Rockbrat Wonders: Where all the Runaways fans were in the 80’s and 90’s ?

Y’know it would be easy for Mr Rockbrat to look upon the media hype surrounding The Runaways film with a cynical eye. I mean – being a fan of the band in the 80’s and 90’s was indeed a lonely undertaking. And so it was with some skepticism that I picked up the free magazine titled ‘mag’ from the local JB Hi-Fi store. Great name for a music publication by the way – very ingenious. For those outside Australia – these superstores are the nearest we have to a record store in 2010 – where DVD’s and CD’s sit comfortably next to big screen TVs, Set Top Boxes, Lap Tops, iPads and other assorted electronic crap. Often you can see spotty-faced teenagers in these stores – wailing away on the Guitar Hero – pulling faces like Rickey Medlocke – as they run their fingers down the plastic fretboard and tap their heads to long-lost rock tunes they’ve never heard of. It always makes Mr Rockbrat smile. “Go and buy a freaking guitar and amp set, a chord book and try the real thing you fools. Anyway where was I ? Oh yeah, so this chain store produces this self promoting publication and the November edition features Joan Jett…err Kristen Stewart on the cover. “ORIGINAL RIOT GRRRLS SMASH THE SCREEN!” screams the headline. I doubt whoever wrote that would be able to separate Bikini Kill from the Voodoo Queens or indeed Bratmobile from the Brood, the Pandoras from Phantom Blue etc. But whatever – it’s one cool term ”Riot Grrrl’ so we’ll use that. There were in fact all-girl outfits before Currie, Jett, Ford and Co….for example the excellent Birtha, the GTO’s, the Liverbirds, the Millington sisters in Fanny to name but a few (you are encouraged to go and explore Birtha cos they could play and wrote some great rock tunage). Again, whatever – oh and the Rockbrat didn’t use Wikipedia to research those names…he used his freaking brain kids ! Personally I thought the film was good, but not something I’d watch too many times. Maybe because I knew the storyline and band history so well. I gotta tell ya it was kinda cool collecting Runaways merch in the 80’s and early 90’s as nobody else seemed to be doing it ! I amassed quite a collection of shirts, magazines, records and the like. But that’s by the by. The article is pushing the DVD release of this film and features comments from Kat Spazzy from the very limited Spazzys (why are they still around ?) who offers no real insight into the band, and another comment from Magic Dirt’s Adalita. Man the press love Adalita. Magic Dirt had a charmed run for years and always seemed to be permanent Big Day Out fixtures ! Not that I’m complaining  – as I quite like some of their early work – I just got tired of seeing their name constantly listed on the Festivals over the years. In the article Adalita claims she ‘didn’t know a lot about the band until recently’ ? Huh ?!  I kinda find that hard to believe though I ain’t at all surprised.  Before the internet there were only fan clubs like ‘Blackmail News’ or Jett fan clubs to give you the scoop. At least she’s finally caught on. Like the rest of the world it would seem. It’s good to see you can buy a Runaways ‘Best Of’ CD for like ten bucks nowadays ! Gone are the distant days of walking into Melbourne’s Au Go Go Records and seeing a vinyl copy of “live In Japan’ for a whopping price tag of around $350 ! Sound the shark alarm kids !! Back then it was big money and I wonder if some poor sod ever handed over the cash. But that was then and this is now.  Anyone else out there digging the Runaways movie ?

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