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Runaways Drummer Succumbs To Lung Cancer


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Sandy West, drummer for the influential '70s band THE RUNAWAYS, died Saturday, October 21, 2006 after a long battle with lung cancer.

 

She left an indelible mark on rock music as a founding member of THE RUNAWAYS, which featured fellow rockers Joan Jett, Lita Ford and Cherie Currie, and as a leading inspiration for a number of notable musicians, both male and female. Many young musicians can trace their inspiration directly to the first time they heard "Cherry Bomb".

 

THE RUNAWAYS toured the world several times, often headlining with opening acts like TOM PETTY and CHEAP TRICK. Their discography includes over 60 albums, singles, bootlegs and compilations. Their music has been included in dozens of rock and punk collections, has appeared in several feature films, including "Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway" and "Detroit Rock City", and and has been covered by numerous bands, from THE STREET WALKIN' CHEETAHS to GUNS N' ROSES. They were nominated for the Hollywood Rock Walk, and bootlegs of RUNAWAYS performances are still highly prized amongst rock and roll collectors around the world.

 

After the band broke up, Ms. West continued to perform as a drummer, guitarist and vocalist with THE SANDY WEST BAND. As a solo artist she recorded a highly collectible EP CD and numerous videos, and continued to enjoy the adoration of a dedicated cult following.

 

She will be remembered by more than one generation of fans as a strong part of their musical landscape, but her impact was felt far outside of the music industry as a loyal friend, loving confidante and strong defender of those she loved most. Her strength as a player, passion as a person, and dedication as a friend will be remembered always by friends, fans and fellow musicians alike.

 

Commented Joan Jett: "I started THE RUNAWAYS with Sandy West. We shared the dream of girls playing rock and roll. Sandy was an exuberant and powerful drummer. So underrated, she was the caliber of John Bonham. I am overcome from the loss of my friend. I always told her we changed the world."

 

RUNAWAYS vocalist and life-long friend Cherie Currie had this to say: "Sandy West was by far the greatest female drummer in the history of rock and roll. No one could compete or even come close to her, but the most important was her heart. Sandy West loved her fans, her friends and family almost to a fault. She would do absolutely anything for the people she loved. It will never be the same for me again to step on a stage, because Sandy West was the best and I will miss her forever."

 

Funeral services for Sandy West are pending.

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Sandy West, drummer for the influential '70s band THE RUNAWAYS, died Saturday, October 21, 2006 after a long battle with lung cancer.

 

She left an indelible mark on rock music as a founding member of THE RUNAWAYS, which featured fellow rockers Joan Jett, Lita Ford and Cherie Currie, and as a leading inspiration for a number of notable musicians, both male and female. Many young musicians can trace their inspiration directly to the first time they heard "Cherry Bomb".

 

THE RUNAWAYS toured the world several times, often headlining with opening acts like TOM PETTY and CHEAP TRICK. Their discography includes over 60 albums, singles, bootlegs and compilations. Their music has been included in dozens of rock and punk collections, has appeared in several feature films, including "Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway" and "Detroit Rock City", and and has been covered by numerous bands, from THE STREET WALKIN' CHEETAHS to GUNS N' ROSES. They were nominated for the Hollywood Rock Walk, and bootlegs of RUNAWAYS performances are still highly prized amongst rock and roll collectors around the world.

 

After the band broke up, Ms. West continued to perform as a drummer, guitarist and vocalist with THE SANDY WEST BAND. As a solo artist she recorded a highly collectible EP CD and numerous videos, and continued to enjoy the adoration of a dedicated cult following.

 

She will be remembered by more than one generation of fans as a strong part of their musical landscape, but her impact was felt far outside of the music industry as a loyal friend, loving confidante and strong defender of those she loved most. Her strength as a player, passion as a person, and dedication as a friend will be remembered always by friends, fans and fellow musicians alike.

 

Commented Joan Jett: "I started THE RUNAWAYS with Sandy West. We shared the dream of girls playing rock and roll. Sandy was an exuberant and powerful drummer. So underrated, she was the caliber of John Bonham. I am overcome from the loss of my friend. I always told her we changed the world."

 

RUNAWAYS vocalist and life-long friend Cherie Currie had this to say: "Sandy West was by far the greatest female drummer in the history of rock and roll. No one could compete or even come close to her, but the most important was her heart. Sandy West loved her fans, her friends and family almost to a fault. She would do absolutely anything for the people she loved. It will never be the same for me again to step on a stage, because Sandy West was the best and I will miss her forever."

 

Funeral services for Sandy West are pending.

 

This one really hits me hard. I was lucky enough to see The Runaways once and they were great.... a band way ahead of their time. As mentioned in a thread over a year ago, The Runaways shaped me musically more then any other band. Who knows what type of music I would be listening to now if it hadn't been for The Runaways. I used to get laughed at when I would wear my Runaways T-shirt back in 1979. Almost everyone thought that The Runaways were just for show and had no talent. Over the years that was proven to be wrong. A true talent who will be missed more then most know.... Rock On Sandy West.

 

~~ Thanks Sandy for helping to make me the way I am today. ~~

 

Dave

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  • 3 years later...

I just did an advanced search and used title only for The Runaways. it popped up 2 threads, this being one of them. I don't think the other had anything to do with the band though. after watching the movie last night I just wanted to see if we had a thread about the band to read what others have said. I think i remember this but had not remembered. It probably even told me at the end of the movie last night as it was going through all the band members but I was too tired to really read all the stuff.

 

that out of the way, and being late to the party, RIP Sandy

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