Runaways – American Nights

I’ve always liked the Runaways. They were punk, rock, and some pop thrown in together. Their best known song is Cherry Bomb and it has gained popularity in the last decade because of the 2010 movie about them and the song  included on the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. 

This song was written by Mark Anthony and Kim Fowley. It was on their self-titled debut album released in 1976.

The Runaways were formed in 1975 by producer Kim Fowley after guitarist Joan Jett and drummer Sandy West introduced themselves to him in hopes of starting a group. They eventually went on to recruit Lita Ford, Jackie Fox, and Cherie Currie. Lead singer, Currie, went into her audition with a rendition of Peggy Lee’s “Fever.” 

Robert Plant played a joke on them and told them it was fun to collect (steal) hotel keys in England. The keys were big and ornate, and somewhat valuable, so when the band tried to enter France, they were detained by Customs. They had to cancel their show.

Joan Jett on her one arrest: “It was in England, on the first Runaways tour, about to catch the ferry to France. I blame Robert Plant, because we once asked him what souvenirs we should get on the road; he said he took hotel room keys. In England, the keys were big, ornate, metal things. I had four. At customs, the guy said, ‘Hmm, sticky fingers, you’re under arrest’, and put me in a jail cell.”

Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin backstage with The Runaways at their show in  Los Angeles, CA, 1975 photo by Barry Schultz: ledzeppelin

American NIghts

Clean rock n roll
Makes the midnight flow tonight now
It’s hot tonight
Come on let’s have a good time
In the dark of the night
We hunt for fun
Chasing after the moonlight
Hiding from the sun

American nights
You kids are so strange
American nights
You’re never gonna change

Our magic is young
Cause we just begun
We light up the sky
Always on the run
We live in the streets
In the alleys of screams
Cause we’re the queens of noise
The answer to your dreams

American nights
You kids are so strange
American nights
You’re never gonna change

Hey boy you’re my good time
Dance close ya feel so fine
Hold tight we’re on fire
All night you’re my desire

Everybody
Wanna party
Everybody
Wanna party

American nights
You kids are so strange
American nights
You’re never gonna change

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

17 thoughts on “Runaways – American Nights”

  1. Love them! One of my favorite bands from WAY before Guardians of the Galaxy. They embody everything I love about rock n roll. The youthful exuberance. The rebellion. The way they throw caution to the wind and just go for it. Their embrace of the raunchiness of punk, but they still give a damn about the melody and the musicianship. Fantastic band.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They have likable melodies with that punk…it was a great mixture. If they could have stayed together a few more years I believe they would have seen success.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha! Another band saw at Apollo, Glasgow. 1977, I’m sure, and I remember the hall being only about half full. Certainly not a sell out. Great gig, though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The Bangles breaking through wasn’t that surprising I guess – they had a pretty radio-friendly sound. The Go-Gos feel like a bit of a fluke in some ways – they’re great, but just don’t seem like #1 album material.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The timing I guess was perfect for the Go Go’s. 5 years earlier or later they probably wouldn’t make it…but yea I like them also.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. 1981 seems like a slightly barren year for classic albums too – lots of the big new wave bands just didn’t make an album that year like Talking Heads and The Jam. Rickie Lee Jones’ Pirates is great though.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I haven’t heard Jones in a long time. I remember singles in that year much more than albums…I believe without looking it up…Bette Davis Eyes…that song is when I knew things were changing…the electric drums in the song…I’m sure they were used a lot before…I just didn’t notice until that one.

        Like

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