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The Runaways

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Los Angeles, United States (1975 – 1979)

The Runaways were an American all-girl rock band from Los Angeles, California, who performed from 1975 to 1979. Believed at the time to have been a novelty act formed by producer Kim Fowley, who thought the notion of five teenage girls dressed in leather and lingerie performing heavy metal music was highly marketable, the band released its eponymous first album in 1976.

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, 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 got fired from the group, later resurfacing in The Bangles. Local bassist Peggy Foster took over on bass but left after a 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.

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