The impending release of “The Runaways” film is bringing singer Cherie Currie back to music, as well as book stores.
Currie — whose autobiography, “Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway” (It Books, March 16) is the basis for the movie — tells Billboard.com that working with actress Dakota Fanning, who depicts her, and getting back into the studio with Joan Jett to work on the soundtrack has rekindled her appetite to be a queen of noise once more.
“Oh, absolutely, yeah,” says Currie, who went on to acting, drug counseling and personal training, while 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 says seeing the Runaways‘ story turned into a movie — which opens March 19 and also stars Kristen Stewart as Jett and Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon as band svengali Kim Fowley — is “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, both spent considerable time on the set working with their counterparts. But Currie says 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 recalls. “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 says, “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 says she can also see working with Jett on some new music. “We plan to do it again, one day soon,” she notes. “We’re definitely going to work together in music.”
Meanwhile, Currie is also 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 was missing from that initial volume.
“I had grown up,” explains Currie. “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.”