“It’s Such A Greek Tragedy”: LA Weekly Tracks The Sad Decline Of Runaways Drummer Sandy West


So The Runaways movie opens today, with Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning prancing about trashing hotel rooms and leering and whatnot; our friends over at LA Weekly have a long, excellent feature on a figure with alas only a bit part in the film: drummer Sandy West, who died of cancer in 2006 after epic battles with both drugs and the law. (“She told me that in some ways being in prison reminded her of being in a band,” a friend notes.) Sandy’s own recollections of the Runaways’ heyday are suitably grim and surreal: shooting heroin with Keith Moon, literally throwing Sid Vicious off a boat, etc. The craziest quote actually comes from a 2004 documentary on the band:

“Maybe that was the self-destructive side of me. Maybe I was out to push it. I was fearless. You go down and break somebody’s door down. They’ve got guns all over you, you’ve got guns all over them. You don’t know who’s going to get killed. … I had to break somebody’s arm once. I had to shove a gun down somebody’s throat once and watch them shit their pants. And then you look around and say, ‘I just wanted to be a drummer in a rock band.'”

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