About Queens


In 1975, five teenagers from far-flung corners of suburban Los Angeles banded together to make some noise. The Runaways were the first all-girl hard-rock group to sign a multiyear, major-label record deal and tour the world. They caused riots in Europe and set off a sort of Beatlemania in Japan, and their signature song “Cherry Bomb” was an instant classic.

But along the way they also ran into walls of institutionalized sexism in the music busi- ness and were attacked, sometimes viciously, by audience members, music journalists of both genders, and fellow musicians. At a time when doors seemed to be opening for women in sports, politics, and education, the so-called Queens of Noise fought to be heard on their own terms—as artists expressing teenage de- sire and frustrations, guitars and drumsticks in hand.

The story of the Runaways has inspired two movies and countless bands but has never been told in its entirety. Queens of Noise draws on interviews with most of the former mem- bers, including Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Cherie Currie, Jackie Fox, and Vicki Blue, along with their col- orful and controversial manager Kim Fowley, producers, family members, fellow musicians, and journalists.

Beyond the lurid, voyeuristic appeal of a sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll saga, author and journalist Evelyn McDonnell has written both a vivid evocation of the rock world of the ’70s Sunset Strip and a definitive biography of a legendary band that grants the Runaways their place in musical, feminist, and cultural history.

Queens of Noise PR

6 responses to “About Queens

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  2. The best Runaways book out there.


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  5. I will have to take the time to read your book some time. I decided to write my own blog piece on the band a couple of years ago to promote their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I met Vicki when I worked at West LA Music with her best high school friend, Bill Black back in 1990 (?) I was into the band right from the beginning [I even paid the big money to get the live in japan on japanese vinyl at Tower Records when it came out] just because it was raw rock and roll and they seemed like girls right out of my high school in Fresno.Jjackie used to write some great stories about the band on her website and I was on her email group for some time back in the day. Shared some jokes and she wrote a really positive email back to me after I was started going through a difficult time back in 2004 which I will never forget. i wish them well and still feel they will get the recognition they deserve.


    • Thanks for your comments Brad; sorry it took me so long to approve — I was off the grid for a while. It’s great to hear positive stories like yours about the band; Jackie has a history of being very kind to fans. I hope you enjoy the book!


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