Laurie McAllister of the Runaways Passes Away at 53

Laurie McAllister, the last bass player for the Runaways, passed away on August 25 in Eugene, OR due to complications of asthma. She was 53.

McAllister was part of the L.A. punk scene, playing with Baby Roulette and the Rave Ons who had a song on one of Kim Fowley's (manager of the Runaways) compilations. A neighbor, Duane Hitchings who played keyboards on the album And Now...The Runaways, talked her up to the band when bass player Vicki Blue left the group due to illness.

Laurie officially joined the band in November of 1978, playing live during the band's last tour with long-time members Joan Jett, Lita Ford and Sandy West. Her final show was on New Year's Eve at the Cow Palace in San Francisco before quitting.  The band broke up four months later over disagreements on their future direction.

Post-Runaways, McAllister joined the Orchids, another all-girl group managed by Fowley. Shortly after releasing their sole album in 1980, the group broke up and Laurie left the music industry to become a veterinary technician.

Jett told the L.A. Times "I am so sorry to hear of Laurie's passing. She was a good person and a good bass player. It was a great experience being in a band with her, as she was the last Runaways bass player before her own band, The Orchids, formed. I was still in touch with her and saw her last year at a show. It was as if no time had passed. My heart goes out to her family and friends, and most of all, to Laurie. Rock on girl."

Kim Fowley said "Laurie was one of the tragic figures in rock 'n' roll, who did everything right — she looked the part, she wrote the part, she performed the part, she sang the part — but never with the right people at the right time. She was a giant of a woman: good-looking, smart, and larger than life."

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