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Runaways movie brings Cherie Currie back to music
Fri, Mar 12 2010
By Gary Graff
DETROIT (Billboard) - The impending release of a feature film about the Runaways is bringing one of the '70s group's members, singer Cherie Currie, back to the spotlight.
Currie -- whose autobiography, "Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway" is the basis for "The Runaways," starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning -- told Billboard.com that working with Fanning, who depicts her, and getting back into the studio with Joan Jett to work on the soundtrack have rekindled her need to be a queen of noise.
"Oh, absolutely, yeah," said Currie, who followed her Runaways stint with careers in acting, drug counseling and personal training, and who in recent years has become an accomplished chainsaw sculptor.
"I know I'm going to be doing shows over the summer. I've written a few songs. We'll see what happens. Am I banking on it? No. I've got my chainsaw and my wood and I'm very happy. But I know I'm going to be doing some (musical) things here and there, and we'll see what comes of it."
Currie said seeing the Runaways' story turned into a movie -- which opens March 19 and also stars Michael Shannon as band svengali Kim Fowley -- was "just unreal. I still have to pinch myself. This is something I did for a little over two years, and it was a big deal at the time, but now it seems to have taken on a whole other life of its own."
Currie and Jett, who was a co-producer on the film, spent considerable time on the set working with their counterparts (Stewart plays Jett). But Currie said the soundtrack sessions, marking the first time since 1977 that she and Jett were in a studio together, were particularly special.
"It was as if time had stood still, as if these last 35 years never happened," she recalled. "We were on the mark. It was incredible. We had a fantastic time." The two Runaways coached Fanning and Stewart through new recordings of "Cherry Bomb," "California Paradise," "Queens of Noise" and "Dead End Justice."
"I sat in the vocal booth with (Fanning)," Currie said, "and Joan sat with Kristen. They did a great job. Dakota is quite a singer, and so is Kristen. It was just a blast."
Currie said she can see working with Jett on new music. "We plan to do it again, one day soon," she said. "We're definitely going to work together in music."
Meanwhile, Currie is looking forward to giving "Neon Angel" its second life. The memoir, co-written with Tony O'Neill, was first published in 1989 as a young adult book, while the new version, with a foreword by Jett, adds the sex, drugs and darkness that were missing from the first edition.
"I had grown up," Currie said. "I wrote that first book when I was 27, and all of a sudden being in my early '40s, having a teenage son, I wanted to do it again, from a different perspective. It was really, really tough; I had to put myself back in those places again. I couldn't believe how much I'd locked away, and it all came back out in vivid detail, scary detail.
"I realized by doing this and writing down all the stories, it was a way to purge myself of everything ... And now the world can know all about (the Runaways), which I'm very excited about."