If there is a God – he gave us The Runaways. I was 8 years old singing 'Cherry Bomb' into a hairbrush and my parents thought it was cute. The Runaways is one of the best movies so far this year and I'll be getting the dvd.
Dramatic recreations of rock 'n' roll reality normally leave me cold (The Doors movie is a case in point. Val Kilmer is not – and could never be – anything remotely close to Jim Morrison) but this one works.
If I thought Kristen Stewart was a 1 trick pony who lucked into stardom playing Bella in Twilight (a role that would have made any actress famous) I was wrong. She is extraordinary as Joan Jett and demonically attractive. Dakota Fanning is quite perfect as Cherie Currie. (BTW – she totally pre-dates The Pussycat Dolls with her look and moves.)
I'm a big fan of music fusion – but I'm also a big fan of purist rock. And this movie has it cos The Runaways had it.
Great to see such an out, loud and proud depiction of Kim Fowley. I was hunting out and buying his records way back when. If you get a chance, have a listen to one of his more subversive indie classics 'The Trip'. I hate to think one of my teen idols was pimping out underage rock chicks but musically, he was. He was their Svengali. A Machiavelli. A Pygmallion and kind of like the Malcolm McLaren of the band. Sadly, Cherie Currie didn't get it. When the worst happens. it's easy to see that Joan had all the heart – and of course she would have gone on to form JoanJett & The Black Hearts.
Wait till you see the wardrobe in The Runaways – it's totally authentic! The 70s had a dead sexy androgyny that was permissive – you could be any gender you wanted to be at any time. Now that's freedom!
In fact – watching the dramatization of the pairing up of Cherie Currie and Joan Jett – I was reminded of a similar rock union: Bryan Ferry with Brian Eno to form Roxy Music.
The girls in the movie hang together on tour like a litter of orphaned kttens – they curl up in little peach fuzz balls of soon-to-be-corrupted innocence.
The 70s was courageous and outrageous without being self-conscious – that was to come in the acutely superficial 80s. I was a teen in the 80s and despised the status quo I saw in the world – it had no status and no quo with me. (Coincidentally, Status Quo was a fun rock band of the 70s.)
The Runaways is a must-see for so many good reasons.
It reminded me that I remain an idealist in a world that mocks ideals.
That means I remain disenfranchised but never disenchanted.
Here comes the warm Jett – and she summed it all up in a later hit: 'I Love Rock 'n' Roll'.
And I do 🙂
here's the real deal: THE RUNAWAYS live on stage in Japan 1977 – 'scuse the VHS quality…