In chapter 14 of Queens of Noise, I write about how it must have felt for the Runaways to hold their own album in their hands for the first time. I finally got my own taste of that visceral validation this week, when I received a hardcover copy of Queens. Since my publisher decided to skip the galleys stage (!?), this was the first time I’d held the book in a bound form. It’s heavier than I expected — it is 360 pages long, after all. I hope the heft makes up for the brazenness of the cover — that they balance each other: Hey, it’s only rock’n’roll, but it’s history too. After almost four years of working on this book, it’s hard to believe it’s real. Cracking it open to random pages, I want to change every word.
But so far, readers are saying elsewise. Fans, some of whom got the book before I did after pre-ordering it on Amazon (I am in Paris; that didn’t make shipment to me easier), have been writing great things on Amazon, in chat rooms, to my Facebook. So far, even the people in the book — the toughest audience — like it. That’s intensely satisfying.
I hope Joan, Sandy, Lita, Cherie, and Jackie got to feel some of that same sense of accomplishment when The Runaways was released. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Those girls took a lot of shit for sticking their necks out. In a sense, Queens is about what we can all learn from the risks they took. “Where you stumble, there lies your treasure,” says Joseph Campbell. If Queens succeeds, it’s because of the richness of its subject.