R.I.P. Laurie McAllister — final bassist for The Runaways

Laurie McAllister, final bassist of The Runaways and also of The Orchids, passed away on August 25th due to asthma. I was out of town when I first got the news, so I apologize for not posting this sooner. My deepest sympathies go out to her family, friends, and fans.

The L.A. Times has a quote from Joan Jett about Laurie’s passing:

“I am so sorry to hear of Laurie’s passing,” Jett said in an emailed statement. “She was a good person and a good bass player. It was a great experience being in a band with her, as she was the last Runaways bass player before her own band, The Orchids, formed. I was still in touch with her and saw her last year at a show. It was as if no time had passed.

“My heart goes out to her family and friends, and most of all, to Laurie. Rock on girl.”

Read the rest HERE.
Read Kim Fowley’s goodbye to Laurie on Facebook HERE.
Visit Laurie’s memorial wall on Facebook.

Youtube: Laurie McAllister – Black Orchids

Youtube: The Orchids, “Girls”



Gibson’s GuitarTown pays tribute to The Runaways

File this under “Really cool crap I should have posted last week”:

Cherie Currie and son Jake Hays with The Runaways guitar by artist Sonia Lopez-Chavez. From LA Weekly Blogs.

On August 12, Cherie Currie and her son, Jake, attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony of Gibson’s GuitarTown on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, “which features 26 10-foot-tall Les Paul guitar sculptures…each celebrating a rock god or music moment from the Strip’s colorful history. … The Doors, Motley Crue, Jimi Hendrix, The Roxy’s Lou Adler, Slash, Cheech & Chong and The Runaways (see above) are just a few of the bands and personalities paid tribute in these unique axes, each one by a local artist.” (Source — emphasis added by me)

The guitars will be on display to the public for six months and will then be auctioned off for charity. Gibson has done GuitarTown exhibits in other cities, like NashvilleAustin, and Orlando. The Nashville GuitarTown, for example, ended in February 2006 and raised over $400,000 for local Nashville charities.

Click HERE to watch a video about the project from NBC; they mention The Runaways’ guitar. They won’t let me embed it here. 😦

Read more from Gibson HERE, and read about the artist that designed The Runaways guitar HERE. See more photos of the guitars HERE.

Gibson is also going to produce a commemorative catalog containing photographs of the guitars and detailing the careers of the artists and musicians involved in the project. Keep an eye out for it HERE.

According to that NBC video I linked above, the guitars will be moved around to different locations during the lifespan of the exhibit, so there’s no map showing where The Runaways’ guitar is. If you know where it is now, let us know! I did find a walking map that someone scanned HERE, but it doesn’t show which guitar is at which location.

Joan Jett/Runaways comic out now

"New" comic from Bluewater Productions

Back in February, we heard directly from Jay Allen Sanford, author of Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics, that a full-length Joan Jett/Runaways/Lita Ford comic would be released in 2010 by Bluewater Productions. JAS gave us the sneak peak of the cover art and some of the panels, and the original description of the comic from the catalog, which was supposed to give equal space to Joan, The Runaways, and Lita. These “new” comics aren’t really new, they’re just refurbished editions of the old Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics series originally published in the early 1990’s. They made one for The Runaways and one for Joan and Lita together. (All biographies in Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics are unauthorized.)

Bluewater announced that the new comic would be released in June, but a few outlets are reporting that they are getting the comic this week. (Source, source, source, and source).

It looks like Lita Ford is no longer a part of this comic. (Boo.) Here is the updated description from Bluewater’s site:

“Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics, Joan Jett” She is best known for her work with Joan Jett & the Blackhearts including their hit cover “I Love Rock N’ Roll”. This one shot tells about her life from when she was in the “Runaways” to when she broke off to her iconic solo career.

You can also buy the original  Joan Jett/Lita Ford comic from Amazon HERE.

Original Joan/Lita comic from 1993


I haven’t seen the comic yet, but here’s my current opinion: Just go watch The Runaways. You can rent it for two dollars cheaper than this comic costs, and it will last longer.

Hey Bluewater: Why don’t you give Joan her own Female Force comic?!?

(Thanks to @Wasted1 from the Sinners message board for the details!)



The Runaways: Joan Jett, Lita Ford (Hard rock comics)

Happy Birthday Sandy West!

July 10th is Sandy’s birthday, so I’m celebrating with some of my favorite Sandy-related videos and drum tracks. Rest in peace, Sandy. We miss you, but we’ll kick ass together again someday.

Sandy West interview from 1994. She talks about how she got started with the drums and the early days of The Runaways. Beautiful!


“Lost in Love’s Magic”, The Sandy West Band. Sandy sings! This is one of my favorite Sandy songs.


“Neon Angels on the Road to Ruin,” live in Japan:


“Midnight Music,” Sandy and Cherie on St. Patrick’s Day, 1986. Love the hair and shoulder pads, ladies!


“Dead End Justice,” live in Ohio in 1976. I wish I had a video of the band performing this.


Joan Jett’s tribute to Sandy, during the Sinner tour in 2006/2007.


“Joan Jett: Guitar Heroine” from UK’s Telegraph

Telegraph.co.uk has a great article about Joan Jett, The Runaways, the movie, and the “Joan Jett” book by Todd Oldham. The author is a woman who listened to The Runaways in the 70’s. I want to meet her!

Here’s an excerpt:

Long before the Spice Girls shouted about Girl Power, or the music press ordained Riot Grrrl as the Next Big Thing, or Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin sang Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves, the Runaways looked to be the embodiment of liberation.

Except, of course, it wasn’t quite as straightforward as that; for like all the most memorable nursery rhymes and fairy tales, there is a dark twist. Little wonder the story has been retold for the Twilight generation in a Hollywood film starring Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie; beginning with a drop of blood on the ground (albeit menstrual, rather than vampiric). Why now, you might ask?

Well, why not? It’s an archetypal story – innocents tainted by experience on a roller-coaster ride of sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll – released in a year when many of the Runaways’ original audiences have become parents to teenagers of their own.

Read the rest HERE.

Tribute to The Runaways on Women Rock Radio

Electrik Emily’s new show, Jukebox Heroines, will pay tribute to The Runaways Thursday, April 29th, at 9PM EST/6pm PST on Women Rock Radio.


Electrik Emily is from Seattle, Washington, and is also a musician inspired by Joan Jett and The Runaways. Read more about her at her official site HERE. You can also follow her on Twitter.

Hey Emily: Nice spelling of “electric”, by the way. Must be an east coast/west coast thing. *snicker* 😉

Runaways Mercury Albums Anthology for presale at Hip-O-Select; includes fake tattoos

The Hip-O-Select website has The Runaways’ The Mercury Albums Anthology for presale, and the package includes four Runaways temporary tattoos! And, at $29.98, buying it directly from Hip-O-Select is cheaper than both Amazon and CD Universe. Amazon and CD Universe don’t mention the tattoos, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t included.

Here’s a snippet of the write-up from Hip-O-Select:

Theirs was a story truly born on the streets of Hollywood and left for all to review in the annals of recorded music. The history of the Runaways, now coming to life again on the big screen (with Kristen Stewart in the role of Joan Jett), is one of discovery, strong determination, bravado, teen lust and what would later become, to some, “a can of worms.”

But what we have to reflect back on are four albums: The Runaways, Queens of Noise, Live in Japan, and Waitin’ For the Night. All 42 songs that were included on those original albums made for Mercury are contained on two CDs and available now from Hip-O Select.

Thanks to Wasted1 on the message board for the tip!

Love Hurts AND Stinks: Joan Jett’s best break-up songs

Ah, Valentine’s Day. Those of you who know about my obsession love for Edward Cullen must think I LOVE Valentine’s Day. Surely, a nerd romantic taken by a 108-year-old virgin vampire who lovingly watches his prey virgin girlfriend sleep would love Valentine’s Day, right?!? WRONG. Pink and red are my two favorite colors, and I’m all for getting frisky (with my Edward husband, and only my husband), but having a holiday for all of that stuff is a little creepy to me. I’m still trying to detox from all the Halloween candy I ate, for crying out loud. Candy hearts are bad, m’kay?

At first, I was going to completely ignore this day and treat it like any other, but then I remembered that Joan Jett has recorded some of the best break-up songs in history! Even some that newbies haven’t heard of! So, I’m going to share my favorites with you. I can’t think of a better way for me and my fellow Valentine-phobes to un-celebrate. I won’t bother to rank them, they’re all number one in my book anyway. Continue reading

Preorder The Runaways Mercury Albums Anthology

The Runaways: The  Mercury Albums Anthology, from Hip-O-Select, comes out on March 16th, but you can now preorder it at Amazon HERE or CD Universe HERE.

It’s a two-disc set, and CD Universe has the track listing — this is going to be AWESOME: Continue reading

Joan Jett wrote a book too! Due out April 15th


This book isn’t really a memoir or biography. Blackheart Records was kind enough to set us straight in a comment on the About page:

From Blackheart Records:

Hello – I wanted to set something straight. The Joan Jett book is NOT a memoir, but rather a photo book of Joan Jett through her career, designed by Todd Oldham. Its going to be absolutely beautiful but definitely not a memoir, autobiography, or anything of the sort.

Thank you!

The Amazon description was a little misleading, but I’m still excited for this!


Joan Jett and the folks at Blackheart Records have announced today that an autobiography of sorts, written by Joan Jett herself with Todd Oldham, will be published on April 15, 2010, and is available for preorder at Amazon. The book will cover Joan’s time with The Runaways and her solo career.

Cover of the Joan Jett book, Ammo Books

From the description at Amazon:

Product Description

Rock ‘n’ roll goddess Joan Jett holds a beloved place in the world of music. She started her first band, The Runaways, at age fifteen and has blazed a trail that has inspired and thrilled her fans to this day. AMMO Books is proud to release this loving tribute to Joan that covers all aspects of her career and passions — from the behind-the-scenes story of forming The Runaways to her years of touring with her band Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. JOAN JETT features many never before seen photos and ephemera covering the multi-decade career of a real rock ‘n’ roll icon. Written in Joan’s own words, this smart and insiring story is a must read. A thoughtful introduction written by renowned indie rocker and Riot Grrrl Kathleen Hanna brings context to this exciting title.

About the Author

Joan Jett is a revered songwriter, musician, and American icon. In keeping with her pioneering spirit, she went on to be the first woman to start her own independent rock label, Blackheart Records. The Joan Jett and the Blackhearts Greatest Hits compilation will be released in March 2010. A film based on The Runaways starring Dakota Fanning, and Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett, will be released on March 19, 2010.

This is the first that I am hearing of this, and I don’t think the other Jettheads knew about it either. I’ll find out after I post this on the message board. I’m guessing that they didn’t make a huge deal out of this before now because they didn’t want to overshadow Cherie Currie’s book, Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway, which comes out on March 16th and is also available for preorder on Amazon.

2010 is definitely a great year to be a Jetthead!

See Todd Oldham and Joan Jett making an ottoman on Todd’s Handmade Modern show back in 2005:


😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

EXCLUSIVE: Bluewater Productions will publish a full-length Runaways/Joan Jett/Lita Ford comic in 2010

UPDATE 08/24/2010: Click HERE for the latest news on this comic.

A few days ago, I reported on the Joan Jett events and merchandise coming in March, and I told you about the Joan Jett/Lita Ford comic that will be published in Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics Volume 1: Hard Rock Heroes on March 1:

March 1st:

  • Release of Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics Volume 1: Hard Rock Heroes. The Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics series was published in the 1990’s and is now being republished by Bluewater Productions as a series of graphic novels. Volume 1 contains the Joan Jett/Lita Ford comic. These comics were unauthorized biographies, so take it with a grain of salt. But they are still cool to have. You can pre-order Volume 1 at Amazon HERE. The Runaways will make an appearance in Volume 9, SMASH! A Punk/Alternative Retrospective. Read more about each volume HERE. (FYI to Twilight fans: Bluewater Productions also publishes the Female Force comics; you may have seen the one they did on Stephenie Meyer.)

Jay Allen Sanford from Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics reached out to me after seeing that post to give us the exclusive scoop on Bluewater Productions’ upcoming full-length comic dedicated to The Runaways, Joan Jett, and Lita Ford. This news comes to us weeks before Bluewater makes the official public announcement!

I WISH I was being paid to tell you this, but I’m not.

Follow the jump to see a sneak peek of the art and more.

Continue reading

What is The Runaways’ drama doing to the fans?

Warnings: 1) I cuss in this post. A lot. 2) It’s heavy on the emo. 3) It’s long.

As excited as I am for The Runaways movie, there are certain unpleasant facts surrounding the making of the film that I’d rather not deal with.

  • Unpleasant fact #1: Jackie Fox and Lita Ford did not want this movie to be made.
  • Unpleasant fact #2: Cherie Currie and Lita Ford still do not like each other.

As a fan of The Runaways, Joan Jett, AND Lita Ford, my plan was to keep the peace and not address these facts. I cloaked myself in positivity and hoped it would be enough to shield me from the elephant in the room.

But yesterday, the elephant stepped on my foot.  Continue reading

Runaways’ “Mercury Albums Anthology” Due on March 16th

Start saving your money. You will be broke in March. But you will be happy. 😀

According to MusicTap and Pause&Play, Hip-O Select is releasing an anthology of all of The Runaways’ Mercury Records albums on March 16th, called The Mercury Albums Anthology. (Thanks to blacknblue77 for the tip on the message board.)

The Hip-O Select website doesn’t mention it, so I have no idea yet what it may cost, or if it will include anything rare or previously unreleased. I’ll let you know when I hear something.

Click HERE to see a discography of Runaways music. The Mercury Records albums were The Runaways, Queens of Noise, Live in Japan, and Waitin’ for the Night. I have all of these on CD from Amazon.com, but it looks like most of them are out of stock there or nearly so.

For those keeping score at home, here’s everything we have on deck for March so far:

March 1st:

  • Release of Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics Volume 1: Hard Rock Heroes. The Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics series was published in the 1990’s and is now being republished by Bluewater Productions as a series of graphic novels. Volume 1 contains the Joan Jett/Lita Ford comic. These comics were unauthorized biographies, so take it with a grain of salt. But they are still cool to have. You can pre-order Volume 1 at Amazon HERE. The Runaways will make an appearance in Volume 9, SMASH! A Punk/Alternative Retrospective. Read more about each volume HERE. (FYI to Twilight fans: Bluewater Productions also publishes the Female Force comics; you may have seen the one they did on Stephenie Meyer.)

March 9th:

  • Release of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts Greatest Hits, probably on Blackheart Records.

March 16th:

  • Release of The Runaways: The Mercury Albums Anthology on Hip-O Select.
  • Release of Cherie Currie’s book, Neon Angel: A Memoir of The Runaways, on It Books.

March 19th:

  • Premiere of The Runaways movie in the US and Canada.

March 2010:

  • US release of Multiple Sarcasms, starring Joan Jett and the Blackhearts as the night club band. The exact date hasn’t been announced yet, but right now it is supposed to happen sometime in March.

Recording The Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb”

Want to know where The Runaways recorded “Cherry Bomb” and what kind of equipment they used? On January 1st, Mix Online examined the history of the song with Runaways manager Kim Fowley and some of the people who helped bring it to life in the studio. The article also talks a bit about Kim’s history in the music business before The Runaways.

“Here’s your headline,” says musical genius Kim Fowley, who occasionally refers to himself in the third person. “‘Kim Fowley and the Runaways recorded “Cherry Bomb” in a store room on purpose. We didn’t have an equipment list. We barely had equipment. But we had a plan.’ Then everybody reads it, and this will be the best article you’ve written in 10 years.”

Fowley’s credit list also includes The Byrds, Warren Zevon, KISS, the Hollywood Argyles, Frank Zappa’s Mother’s of Invention, Cat Stevens, Alice Cooper, Jonathan Richman, BTO, The Germs and Nirvana, to name a handful of the acts that have capitalized on Fowley’s songs, productions and his keen, intangible sense of what music the public wants. And he says he knew he had something great from the moment he met Joan Jett, whom he has called the “musical child of Keith Richards and John Lennon.”

“Teenaged girls with guitars,” he states. “We knew it from the day it started. And we were in a hurry. It only took 17 weeks for the band to form, rehearse, play, learn songs and get a deal with Mercury Records, with no demo.”

Read the rest HERE.

It’s a three-page slice of Runaways history. Enjoy!

Help Haiti by listening to Joan Jett and The Runaways on Wolfgang’s Vault

Jettheads may be upset over the Joan Jett Barbie doll, but we know that’s not a real tragedy. The earthquakes in Haiti are a tragedy. The Haitians are in trouble, and I’ve found another way that music fans can help The Red Cross deliver aid to the people who need it most. Continue reading

What I learned about Joan Jett in 2009

Hello everyone, and Happy New Year! I’m back from visiting with my in-laws, and now I can devote time to my Jetthead family again.

Did you miss me? 😀

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks combing through Joan’s articles and interviews from 2009 so that I can give you a recap for the year. I thought I’d start by recapping all of the new stuff that I learned about Joan, or from Joan, in 2009.

My definition of “new” is mostly just stuff that I didn’t know before 2009. I’m not arrogant enough to think that no one knew any of this stuff sooner. I’m neck-deep in Joan Jett 24/7, and even I miss things sometimes.

Here we go!

1. How to capture Joan Jett’s guitar tone. Gibson.com got techie for Jettheads who want to sound like Joan Jett at home in this article from last January. If I ever learn how to play my Joan Jett series Gibson Melody Maker, this knowledge will come in handy. Continue reading

Video of the Week: Great 1977 Joan Jett Interview

In 1977, Joan Jett and Kim Fowley were two of the people who sat down with Tom Snyder on his Tomorrow Show program to discuss the then-current state of punk rock music. This is a great glimpse into what Joan was dealing with back then.

THIS is what Kristen Stewart is trying to embody. I think Kristen’s voice is a little deeper than Joan’s was back then, but that’s OK.

Kim Fowley is the one in the orange jacket and all the glam makeup. He’s definitely a character, isn’t he?

(By the way, if you like the Peaches t-shirt that Joan is wearing, you can order it from WornFree.com HERE.)


Part 1:

Part 2:


JettStew Love: A Pep Talk to Kristen Stewart from a Jetthead

I started Born to be Jetthead on September 22, 2009 (Joan Jett’s birthday), but I’ve wanted to have a site like this for a long time. I used to write about Joan in my MySpace blog, but only a few people ever saw it.

All the way back in May, before The Runaways was filmed, I wrote an open letter to Kristen Stewart expressing my confidence in her ability to portray Joan. After seeing The Runaways trailer this week, I know that I am right. I am re-printing my letter to KStew here. Let me know what you think. (I can be a pretty emo broad, I know. :D)

Read my emo-tastic letter to Kristen after the jump.

Continue reading

“The Runaways” Screening At Sundance Madison: Buy Tix!

Thanks to joanjettbadrep.com for this scoop: The Runaways movie will be screened at the Sundance Film Festival’s Madison, Wisconsin theater at 7:30 PM on Thursday, January 28, 2010. Tickets are on sale now! The film will only show once.

HERE is the main site for the theater.

Click here to go to the main ticket ordering page. (You can also get here from the main site.) Once inside the ticket ordering page:

1. Under “For Future Schedules or to Purchase Tickets for a Future Date,” click GO.

2. Select January 2010 from the Display Month drop-down box.

3. Click on the 28th in the calendar.

4. Click the show time to purchase your tickets.

Tickets are only $15.00.

Have fun if you go, and tell us all about it! (But please don’t send me any spoilers! I don’t even want to know the songs that appear in the film. I want everything to be a surprise when I see it in the theater. Thanks!)