January 20, 1998 - by Tracy Sirotti
How and when did you become a member of The Runaways?
I joined the band just after they came back from Japan. Jackie had quit in Japan and upon their return, I auditioned and got the gig. I think it was in July/77.
Did you have other band experiences before joining the Runaways?
Yeah... I was in a couple of bands but as a rhythm guitar player.
What are the positive things concerning the band that you want to remember?
It was a wonderful experience for the most part. Very magical for a young mind. And besides, what 17 year old doesn't entertain fantasies of being an actor or musician?
And the negative things?
Having to share top space with under developed mental capacities.
What Runaways member were you closest to musically?
The best way I can answer that is to tell you that I loved Joan's rhythm guitar. To this day, I can still listen to it for hours. And of course, playing with Sandy, who I consider one of the best drummers ever.
When and why did you leave the band?
Ahhh... You must want to know about the infamous 'medical condition (not drugs)' that I was suffering from. There wasn't one. That never existed except in the mind of our then manager/publicist Toby. The band was growing apart musically (Joan-very into punk / Sandy & Lita were leaning towards heavy metal and I was just sick of the whole thing) and was being influenced by a lot of outside forces. I left the band because it wasn't fun anymore. I left in the midst of the recording of the AND NOW... album.
We know you lived in England for some time, when exactly? Tell us something about your musical experiences, what you expected there it happened etc.
(1984?) Cherie and I had put a band together and I had started to go out with Tommy Lee from Motley Crue, who was sitting in with us because we didn't have a drummer yet. Anyway, one thing lead to another and the band didn't work out. At this same time, Girlschool was playing in town (L.A.) and Kelly Johnson and I decided to take an 8mm camera out and make a movie of that night. We ended up on the beach in Malibu talking until dawn about LA vs London and the film we had just shot. A couple of days later her manager called me and I met him in NY to talk about a publishing deal scenario. About a month later I moved to London.
I wrote and recorded a lot of songs, sang back-up on Girlschool's 'Play- Dirty' album. Rode horses. And rode horses. And rode horses.
After I moved back from England, I transitioned into the film industry and directing, which was perfect timing with the advent of music video's and MTV. My family has always been in television and film so it was a natural progression.
You have done a solo album after The Runaways...
I guess it's a constant source of mystery to a lot of people. Here's the never-before-told-story:
The band broke up under not so pleasent circumstances. First, I left and I was really pissed off at the rest of the band. I was replaced by this girl named Laurie who lived a few doors away from me. When this girl Laurie joined the band, she left her boyfriend, B***. So B*** and I got formed an alliance out of anger and started writing together. We wrote tons of really great material. I was approached by several record companies as to what my plans were after the band and we decided to record an album together. I leased the old John Barrymore Estate up in Hollywood Hills and we had a mobile recording unit truck thing drive up and recorded most of the album in my house and then vocals in Stevie Nicks house after she moved all of her furniture out (she was moving).
It was a really great album. Then B*** and I had a falling out over something... Can't even remember what it was and he stole the masters. So one day I'm laying on the beach listening to the radio and I hear a song that sounds so familiar... but I can't quite place it. My cousin recognized it as one of the songs B*** and I wrote but the singer was him and he had changed the lyrics... Leaving my backing vocals on it... Long story short, it turned out he had released the album sans my lead vocals on the C******** label as a band called THE R********. I went crazy and called my attorney who scared B*** and C********. The record was pulled and B*** is selling Volkswagons somewhere in Seattle. And I got a rather substancial cash settlement. That, my friendis the story of the Vicki Blue solo album. Told to you for the first time ever.
(please sorry for not showing the real names)
How would you see a Runaways reunion? Tell us everything about it.
There has been discussion about a reunion. At this point, it is still a lot of talk. Sometimes Sandy and I get together at her rehearsals and it's a blast. Actually, a hell of a lot more fun than the Runaways ever were. (laughing)
Personally, I would love to do it as long as it fit into my production schedule AND as long as it's fun. Otherwise, the way I look at it is that it was an amazing time that happened almost 20 years ago and I have a much different and far more lucrative career now.
The Runaways had 4 bassists (as far as I know), but you and Jackie were the most important ones. So what will it happen if you reform the band, about the line-up etc, will you both stay in the band?
Good question... I have no idea. Jackie and I will probably end up fighting over who will have the film & television rights to produce the ensuing docu-drama and Cherie (if she is clever enough) could take advantage of the moment by trying to slip her bass player boy-friend in to fill the spot...
Do you know all the ex members? Do you meet them sometimes?
Sandy and I are very close and talk everyday on the phone. Cherie and I have always been in touch with each other and usually end up living in the same Hollywood Hills neighborhood. Although I haven't seen her in a few years, Lita and I went through a car phase where we would see each other at lot while driving... Like I would pull up to a traffic light and look over and there would be Lita in the car next to me.. And Joan, I haven't seen since she moved.
So, what are the new plans for the Runaways? New records, TV specials, new songs? Please tell us everything!
I would assume if there is a reunion, there would be another album plus a couple of shows. It's still too early to say. A television special? Hmmm, since that is what I now do for a living, you never know. J
Please let me say something. Don't you think that all these Runaways fans on net, web pages etc, and in the world have influenced you to make something again? If not, what's the reason of this?
It has always blown my mind that we had the success we did and that we have remained in the forefront in the press and to this day have maintained our fans. While I attribute a lot of that to Joan and Litas' solo success, I also think that The Runaways were an incredibly innovative concept for that time.
VICKI BLUE "AT THE MIRROR"
FULL NAME:Vicki Tischler-Blue
DATE OF BIRTH:9-16-59
CITY:Newport Beach, California
ACTUAL OCCUPATION:Television Producer/Director
MOTIVATION AND STORY ABOUT YOU BECAME AN ARTIST:Divine Intervention
FAVOURITE MUSIC ARTISTS:Garbage, Fiona Apple, Rolling Stones, kd lang, Sophie B.Hawkins & Courtney Love
FAVOURITE SONGS:"CRIMINAL" Fiona Apple
FAVOURITE RUNAWAYS ALBUM:Queens of Noise
FAVOURITE RUNAWAYS CONCERT AND WHY:Ummm... Thinking...
HOBBIES:Warmblood Horses: Hannovarians. Jumping & Dressage.
FOOD YOU LIKE:Tacos & Caesar Salads, Pasta & Garlic Bread
TATTOOS:One is of a heart with two daggers through it on the inside of my left arm and the other one is of a little black star on my left wrist.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT:Not being a member of the United States Dressage Team
Ahhh.. a little bit of trivia to you...
On "Waitin' For The Night", Suzi and Patti Quatro did hand claps on some of the songs...
NOBODY KNOWS THAT!
Thanks a lot Vicki!
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