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Cherie Currie Gives us Blvds of Splendor

April 26, 2020 by Jimmy Alvarez

Not sure what it is, but there’s something about our sonic heroes that always make us smile. For most part, a good number of them live in our past. Every once in a while, we get lucky and our past is fused with our present.  This time around, we get to smile a lot because we’re talking about former Runaway front-woman, Cherie Currie who is being cast as our muse for our musical past, present and future.

These days, it seems that everywhere we turn, we hear or read hyperbole’s about the next big thing or album that’s about to drop. For Currie, it’s been a long-long road back to the forefront of music news. Most of her time away from the spotlight has been by design, but now that she’s doing music again, the sky may be the limit once again for her. 

To know how she got here… we have to know where she’s been. She’s an accomplished actress, writer and entrepreneur, but she’s best known as a rock star. Before becoming a solo artist, Currie was the lead vocalist in the 70’s LA-based all-girl rock band The Runaways. That band featured other rock legends, Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Sandy West and Vicki Blue.

Despite their great sound and sex appeal, the girls didn’t have initial success here in the states. Instead, they made their mark in Japan and as a result their sound migrated itself back to the states. Their uber-hits include “Cherry Bomb,” “Hollywood” and “Queens of Noise.” The Runaways literally were one of the biggest things to come out of the era. The girls were bold, brash and they packed a sonic punch that was as legit as it got.

Notwithstanding the controversial relationship with Manager Kim Fowley, their time together was the kind of ride that legends are made of; full of the ups and downs that all iconic bands experience. In the end, they disbanded and went their separate ways.

The RUNAWAYS

As for the band, Sandy West went on to play in a few other bands; she also taught music before her passing of cancer in 2006.  Jackie Fox went back to school and received her JD from Harvard and became a lawyer; she focused on entertainment law. Also worth mention, she has the honorable distinction of wining four episodes of Jeopardy.

Lita Ford went on to a very successful solo career, which still has her putting out music. Joan Jett went on to a very successful career as Joan Jett & The Blackhearts; she was a pioneer when she started Blackheart Records. Jett received the ultimate honor when she was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Blackhearts. 

Circling back to Currie, after leaving the Runaways, the Music Gods tapped her on the shoulder yet again. She re-kindled the magic with her sister Marie with a song called “Since You Been Gone.” Since then, she’s kept busy working on solo albums and other musical projects. Those projects included singles with ex-bandmate, Lita Ford and another one with the ultimate Misfit, Glenn Danzig.

She also wrote a memoir, “Neon Angel.” A book that recounted life in the band, her traumatic experiences with drug addiction, sex abuse, and her broken family. Topics that are not exclusive to rock stars, they are a darkness that most people can relate to.

She’s still a Rock Goddess, but on the other end of the spectrum, she’s an award-winning wood-carving artist who has a very successful Gallery in Southern California.

Circling back to those early days, Cherie was our original Valley Girl… since her journey with The Runaways, life has thrown just about everything it could at her. The kind of things that would have literally devastated most people, but somehow … she survived and kept on swimming. Inasmuch as she lived this life of a Rock Star, her fans love her because she has lived through their eyes and souls. They can relate to her past and they admire how she’s risen to look her past in the eye and move on.

Life has come full circle for her, she’s made peace with her past; she’s made peace with Fowley and the girls. She’s also taken that final step and made amends with herself. That’s all any of us can do, and that’s what’s endeared her to countless people from all walks of life. Her musical exploits are unreal, but it’s not why she’s a legend to her fans.

As for the new album, back in 2010, she began working on a new album with another legend, Guns n Roses drummer, Matt Sorum. Sadly, she had to temporarily shut down the project due to a near fatal fall she had while chainsaw carving. The fall caused head trauma and partial facial paralysis that lasted months.

That said, anyone who knows Currie knows that you can’t keep her down for long. She got back to work on the star-studded album titled Blvds of Splendor. The initial release was limited; it came out very lowpro during Record Store Day last year. Now under Jett’s Blackheart Records, a wide release with all the whistle and bells is schedule for April 28th.  This re-release will have three additional tracks.

After previewing the tunes, I can honestly say this album just may be the vehicle that brings the full spotlight back on her. It’s a new world out there musically speaking. She may be known for her time with The Runaways, but for the younger audience, this album may be what they know her best from, it’s that good.

This time around Currie is a lot wiser, but still  brings her signature sound to life. Blvds of Splendor features guest appearances by legendary Smashing Pumpkins front-man, Billy Corgan, Guns N’ Roses’ icons Slash, Duff and Matt Sorum. It also features Juliette Lewis and Distillers front-woman, Brody Dalle amoung several other contributors.

About working on this album, Sorum said in a statement. “And now more than ever that voice tells the story of where’s she’s been in her life. This record is about who Cherie Currie is now. We’ve waited a long time to hear this icon of rock and roll do what she does best. I’m very proud to be a part of this album by one of the best female singers of all time.”

As for Currie, she said “I’ve never had so much fun making a record before… we all looked at each other [when we were making it] and went, ‘Oh, my God. There’s magic happening here.’”

The album has a new rendition of the Runaways’ “Queens of Noise,” which also features Dale, Lewis and the Veronicas. Currie sounds as strong as ever, if you love that original 70’s Runaways sound with a smidge of Joan Jett’s riffs, this album may be for you.  The album is high-energy with a sound that can melt bones, hearts and souls all at the same time.

So what’s next for Currie? She’s currently working on the audio version of “Neon Angel, A Memoir Of A Runaway.” In the meantime, she can’t wait for the world to hear this album.  Look out for the new digital album Blvds of Splendor coming out Tuesday, April 28th