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I'm the co-host of THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl (Sunday nights, 9 to Midnight Eastern, www.westcottradio.org).  As a freelance writer, I contributed to Goldmine magazine from 1986-2006, wrote liner notes for Rhino Records' compilation CD Poptopia!  Power Pop Classics Of The '90s, and for releases by The Flashcubes, The Finkers, Screen Test, 1.4.5., and Jack "Penetrator" Lipton.  I contributed to the books Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth, Shake Some Action, Lost In The Grooves, and MusicHound Rock, and to DISCoveries, Amazing Heroes, The Comics Buyer's Guide, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Comics Collector, The Buffalo News, and The Syracuse New Times.  I also wrote the liner notes for the four THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO compilation CDs, because, well, who could stop me?  My standing offer to write liner notes for a Bay City Rollers compilation has remained criminally ignored.  Still intend to write and sell a Batman story someday.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio: THE RUNAWAYS

Since The Runaways' debut album recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, let's set the Wabac Machine to April 10, 2010, when This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl featured the music of that very band.  And now...THE RUNAWAYS!


Hello again from This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl, your self-appointed source for The Best Three Hours Of Radio On the Whole Friggin' Planet.  This week's bop-a-thon cast its dim widdle spotlight on the music of The Runaways.  Sure, Hollywood's finally catching up to the magic of The Runaways (even if radio never will), but I've been a fan since I first saw the group's debut LP on the racks of Record Revolution in Cleveland Heights back in 1976.  Mind you, I didn't actually hear their music until almost a year later, but the very idea of good-looking girls my age playing loud rock 'n' roll thrilled my then-teenaged heart; when I finally did get to hear 'em, I wasn't disappointed.  "Cherry Bomb" became part of the soundtrack of my freshman year in college in the fall of '77, the year I discovered The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Blondie, Television, The Damned, The Rubinoos, Eddie and the Hot Rods, The Jam, and, by Spring '78, The Flashcubes, Elvis Costello, The Rich Kids, The Romantics, The Flamin' Groovies, etc., etc., etc.  These sounds mixed with my already-flourishing affection for The Beatles, The Kinks, KISS, The Monkees, The Raspberries, The Sweet, The Beau Brummels, and The Dave Clark Five, and with the inspiration I drew from the pages of Bomp! and Phonograph Record Magazine, to create the manic, fist-in-the-air, fuel-injected JOY of the delighted, giddy rockin' pop fan I became and remain today.

What do The Runaways have to do with all of this?  Well, okay, they were just one of the many bands I adored, but man, adore 'em I did.  Sex appeal was certainly a large part of it--I was a teenaged boy, and they were really, really cute--but if that were the whole story I'd have become a fan of, I dunno, Donna Summer, or Heart.  But I loved The Runaways' records, especially "Cherry Bomb" and "School Days," and I listened to them obsessively, as I've always done with the music I love.  I annoyed my girlfriend by constantly singing both "Cherry Bomb" and The Ramones' "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" as we walked together on campus.  I bought the group's second and third albums in '78, and my friend Tom had their Japanese import live LP, which I still think is their best album.  (I snagged my own copy of that album by year's end, purchased at a record store in Battlefield Mall in Springfield, Missouri--the lengths I would go to track down my fave tunes!)  I even got to see The Runaways live over Easter break in '78; lead singer Cherie Currie and bassist Jackie Fox had already left the group by then, but it nonetheless remains one of my most cherished concert memories.  The fact that The Runaways appeared on the bill with both The Flashcubes and The Ramones--for FOUR BUCKS!!--just makes that night loom even larger in my recollections.  I haven't yet seen Hollywood's version of their story; but in my version, they were and will always be indeed the Queens of Noise.

(And, in a particularly swoon-worthy bit of serendipity, Cherie Currie friended me on Facebook during this week's live webcast.  Man, if my 17-year-old self could see me now....)

We also bid farewell to the late Malcolm McLaren (via spins of my all-time # 1 tracks from his former clients, The Sex Pistols and Bow Wow Wow), honored requests for The Bay City Rollers, The Orion Experience, and Blondie, shilled on behalf of The Paul Collins Beat's upcoming NYC appearance (a BEAT ARMY power pop show at Kenny's Castaway's on Thursday, April 29th, with special guests including TIRnRR fave rave Dave Rave), observed National "Louie, Louie" Day (via The Sonics' ace version) and filled in with more from Marykate O'Neil, The Searchers, The Beach Boys, The White Stripes, Solomon Burke, Major Lance, The Ramones, Eddie Cochran, Paul Revere & the Raiders, The Knickerbockers, The Undertones, The Hollies, Peter & the Test Tube Babies, Big Star, The Dead Boys, Wild Bores, The Pandoras, The Raincoats, The Jam, The Lyres, The Lyres, Todd Rundgren, and The Monkees.  And THE RUNAWAYS! 

TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS go to Syracuse Community Radio, 826 Euclid Avenue, Syracuse, NY  13210.  Please let us know if you need to be deleted from our weekly greetings.  And this is what rock 'n' roll radio sounded like on a Runaway Sunday night in Syracuse this week.  Hello Daddy, hello Mom....

# 527:  4/11/10

THE RAMONES:  "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?" (Rhino, End Of The Century)
THE RUNAWAYS:  "Queens Of Noise" (Hip-O Select, The Mercury Albums Anthology)
SUGAR:  "Gee Angel" (Rykodisc, File Under:  Easy Listening)
MARYKATE O'NEIL:  "I'm Ready For My Luck To Turn Around" (www.marykateoneil.com, 1-800-Bankrupt)
THE SEARCHERS:  "September Gurls" (Raven, The Sire Sessions 1979-80)
THE BAY CITY ROLLERS:  "Yesterday's Hero" (Arista, The Definitive Collection)
THE BEACH BOYS:  "Sloop John B" (Capitol, Pet Sounds)
BOW WOW WOW:  "C30, C60, C90, Go" (RCA, The Best Of Bow Wow Wow)
X-RAY SPEX:  "Identity" (Sanctuary, Germfree Adolescents)
THE RUNAWAYS:  "Rock And Roll [live]"
(Hip-O Select, The Mercury Albums Anthology)
THE WHITE STRIPES:  "We're Going To Be Friends" (V2, White Blood Cells)
SOLOMON BURKE:  "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love" (Rhino, The Very Best Of Solomon Burke)
MAJOR LANCE:  "The Monkey Time" (Sony, VA:  The Monkey Time And Other R & B Hits)
(Hip-O Select, The Mercury Albums Anthology)
THE RAMONES:  "Rockaway Beach" (Rhino, Rocket To Russia)
THE ORION EXPERIENCE:  "Sugar" (Sweet!, Heartbreaker)
THE SONICS:  "Louie, Louie" (Norton, Boom)
EDDIE COCHRAN:  "C'mon Everbody" (Razor & Tie, Somethin' Else)
PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS:  "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone" (Sundazed, Midnight Ride)
THE KNICKERBOCKERS:  "They Ran For Their Lives" (Big Beat, A Rave Up With The Knickerbockers)
TOMMY BOYCE & BOBBY HART:  "Words [demo]" (Rhino, VA:  Where The Action Is!)
THE RUNAWAYS:  "American Nights"
(Hip-O Select, The Mercury Albums Anthology)
THE UNDERTONES:  "Teenage Kicks" (Rykodisc, The Undertones)
THE HOLLIES:  "Hey What's Wrong With Me" (EMI, 30th Anniversary Collection)
THE WHO:  "The Kids Are Alright" (MCA, Who's Better, Who's Best)
THE RUNAWAYS:  "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" (Anagram, And Now...)
PETER & THE TEST TUBE BABIES:  "Spirit Of Keith Moon" (Cleopatra, VA:  Punk Archives)
THE VERTEBRATS:  "Left In The Dark" (Parasol, A Thousand Day Dream)
MENACE:  "The Young Ones" (Cleopatra, VA:  Punk Archives)
THE DARLING BUDS: "Let's Go Round There" (Columbia, Pop Said...)
BIG STAR:  "Feel" (Ardent, # 1 Record/Radio City)
THE SEX PISTOLS:  "God Save The Queen" (Virgin, Kiss This)
THE DEAD BOYS:  "Sonic Reducer [original mix]" (Ocho, VA:  CBGB's & The Birth Of US Punk)
THE RUNAWAYS:  "I Wanna Be Where The Boys Are [live]"
(Hip-O Select, The Mercury Albums Anthology)
THE WAITRESSES:  "I Know What Boys Like" (Polygram, The Best Of The Waitresses)
THE HOLLIES:  "What's Wong With The Way I Live" (EMI, For Certain Because...)
WILD BORES:  "In Front Of Me" (www.wildbores.com, We Think Alike)
THE PAUL COLLINS BEAT:  "Falling In Love With Her" (Phantom Sound & Vision, Ribbon Of Gold)
THE JUNE:  "Big Black Mouth" (Rainbow Quartz, Magic Circles)
THE RUNAWAYS:  "C'mon" (Mercury, The Best Of The Runaways)
THE PANDORAS:  "Hot Generation" (ROIR, VA:  Garage Sale)
THE REVILLOS:  "Mindbending Cutie Doll" (Superville, Attack!)
THE RAINCOATS:  "Fairytale In The Supermarket" (Rhino, VA:  Left Of The Dial)
THE RUNAWAYS:  "School Days"
(Hip-O Select, The Mercury Albums Anthology)
THE JAM:  "Going Underground" (Polydor, Direction Reaction Creation)
THE LYRES [with STIV BATORS]:  "Here's A Heart" (Matador, A Promise Is A Promise)
BLONDIE:  "Sunday Girl" (Chrysalis, The Platinum Collection)
THE HOLLIES:  "Rain On The Window" (Sundazed, Evolution)
TODD RUNDGREN:  "Hello It's Me" (Rhino, Something/Anything?)
THE RUNAWAYS:  "Neon Angels On The Road To Ruin"
(Hip-O Select, The Mercury Albums Anthology)
THE LABRETS:  "High Then Low" (www.TheLabrets.com, Format)
THE RUNAWAYS:  "All Right You Guys [live]"
(Hip-O Select, The Mercury Albums Anthology)
THE MONKEES:  "Sometime In The Morning" (Rhino, More Of The Monkees)
THE RUNAWAYS:  "Cherry Bomb"
(Hip-O Select, The Mercury Albums Anthology)
THE BEACH BOYS:  "Darlin'" (Capitol, Good Vibrations)
THE RAPIERS:  "The Phantom Widow" (Ace, 1961)