But last night I saw The Runaways. And it was equally heavy for me in certain ways. My heart hurt at the end, for sure. My instinct was to fix it. Just get back in the booth, Cherie! Don't fuck this up for us! I mean for you guys. See? It hit a nerve for me.
Cathy and I were born dreaming of starting an all female rock band. And when we got into Jr. High, our music teacher fueled it for us. Mr. Campbell (he played keyboards on our 'From the Ground Up' CD), had a drum set and an electric guitar with an amp set up in his class room. So Cathy and I would hang in his room after school and play I Love Rock n' Roll. We made one of our girlfriend's sing, and another one play bass. And we talked Mr. Campbell into letting us use his instruments to play the Jr. High School talent show.
It never once occurred to me to have a guy in our band. It's not that I didn't like guy bands (hello, VAN HALEN). I just knew there were all girl bands, like The Runaways & The Go Gos. That's the type of band I wanted to be in. Those girls had no idea they were paving the way for me and my sister and countless other girls who went on to start bands or pick up instruments. They were just doing what they loved. And subsequently, I was just doing what I loved.
In 1998, our lead singer, Peppy, told us she was leaving the band. My heart sank. I had no idea what we were going to do. But we were working with a producer who swore we could figure it out. A producer, who, incidentally, did not throw dog crap at us while we rehearsed, thank you very much.
She told us we'd find the right girl who could sing the songs. I was skeptical. And it took a few tries. But we did figure it out. And I learned the most important life lesson ever. If you're chasing your dream, toss out the road map. Because there is no page in that Rand McNally Atlas that's going to help you figure it out. Seriously.
I grew up with a Joan Jett poster on my wall. It hung there because I thought she rocked. And I wanted to be just like her. I was too young to get all the other stuff. But when Cherie Currie walked out on The Runaways, Joan Jett didn't give up her dream. She just reinvented it. And because she did, I knew I could...And I'll do it again. (Joan Jett - Love is Pain)