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Mary Kay Place
In 1975, San Fernando Valley teen Joan Larkin reinvents herself as Joan Jett, a guitarist who wants to form an all-girl punk band. She pitches the idea to a sleazy manager, Kim Fowley, who pairs her with a drummer and then searches for a face: he finds Cherie Currie, at age 15, the perfect jailbait image for his purpose; by luck, she can sing. Two others round out the band, The Runaways. Fowley books a tour, signs them to Mercury Records, and packs them off to crowds in Japan. Seeds of conflict sprout early: Fowley puts Cherie front and center in the publicity, she's soon strung out on drugs and vodka, and jealousies arise. Without adult supervision, where can Joan and Cherie end up? Written by
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Girls nowadays, they don't have any role models. This band is self-empowerment, man - Aphrodite, Cleopatra, Eurydice! No more second-class status, sitting at concerts with asshole boyfriends who worship bands from a Popular Mechanics evalutation of amplifiers. The Runaways have the most chance of any group I've seen... To do with the Beatles did. To tear this world apart.
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Oh yes, 'The Runaways' is a good movie. Also for those who aren't aware that it's about the first all-female group in history of rock.
The plot narrows itself down to Kim Fowley (manager), Cherie Currie (lead singer) and Joan Jett (rythm-guitarist). Which is not wrong, but makes that you miss out on a lot of other interesting historical facts about this great Californian rock-band.
About lead-guitarist Lita Ford, for instance. She and Jett were the only band-members able to continue their career in rock-music after the Runaways split up.
About bass-player Jackie Fox, who left the band out of frustration for getting badly paid. Fox became a lawyer in the American music business instead.
The great thing about the Runaways is the magnificent cooperation between their two renowned guitarists Joan Jett and Lita Ford. Between Jett's earsplitting rhythms and Ford's virtuoso lead. This cooperation really earned 'The Runaways' a place in rock history.
Further 'The Runaways' were the first all-female rock-group at a time when people didn't even think about such a thing. And they also played their rock in a period when pop-music's trend was very soft, greatly influenced by 'The Eagles'.
By the way, this film hardly contains any 'Runaways'-music. For this you'd better turn to internet or to a CD. To 'The Runaways live in Japan', for instance, a CD recording their live-concert from 1977 in Japan. At that time 'The Runaways' peaked in a country where they were hugely popular.
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