Throwback Thursday — Cherry Bomb | The Runaways (1976)


Daman Nallamothu

Los Angeles band, The Runaways, was 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.” When the band refused to play the song, Jett and Fowley wrote the chorus of “Cherry Bomb” on the spot. The Runaways came out with their self-titled debut album in 1976, with “Cherry Bomb” as one of the singles. They’re praised as being one of the first all-female bands in rock music. The group didn’t gain as much traction in the U.S., though they found fame in Japan. Not many can say they packed so many venues at the ages of only 16 and 17.

“Cherry Bomb” opens with a gritty repeated note on the electric guitar along with a crisp drum beat. After a sultry breath, Cherie starts with the classic punk lyrics: “Can’t stay at home, can’t stay at school/Old folks say ‘You poor little fool’/Down the streets, I’m the girl next door/I’m the fox you’ve been waiting for!” The song detonates into a shouted chorus, begging you to turn up the volume knob just a touch more. Later in the song, Ford performs a nasty guitar solo followed by a key change. With one more head-banging verse and chorus, the song eventually ends with an echoed “Cherry bomb!” Bring out your inner rebellious ‘70s teen and give it a listen.