Ignored, Maligned, and Forgotten Music

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Cherry Bomb - The Runaways

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Legbamel Not-Pop

Do you know what we need for this Saturday morning? No? I'll tell you: an all-girl punk rock band from the 1970s, one whose alumni went onto become famous in their own rights. That's right, we need The Runaways, from which sprang Joan Jett and Lita Ford. If you ever needed proof that women could be just as raunchy and play their guitars just as hard as the boys, here it is. Cherry Bomb was their first hit from their self-titled debut in 1976. The girls (and they were girls, 'way back then) came on the scene with a vengeance and played with the big boys almost from day one, including The Ramones and The Damned.

The Runaways gave rebellious teen-aged girls a new set of idols. They were loud, nasty, and aggressive, all of the things that little girls are taught not to be. Is it any wonder that they hit the big time so quickly? Unfortunately all sorts of "creative differences" and music-industry hanky panky wrecked the cohesion heard on that first album. They went through five bassists in the four years they hung together, if that gives you a hint of how turbulent being a Runaway really was. At least they left us with hardcore gold like Cherry Bomb.

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