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A Conversation With Cherie Currie of The Runaways

An artist shares how she uses intuition to establish connection.

Posted Aug 11, 2020

By

Michael Friedman Ph.D.

“Dead end kids you’re not alone.” —From “Dead End Justice ” by The Runaways

I was thrilled to talk with Cherie Currie  of The Runaways for The Hardcore Humanism Podcast . At Hardcore Humanism, we believe that one of the best ways to help people not only survive mental and physical health issues, but also to thrive is through breaking conventional norms, finding our purpose in life, and working hard to achieve it.

This approach derives in part from humanistic psychologists such as Carl Rogers and his belief that human beings are fundamentally good and deserve unconditional positive regard, as well as Abraham Maslow’s work on self-actualization and human potential. It also pays respect to the theory, methodology, and empirical research supporting behavioral therapy, which has demonstrated the power of consistent and focused effort on human beings’ ability to change. In order to start and continue on our path to self-actualization, it is helpful to hear from outside-the-box thinkers, like Currie, who were able to challenge stereotypes, embrace who they are, and worked hard to pursue their dreams.

Currie was the lead vocalist of The Runaways—first and foremost a powerful, hard-rocking in-your-face band from the late 1970s that spawned classic songs such as “Cherry Bomb,” which VH-1  has called one of the greatest hard rock songs of all time. But The Runaways were something more. They were one of the first all-female teenage rock bands that included and launched the careers of fellow future rock icons Joan Jett and Lita Ford. Building on the strength of artists such as Tina Turner, Suzi Quatro, Grace Slick and Janis Joplin, The Runaways looked every sexist stereotype of young women in rock and threw it back in our face as they commanded the stage. And in doing so they helped kick open the doors for every artist who was told they couldn’t succeed, and provided a powerful example to every female artist who was told that women can’t rock.

Their legacy continues as shown in the 2010 movie The Runaways . And Currie continues to work as a musician, with the 2020 digital release of her album Blvds of Splendor  on Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records label. The album features performances by Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins, Duff McKagan, Slash and Matt Sorum of Guns N Roses, among others. And Currie has expressed her creativity in several art forms, including acting , drawing, and chainsaw  woodcarving.

How did Currie do it? She shares with us her approach to her creativity and her life—her trust and faith in her “inner voice.” Scientists have long debated whether it is optimal for us to make decisions by conscious and deliberate thought process, or by using what might broadly be referred to as intuition, a more subconscious “gut” reaction. Currie feels that the inner voice is what connects us with ourselves and others. “We all have a connection,” Currie told me. “I'm a very strong believer on listening to that inner voice.” And she explained to us how that inner voice has helped drive her creativity, her connections to her family and friends, as well as her coping with frightening and difficult trauma  in her life.