In the traditionally male-dominated world of rock and roll, The Runaways stuck out like a sore thumb – which was exactly what they wanted when they came together in 1975 Los Angeles. They were young women in a man’s world, and they thrived on the adversity that arrangement fostered.
With members like Joan Jett, Sandy West and Lita Ford, to name a few, The Runaways had a brief but influential run of tours and albums that saw them eventually succumb to every rock cliché: egos, drugs, artistic differences.
But by the time they split in 1979, The Runaways had ensured that their mix of looks, youthful exuberance and impressive musicianship would keep their name mentioned in the same breath as their rock friends: The Ramones, Cheap Trick, The Sex Pistols.
They were also trailblazers, paving the way for female groups like The Go-Gos, The Bangles, The Donnas and many others.
Author and journalist Evelyn McDonnell has chronicled the short life and tense after death history of the band in Queens of Noise: The Real Story of the Runaways, out now from Da Capo Press.