The Runaway Runaways, Ep. 1: I Wanna Be Where the Boys Are

Micki Steele, Sandy West, and Joan Jett in the original Runaways lineup

Micki Steele, Sandy West, and Joan Jett in the original Runaways lineup

The Runaways were the first all-female hard rock band to achieve mainstream success, but they had a famously abusive manager. How did this affect the band’s development, and where did women who refused to work with the Runaways’ manager… end up? In this first episode, we’ll start exploring these questions. You’ll also meet Kari Krome, Joan Jett, Sandy West, and Micki Steele — and get a taste for how their rock ambitions helped pave the way for Los Angeles punk.

Kari Krome

Kari Krome


This season of Bad Reputation would not be possible without the work of journalist Evelyn McDonnell and her book Queens of Noise. If you are looking to learn more about the Runaways, this is a must.

Other sources for this episode include:

Neon Angel by Cherie Currie

Living Like a Runaway by Lita Ford

We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk by Marc Spitz and Brendan Mullen

Mayor of the Sunset Strip (documentary) [ Amazon Prime ]

Edgeplay: A Film About the Runaways (documentary)

I also relied on a variety of articles, some of which I accessed through paid databases. Here are a few of the publicly available ones:

"Rodney's Remembered" by Kari Krome

"Have You Ever Been a Teen?" by Lena Lecaro

"Kim Fowley: The Original Mayor of the Sunset Strip" by Kim Fowley

Sandy West, Joan Jett, and Micki Steele

Sandy West, Joan Jett, and Micki Steele

I read, watched, and conducted as many interviews as possible to make this podcast. Only a fraction of the interviews I find or conduct appear in episodes, but all voice-acted parts are dramatizations of real quotes or interactions described in written interviews.

If you have a question about where a specific piece of information came from or would like to provide a source for correcting something, please reach out!


Culture doesn't exist in a vacuum, and my voice actors are the people whose ideas, influence, and encouragement shape my work. If you like this podcast, you will probably like many of their projects, too.

Scott Plant (Kim Fowley) plays in the band Droids Blood.

Cat DeBacker (Cherie and Marie Currie) is a culture writer.

Hayley Jane Blackstone (Kari Krome) is in the band Red Delicious.

Josh Watkins (Phast Phreddie Patterson) is a writer.

Johnna Jackson (Joan Jett) is a writer and organizer.

J.R. Nelson (Ritchie Yorke) is a music critic.

Eli Harvey (Sandy West) is a writer and comedian.

Kat Buckley (Lita Ford) is an art historian and curator.

Educator, artist, and publisher Dushko Petrovich was a developmental editor for this episode.

Bad Reputation's logo photo is by photographer Martin Sorrondeguy aka Martin Crudo.



All music that appeared in this episode is from a royalty-free music library or the creative commons, with the exception of the outro, which is “Wavelengths” by Death Valley. (Seriously, pre-order their upcoming record. You won’t regret it.) I also used excerpts from Almost Famous and The Runaways.

If you’d like to hear licensed music in future episodes — me too! I’d also like time to research much rarer history. You can become a Patreon to help me work towards both goals here, but you’re always welcome to make a one-time Venmo donation to @MiccoSlays, too.

Apart from money, the biggest thing you can do to support the show is to tell anyone you can. Every listener helps, and I truly appreciate it.