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November 12, 2010

I Wanna be Where the Boys Are... and kick butt!


I've been meaning to publish this post for quite a while. Really, right after I saw the movie about the Runaways. But for one reason or another, I kept delaying it.
Maybe because, I felt... jealous. How do I explain this?

Well, I was listening to the Runaways when I was a kid.. when they were playing live. I didn't know how cool or interesting they were... I just knew I loved their songs. I gleefully watched Suzi Quatro on Happy Days when she played Leather Tuscadero. Leather was the younger sister of Fonzie's girlfriend, hot-rod driver Pinky Tuscadero. I just thought she was the coolest. Laying there on my stomach, with my chin resting in my hands, elbows propping me up. I absorbed her swagger, her clothes, her attitude. Little did I know, that Quatro was vital to Joan's career, and Joan adopted many of Suzi's qualities including her shag haircut and style. But I recognized that they had the same style. Not knowing that who influenced who. Or for that matter, that they even knew each other.

But I eventually learned. Those were the days, when I listened to music but didn't bother with the details. I was a child after all. I never saw them play, only listened to them on a record. I was a tomboy who liked skirts, and I loved to play with the boys. I wanted to be as cool and tough as them too. I used to even put on my brother's little league baseball uniform, and pretend to be a boy.

When I saw The Bad News Bear in the movie theatre, I identified with Tatum O'Neil. A tomboy with a dress. And then I'd listen to the Runaways, and rock out, and think, girls are just as good as boys!

And then there is a memory of Cherie and her sister, Marie Currie. When I was 16, my very first boyfriend had their album, and showed it to me. And I looked at it, and recognized Cherie. There was one of my heroes. But my sick boyfriend just liked her because she looked like jailbait. And I didn't realize... I didn't think.. that was all a part of her look. And that was the whole way Kim Fowley tried to sell them... his vision of a band that isn’t about "women's lib, but women's libido". But these weren't women... they were girls.



So jealous.... why was I jealous. Because I felt (and don't you sometimes), like they were mine. They were my special band. And then here they are...



...depicted so perfectly, in perfect likeness by these adorable actresses. I guess I just wish, I could play that game too. And be young again, and pick up a guitar and rock out, instead of just being the betty on the beach.  It never occured to me, to pick up a guitar.

But it's never too late. I finally did 4 years ago. And I loved it. I played where the boys go... and I went beyond.


Here are the originals: The Runaways























Uncanny...






Kristen Stewart (on left) & Joan Jett



and Dakota Fanning, in the famous corset





Originally worn by Cherie.  It looks like the same one.







Last word.  I found an amazing critique on the movie over on the blog Cellar Door, which you can read yourself if interested.  But I love her quote:
While “The Runaways” doesn’t succeed in everything it tries, I still wish that all those crazy 14 to 19 year olds who are convinced that there is nothing more romantic and relevant for a girl to do is swoon over two guys and suffer from unfulfilled desire until she’s married would see this, and have an epiphany that changes their lives profoundly. This is a movie about girls trying to (partly unsuccessfully) break out of the boundaries of gender stereotypes, and OF COURSE IT’S A PERIOD PIECE. 
She is right about that.  There is no rush to get married.  There is a lifetime ahead of you. I did not get married until I was 32, and then didn't have kids till I was 35.   This way there would be no regrets about what I did before life became more about responsibility and others, and instead, you could be just a little selfish.  That is the luxury and privilege of being young.  You can be selfish, if there is no one to feed, but yourself.




1 comment:

sherri said...

so jealous you saw the runaways. i have such love for ms. jett and all those ladies. I had the same suzie quattro/leather tuscadero, joan jett, tatum, jodie foster admiration soceity myself. still do.