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INTERVIEW: Cherie Currie (THE RUNAWAYS)

April 14, 2016

Levi:

You ready for me to start asking questions and stuff?

 

Cherie Currie:

I certainly am.

 

Levi:

Cool. So you're coming to Australia in May. Is this the first time you've been down?

 

Cherie Currie:

I've never been there. I've been wanting to go to Australia for 40 years.

 

Levi:

Oh wow. Well, I think you're going to love it and I'm sure there are a lot of people that are going to want to come check this show out. What can we expect from it?

 

Cherie Currie:

Well, I want to give the fans what they want and that's their favorite Runaways tunes, and a couple surprises. It'll be a great show.

 

Levi:

Yeah. Are you going to be bringing your son along as well on guitar?

 

Cherie Currie:

No, not this time. He's got a record deal. He's very busy but I will be bringing the band that I had in the UK and they're wonderful. Wonderful guys.

 

 

Levi:

Yeah, well I play guitar myself but I could never imagine writing music with my mother. What's it like writing with your son?

 

Cherie Currie:

Well, I've been writing with Jake since he was 13. So it's kind of natural, and plus I took him on tour with me for four tours and he produced my last record. So, we work really well together.

 

Levi:

Oh, that's so cool. Do you still play with your sister as well, Marie, is she coming on the tour?

 

Cherie Currie:

Oh no, Marie gave it up when, back in 1981 I think. (laughs) She realized it was ... Yeah, no. That was a hard lesson but well learned.

 

Levi:

Okay, there's some very big news that's been happening lately, of so many iconic rock stars have just been passing away.  Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead and apparently your stage persona was based on David Bowie? I'm just wondering how his death impacted you?

 

Cherie Currie:

You know, I actually had the flu. I had like a 103 temperature when I got the news, so I almost think I was so sick that it took the edge off, but it still hasn't sunk in. I still don't quite believe it.

 

Levi:

Did you ever get to meet him?

 

Cherie Currie:

I did, he came to see The Runaways perform in Boston at the Rathskeller. He came with Iggy Pop and Steven Tyler and it was very nice to meet him. It was an honor. He's just truly one of the most iconic amazing performers I think ever born.

 

Levi:

You've met so many legendary people over the years, I've always been a massive Sex Pistols fan. Just wondering what they were like to meet in their prime, especially Sid Vicious. because he just always seems like such a dangerous character. Did you get to meet him and talk to him much?

 

Cherie Currie:

You know, no I didn't. I didn't meet him, and if I did, I don't really remember. Again, when we were performing, we would get off the stage and I would usually go back to the hotel. Some of the girls would hang out, but I really didn't. So that's why I didn't get a chance to meet him.

 

Levi:

Fair enough. You had the movie come out, "The Runaways," come out a few years ago and that was a big release. You had Dakota Fanning playing yourself. I'm just wondering, firstly, how accurate was the movie? Secondly after the movie came out if you noticed a lot of younger fans turning up to your show?

 

Cherie Currie:

Yes, a lot of young fans. It really opened the door to a whole new generation. When I, and for Joan, some of these kids were 11, 12 and they had piercings down their faces. It's so adorable.

 

Yeah, and I think that the film, how do you put two years of craziness into 90 minutes? So I think it depicted the 70's brilliantly, and of course Dakota is such a great actor. She was one of my favorite actors ever, so to have her portray me was a dream come true. Kristin Stewart was fantastic as Joan, I mean fantastic, and Michael Shannon was brilliant as Kim.

 

Levi:

Yeah, it was a good movie, I haven't seen it in a while, but I did enjoy it when I saw it. Just wondering, are you still friends with all the girls from The Runaways? I know Sandy West passed a few years ago, but do you still speak regularly with Lita Ford and Joan Jett?

 

Cherie Currie:

Well, we do here and there, I'm not going to say regularly. I mean, Lita and I, we did some shows together just last year and it was great to hang out with her. She's gone on tour again. Me and Joan, we keep in contact, birthdays, so on and so forth, but she's on the East Coast, I'm on the West Coast. Jackie and I really haven't been much in touch since the early 90s, but Sandy West, she was my best friend all the way to the end.

 

Levi:

Just reading a bit about you on Google, and apparently you're into chainsaw carving. Is that correct?

 

Cherie Currie:

Yeah, I've been a carver now for 15 years.

 

Levi:

What got you into that hobby?

 

Cherie Currie:

Well, it was a fluke. I happened to be doing relief carving at the time when I was going to the beach one day and saw a couple of guys chainsaw carving at the side of the road. Even though I didn't stop, I couldn't get it out of my head. You know that voice that tells you, turn left or right? That voice that we really need to listen to, every morning I got up, you got to go back.

 

When I did, I walked into their gallery and saw the most beautiful detailed mermaids and dolphins and sea lions. That voice said, you can do this. So I asked if I could apprentice there, and they looked at my artwork and they said yes. They taught me how to not kill myself with the chainsaw. That's about the (laughs) ... The rest was up to me and I really took to it and started winning ribbons and placing in competitions shortly after I started.

 

Levi:

Oh wow, that's awesome. As you said just before, you've been playing for about 40 years. Do you still get the same excitement you got back in the days when you go onstage and you see all the people's faces?

 

Cherie Currie:

Oh definitely. I think when you're really born to do something, and I was born to be onstage. I just took a very, very long hiatus, but it's easier for me to be onstage than it is even doing this interview. Even though this interview's very easy, because you're great, but some things are simple and to me being onstage is easy. I love it and I appreciate it. I appreciate it so much more now, that I'm not a kid, you know, and I appreciate the fans so much.

 

Levi:

Yeah, I'll ask another question. I'm sure you get this one all the time. Do you think you'd ever perform under The Runaways name again? I'm sure without Sandy West, of course.

 

Cherie Currie:

Do I think there's going to be a reunion?

 

Levi:

Yeah, do you think you'd ever perform, you know, at least with Lita and Joan?

 

Cherie Currie:

I don't think so. I used to think so and I held onto that belief up until probably about 7 months ago. Then I finally just really realized that Lita and Joan, their camps don't seem to get along. So that's why I'm going to say no.

 

Cherie Currie:

But I'm the only band member that has performed with every single one of the girls.

 

Levi:

Awesome. It's been really great talking with you today, just going through some of the old records now and I'm really enjoying it. To be honest, I hadn't listened to a whole bunch of stuff and I knew your hits and stuff. There's some really good stuff out there, I'm going to have to go through the entire discography and really learn your stuff.

 

Cherie Currie:

Well, thank you. I know, I think that the kids ... What I love about The Runaways music is that anyone can sing it, and anyone can play it.

 

I think that that's really cool, that's what kids need these days. They don't need all the complicated or "Australian Idol" type voices to make an impact. You know what I mean?

 

Australian Idol, well we had it "American Idol" or "The Voice," I think really made it difficult for young people who had a dream and were born to be on stage. Mick Jagger never would have amounted to anything. They would have kicked him off probably in the audition phase.

 

You have to look at how ... You know sometimes, today I think it's a lot harder. In fact, that's why I tell young people don't ask people's opinions and don't strive for acceptance. You know who you are and just believe in yourself and don't listen. Don't listen to anybody. Just do what comes naturally and you'll make it.

 

Tickets and VIP packages are available here: CHERIE CURRIE TICKETS

 

Listen to the full chat here...

 

 

 

 

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