There's something of a debate that still exists when in comes to The Runaways. Did the all-girl band of the late 70's give girls something to aspire to or were they simply objectified by males?
McDonnell will participate in a Q&A session with audience members and a book signing at the Rock Hall’s Library and Archives Building (2809 Woodland Avenue, Cleveland) on Saturday, January 25th at 1pm. Reservations can be made through the Rock Hall website or at the Rock Hall Box Office.
This is McDonnell's fifth book. The former pop critic for the Miami Herald now teaches journalism at Loyola Marymount University in California.
The Rock Hall cites McDonnell as "giving the Runaways the chance to own its place in musical, feminist and cultural history" and "ducks below mud-slinging and digs deeper…" McDonnell interviews all of the surviving band members including their controversial former manager Kim Fowley as well as family members and many others in the music business who had ties to the band.
Clearly, The Runaways had talent and were appreciated. Guitarists/Vocalists Joan Jett and Lita Ford both went on to have successful solo careers spanning across the 80's and beyond. (Jett, in fact, has twice been nominated for the Rock Hall of Fame. note: The Runaways have never been considered for nomination to the Hall since their eligibility began in 2001)
And the fashion sense (or lack of?) of lead singer Cherie Currie certainly paved the way for Madonna, Spice Girls, Katy Perry and others.
When it came to the actual music, The Runaways were no nonsense rock and roll, punk attitude yet pop sensibility.
You can read a review of Queens of Noise: The Real Story of the Runaways by fellow Examiner Pete Roche here.