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AN INTERVIEW WITH SANDY WEST

by Tracy Sirotti

April 23, 1998

 

You are one of the original members of the Runaways starting in 1975 with Joan Jett and Micki Steele. How can you describe those early days now?

 It was very exciting and it moved really fast.

 

Later the band was ready for a world tour. What kind of reaction did you find in an audience that probably saw an all girl band playing rock'n'roll for the first time?

 They couldn't sit still, but the best audiences were in Europe and Japan.

 

Was this reaction different from the US audience, the press etc?

 Yes, some parts of the US did not take us seriously, including their press.

 

The Runaways were so successful in Japan, much more than in any other country, I think.

What were your feelings about being treated like a rock'n'roll star?

 I don't really like that word ROCK n' ROLL STAR... But we were treated with great respect and excitement.

 

Is there a particular episode about the Runaways you would like to tell us for the first time?

Getting together with the roadies after the show at the hotel and playing jokes on the road manager. Shaving cream, felt pens and flash pods exploding and blowing up.

 

How did you feel about the departure of Cherie in 1977 and each time about the bassist change?

 I was sad when Cherie left and trying to find a bass player was frustrating. I got along with Vicki Blue the best. She's fun! I think Vicki Blue should have stayed and grown with us!!

 

(I'm sure you believed so much in the Runaways and you didn't expect that the band split in 4-5 years).

What did you do after the Runaways broke-up?

 Went crazy! I was very upset and sad. I kept playing and also went into construction. And yes, I totally believe in The Runaways.

 

Who are the official members of the Sandy West Band? Tell us something about them.

 

Sandy West: drums, vocals, rhythm guitar, producer & songwriter.

Jerry Vennemann : drums, song writer and best friend

Steve Jullian: lead guitar & songwriter. He also runs my web page and is an art director of a magazine in California.

Jessica Harrington: lead & backing vocals, guitar, songwriter and is a graphic artist for a magazine in California.

Lee Lawson: Bass, backing vocals & independent musician.

 

You play many Runaways songs and sometimes Cherie appears on vocals. It looks like the Runaways are still so important for you...

 The Runaways will always be #1 to me! I think we were one of the best bands in the world.

 

 

In 1994 there was a Runaways reunion: Cherie, Jackie, Sandy.... Will 1998 be the year of the official and definitive reunion? What are the plans? Any concerts?

 Everyone is hoping 1998 will be the year to release a CD and tour... It's looking good.

 

I have heard about a Japanese all girl band called The Queens of Noise. You and Cherie played with them in 1992, a great jam session in Hollywood... Where are they now?

 I'm not sure where they are now, but they were really great to play with.

 

Are there any special projects for the Sandy West Band now?

 I've been writing new songs and would like to record them.

 

I really appreciate that you have your own web site on the net. Will you add some more stuff one day like photos, info, news etc?

 Yes, I will add more stuff!!!

 

Thanks Sandy!

 

SANDY WEST AT THE MIRROR

 

FULL NAME: Sandy West

DATE OF BIRTH: 7.10.59

CITY: Long Beach, California

ACTUAL OCCUPATION: Musician / Producer

MOTIVATION AND STORY ABOUT YOU BECAME AN ARTIST: My family at first, then I met Kim Fowley & Joan Jett

FAVOURITE MUSIC ARTISTS: Bryan Adams, Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard

FAVOURITE SONGS: There's too many

FAVOURITE RUNAWAYS ALBUM: LIVE IN JAPAN... really all of them.

FAVOURITE RUNAWAYS CONCERT AND WHY: All of them

HOBBIES: Water skiing, motorcycles, swimming

FOOD YOU LIKE: Italian, Mexican-American

TATTOOS:Eyes on my back and a moon on my left shoulder

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: When the Runaways broke up

 

 

THE SANDY WEST BAND DISCOGRAPHY:

 7" - F-13

4 song tape

PLANNED CONCERTS

Cherie and I are playing with a great new artist named Katt Lowe on May 2, 98 at the Coconut Teezer in Los Angeles.

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