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The Runaways Remember Being Treated Badly by Rush

The Runaways
Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

Being an opening act is rarely fun for an up-and-coming band. Bruce Springsteen‘s experiences opening up for Chicago and Black Oak Arkansas in the early days of his career is why he’s never toured with a support act.

But even fan indifference is nothing compared to the abuse the Runaways apparently suffered at the hands of Rush. In a new interview, legendary L.A. scenester Kim Fowley, who managed the Runaways, recalled a particularly bad night that took place at Detroit’s Cobo Hall in 1977.

“If you watch the Runaways movie there is an incident in which the girls rebel against an older bunch of guys they are on the bill with,” he told Legendary Rock Interviews. “That was Rush and that actually happened, terribly to them.  I never went on the road with them but was told about the incident.”

Singer Cherie Currie was more specific a few years ago. “They were sabotaging our equipment, throwing papers on the stage and I jumped off Sandy [West]‘s drum riser in six inch platform boots and hit a piece of that paper and slid almost into the orchestra pit which would have been a drop from the ceiling down into wrought iron. I turned and saw them and they were laughing and laughing and pointing — I really could have broken my neck or worse. We were putting up with that every day.”

Still, Fowley looks at that night as an example of why the Runaways were as special as they were.

“There was no American band dealing with staple American teenage issues such as troubles with authority or family or school or looking for a way out or escape from their teenage alienation,” he continued. “The Runaways showed up with all of that and there was nobody else doing it at that particular time.  For that small amount of time the Runaways were on to something and filling a void and we were able to be signed to Mercury Records in a relatively short window of time.”

Next: Rush Ponder the Death of the Album

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