The Runaways: The Runaways
Don't let the teevee tube or the records being released fool you! Teenage America's spirit is not sagging (empty helium balloons surrounded by Paul McCartney records). CB radios, disco, the Fonz, the cast of Welcome Back, Kotter: THAT'S SHELLAC, JACK!!
Punk nouveau is hot as blazes, reading fast, groping even into, and very, very soon (maybe tomorrow) punk rock is going to start hips shaking on every street corner, wiping out the boredom set deep in every teenager's eyes (put to snooze by Elton John and assorted wimps). That's the Punk Rock Revival II, meaning no more clean-cut pop and lotsa dirty, badass rock 'n' roll. Kim Fowley knows it's coming. Patti Smith and the Ramones are perpetrating it. And damn, the Runaways have grasped IT!
Calling themselves "Queens of Noise" in their anthem ‘American Nights’ (as teenage a call-to-arms as you'll ever hear), the Runaways have earned the right to scream "I'm sixteen and proud," play sloppy, and strut like they were the Rolling Stones. The Runaways don't try to hide the fact that their band was obviously spawned in a garage, educated on the shakin' streets, and measured in terms of its own sexuality.
Anybody remember the infamously snide take on the Velvet Underground? You know, everyone who bought their records must have started or joined a band, considering every other hipster band named them as a chief influence, yet no one really bought their records. (I guess the same thing could apply to the Replacements or the Pixies, except they weren’t quite so influential, and certainly not as consistently great.)
Of course a true rock snob like myself bought and devoured their five releases, ‘cept I started with 1970’s Loaded after hearing “Rock and Roll” on local college free form FM radio (Brown University’s WBRU to be exact) sometime during my teen daze, and once I spotted the first album (with the, gulp, banana cover) at the catalog-deep record shop I dug down enough into my coin and dust filled pockets to buy that, with the others soon following. (Yeah, yeah, yeah I bought backwards, but I still BOUGHT.)