03:52 AM EDT 12/16/2014
Originally posted 03/21/2010 01:15PM
The Runaways, the biopic about the groundbreaking all-girl rock band starring Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart, just opened this weekend – and PEOPLE caught up with real-life members to catch up on their lives 30 years after their split.
Best known for hits like "Cherry Bomb" and "Queens of Noise" and controversy-courting style in the days when rock music was dominated by men, the band became an international sensation, inspiring countless artists who followed.
"People would say, 'Girls can't play rock 'n' roll,' because socially, rock 'n' roll is sexual and that was threatening to a wide majority of people," says Joan Jett, who was 16 when she co-founded The Runaways.
Adds Lita Ford: "We were before our time. Lady Gaga, Beyoncé – even though they're not [musically] like us, we led the path for a lot of women in the industry."
Here's what happened after The Runaways' cut ties in 1979:
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