Preview: Cherie Currie revives spirit of the Runaways on new tour
November 14, 2013 12:00 AM
By Scott Mervis / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Three years ago, Cherie Currie's life became an open book with the biopic "The Runaways" and the release of her revealing "Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway."
The book detailed her two turbulent teen years as the singer for the mid-'70s all-girl band, her battles with addiction and recovery from two sexual assaults.
Where: Hard Rock Cafe, Station Square.
When: 8 tonight.
Tickets: $15; ticketfly.com.
Three years later, Ms. Currie is proud of the book -- for what it did for other people.
"It's been overwhelming the fan mail I get and even on Facebook, the people who have reached out to me who were in real dire shape, some that were at the end of their rope," she says in a phone interview. "And I actually picked up the phone and called many, many people who were in really bad shape, and they're still around today, and we still keep in touch. To me, this book has done what I wanted it to, and that is to give people hope and for them to be able to move past some of this stuff that is difficult."
Despite favorable reviews and the star power of Dakota Fanning and Kristin Stewart, as Ms. Currie and co-Runaway Joan Jett, the movie underperformed at the box office.
"It was supposed to be a wide release and it wasn't," Ms. Currie says, "and unfortunately, it lost the momentum it had, but in the end people who have bought the DVD, they're enjoying it still, and a lot of people really love the film. I think it's great. It just scratched the surface of what the experience was, but I had the book for people who were more interested in some details, so it all worked out great."
Before that multimedia blitz, she was living the quiet life of a mom and chainsaw artist -- yes, chainsaw artist. Now, she's ventured out on her first tour in more than 30 years, performing Runaways songs like "Cherry Bomb" and "Queens of Noise" and songs from her short-lived solo career.
"I don't know why I'm doing this," she says. "I'm doing what I've done all my life, and that is just follow my heart."
That extends to an album in the works, possibly for January release, that was recorded with Matt Sorum (of Velvet Revolver and Guns 'N Roses) that will feature contributions from Slash, Billy Corgan, Juliette Lewis and Duff McKagan.
Before that, she's releasing a holiday single, "Rock This Christmas Down," with Runaways guitarist Lita Ford.
"Lita reached out to me and asked me to do a duet with her, which of course, was a dream come true for me. I flew in from my second tour and literally went right from the airport to the studio to record this amazing Christmas song that she wrote. We have developed a wonderful friendship and relationship that I had yearned for in the Runaways. And we just did two photo sessions together and, really, being moms, we have so much in common. She's the friend that I always wanted. She called and said, 'The chemistry is so good between us, we have to continue this.' And I agree, so we are. We've talked about shows together, and we reached out to Joan and hope that she will become involved and give the fans what they want, which is a Runaways reunion."
Jett, who went on to the most successful post-Runaways solo career, recently told the LA Weekly, "I don't really get why we should do it -- the down side is bigger than the up side. It would be fun for people to see, but you've got to remember we're not who we were in 1976."
Jett was nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 and 2013 but didn't make the cut. Does Ms. Currie think it should have been the Runaways?
"I really feel that Suzi Quatro [who debuted in 1973], she deserves it before the Runaways, because if it wasn't for her, I don't think Joan would have even gotten into music. I'm kind of one of those people who sees the political side isn't sometimes the honest side, and I wouldn't feel comfortable with the Runaways being in it, unless Suzi had her rightful place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."
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