunge.
Then that fall they — the Runaways, not Skynyrd, who were never on any magazine cover, ever — showed up on the cover of Crawdaddy, all of them staring out at me like a gang of toughs about to kick my ass for stumbling into their gathering in a back alley somewhere.
Later on Creem ran a beach photo, all of them in bikinis, and my life was complete. Ok, not really, but think about it—they were enduring, they hung around for a goodly while and I salute Old Dominion University for booking them in the spring of 1978, perhaps as far into the Deep South as the girls — who surely were women by then — ever got.
I never saw ‘em live, and, like the New York Dolls, I sure do wish I had. But I did get to interview Joan Jett once, she then invited me to the gig where I met her and Kenny Laguna as well, and now maybe my life really is complete.
Ed Legge (@freebirdyeller) is a life-long musician, long-time journalist and sometime corporate dweeb who’s writing a book about originating rock ‘n’ roll’s most absurd tradition.