The thing that really got me grief-stricken today was finding out (very belatedly) that Runaways co-founder and drummer Sandy West had died in December, '06 after battling lung cancer for some time. Sandy West had her own band in the early 80s but hadn't played much since then, that I know of. She always came across as a genuine, charismatic, rock & roll soul--the real deal. Besides her amazing hard-hitting talent, she just seemed like a really great person.
There's a nice tribute to Sandy on YouTube--a video edit of The Sandy West band playing my four-year-old's new favorite song, "Wild Thing" in 1983. We air-drummed to it about ten times today. The Runaways site also has a tribute. Do I feel stupid for not knowing about this important passing in female rock drumming history? Yes, but thanks to the Internet, I'm now better informed. I know once Sandy's settled, she'll be rocking the afterlife.
And here's the Runaways doing "Wild Thng." It's still so unusual to see an all-female rock band that I can't help staring like they're a freak show. Even though it's been 30 years people!
With their exuberant crack-whore personas, the Runaways still have the power to disturb. Check out the raw sexuality of "Cherry Bomb." Waa-aa-ay before their time.