Sandy West (Sandy Pesavento)
Photos with Sandy West
BiographyLong Beach, California, USA
Drummer, singer, songwriter and guitarist Sandy West was born as Sandy Pesavento on July 10, 1959 in Long Beach, California and was raised in Huntington Beach. The most athletic of seven sisters, Sandy was an avid surfer and water skier. West began playing the violin as a kid, but soon switched to drums at age nine after her grandfather bought her a drum kit. She started performing in public at age thirteen as the sole female member of a local band. At age sixteen Sandy co-founded the seminal all-female rock group the Runaways in 1975. Read more... band for four years and wrote all her own drum parts. While the Runaways failed to achieve much commercial success in America, they were a huge smash in Japan, where they performed in arenas to sold out crowds and released a live album that went gold. Alas, the Runaways broke up in 1979. West formed her own group the Sandy West Band and released the solo album "The Beat is Back." Unable to support herself as a musician, Sandy worked mainly in construction as well as a small amount of time as both a bartender and a veterinary assistant in order to keep herself afloat. However, she did continue to perform live in concert with former the Runaways lead singer Cherie Currie on several occasions throughout the years. Moreover, West was widely acknowledged as an exceptionally fine and proficient drummer who influenced many women rock musicians to start playing the drums. She's featured as an interview subject in the 2004 documentary "Edgeplay: A Film About the Runaways." Sandy was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005. Sandy West died at the tragically young age of 47 on October 21, 2006.