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New Music Tuesday (Week
of March 2, 2010)
Cherie Currie with Tony O’Neill, “Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway” (March 16, 2010)
Cherie Currie’s accounts prior to joining The Runaways and the rise and ultimate demise of the female-teenage rock n roll band reads like fiction, it’s hard to imagine that such tough ladies and rock n roll icons in their own right endured such mental and verbal torture from their management and hangers-on. They were young, trash-talking, tough chicks that seemed to be in control. However, the book reveals their softer sides and how impressionable they actually were. One of the most memorable passages came early on where Currie recalls attending a David Bowie concert and how she “watched this impossibly thin, pale, alien prince singing” to her. She continued, “…this beautiful, hypnotic, strange man was singing to me, and although I could not quite put into words, I instinctively knew that what I was experiencing was something religious, something profound…for that moment, I was somewhere else. Somewhere profound. What I was witnessing tonight was nothing short of a revelation.” Her vivid descriptions of concert goers and the way in which the music was depicted, experience and heard was refreshing. With a couple of words, she could transport the reader to the pulsating, sweaty crowds of the late 1970s. What’s clear when reading this book is that for Currie rock n roll was as big as a drug as the coke and Quaaludes she was taking. The bigger The Runaways became the further apart the band grew and her drug intake increased. The book recounts Currie’s struggles with drugs, rape, violence and how she ultimately reclaimed her life.