Photo: Patti Ballaz
That's right The Runaways fans Ms. Cherie Currie is back & flying solo. Oh, by the way, she has a chainsaw and she knows how to use it!
MS: I listened to your album "Reverie," one of the definitions of that word is: "pleasantly lost in ones thoughts." That is how I think the album played out.
CC: Oh, I agree. Kind of lost in ones thoughts. Yeah, I completely agree.
MS: Well I saw something recently on your Facebook page that this could be your last album, so you went with your truth on it.
CC: The last five years have been spent on thinking about what could have been, without really seeing what is. I'm very blessed, I'm a chainsaw artist and have been very successful at that. I've just had to let go of everything, all my...you know, of course I was always hoping there would be a Runaways reunion, but I was always the last one believing it could still happen. Letting go of that was really very freeing for me. It also allows me to look at my future as a singer and a chainsaw artist. To be honest I have had people asking me for many years if a reunion was going to happen and my response was always: "anything is possible." Being the one to say: "no, it's not going to happen" really made me feel good.
MS: We're at the same place in our lives, you get to that point.
CC: Yep, all that energy that you could be thinking about the: "what if's" that goes into the "what if's hole" as I call it, that is an endless well of nothingness. Just bury that hole, it changes your whole outlook on things. You can't control other people and what they want to do. I think that's why I love chainsaw carving so much because I am my own boss and nobody tells me what to do.
MS: Relying on other people isn't the best thing, but it isn't the worst.
CC: You're always going to be let down, no matter what. Because we have these expectations that we shouldn't have about other people. We should only have expectations of ourselves. It's a painful road to go down if you're constantly waiting for somebody else to do something. For me, now it's very freeing to know exactly what is, instead of what I wished at one point.
MS: With "Reverie" you certainly did put all of this out there.
CC: Well, Thank You.
MS: This is your first album in 35 years. Give me a little background on it.
CC: Of course I did make a record with Matt Sorum back in 2010 for Blackheart and that has been on the shelf for a few years. Which was a very frustrating thing for me, so I put myself out on the road. Without management. We did about four tours and it was really fun, we had a great time. I went out with my son, Jake Hays, as well, he played guitar and drums in the band. Anyway Kim Fowley had heard through the grapevine that I had said I would work with him again. He called me and asked if it was true, and I said: "absolutely!"
To me it was a way to close a chapter in my life that to me as a kid was very painful for me. Of course I knew he was also very ill, so I was not about to not experience being in the studio with him under a different circumstance with him. That would be me as an adult and not a scared kid, and really be able to appreciate his genius, and that man was genius. I also brought my son in, so here is my kid who's 23 years old at the time, working with Kim Fowley. Ya know that was a first for Kim working with the person he had produced as a kid, and now working with their kid. (laughs) It was really, really cool!
MS: Your perception of somebody is so much different when you are an adult.
CC: Exactly. Also being a Mom I really realized and came to terms, how difficult managing The Runaways had to have been for Kim, being in his thirties, having a rotten childhood and dealing with five teenage girls who are just becoming women. With all the insecurities, craziness and Tampax...I think he did the best he could to toughen us up for a business he knew was a lot tougher than we were. He apologized to me for it many years ago, we were on the phone for hours talking. He told me he was very sorry and that he could have done a better job. Thinking back, he did the best he knew how. Also it's great in my heart to forgive and what would you expect from a man who didn't have parents really, and dealing with teenage girls? That would be hard for anyone I think.
MS: Teenage girls are difficult, that's just the way they are.
CC: I'm so glad I had a boy. Honest, I am.
|Cherie & Her Son, Jake Hays|
Photo: Barbara Porter
MS: Are you ever going to write another book? I liked "Neon Angel."
CC: Well Thank You. I don't know, I have thought about it, of course it would be fiction if I did write another book. I've thought truly about things I would like to write about. Right now I'm just really getting back into my chainsaw carving and that is really neat. So I'm going to let this record do it's thing and hopefully in a few months or so I'll be able to go and hit the road again with my band, we'll see. It's all an open book.
MS: Have you ever experienced ageism with your rock career?
CC: (laughs) I sling a chainsaw all day long, it would be pretty difficult for anyone to turn around and tell me I'm too old to do something. Honestly if I hadn't been carving for the last fifteen years I would feel pretty washed up. It's something I don't really think about because we are all getting old together, aren't we? There will be a day when we decide to say: "Hey, done" But I think that's a personal choice, I don't think people can tell you when you're too old.
MS: What would you like people to take away from this album if you never get to record another?
CC: Wow! Um, to be honest, my fans had waited five years for the Blackheart record. It's like, look Okay, I delivered and it was with Kim Fowley, Lita Ford and my son. You know what? I did the best I could, now I can walk away. I'm very blessed because my son Jake is so talented. He just got a really great record deal and just got off a tour opening for the Bad Sons. People have asked me what is your legacy? You were in a groundbreaking teenage rock-n-roll band. To me that isn't what my legacy is. I think I was born to have Jake. Jake will go on and do things I was never able to do. I can always live vicariously through him.
MS: Clear up any misconception about your relationship with Joan Jett.
CC: I'm so happy Joan is being inducted into the Rock-N-Roll Hall Of Fame. I'm so proud of her she deserves it more than anyone! It's so funny how people will accuse me of not being happy for Joan and her honor. I just don't get people, I was one of the very first people to text her screaming, jumping up and down, because I was so happy for her. But people want to believe what they want to believe, and if they think there is this animosity between me and Joan and The Runaways and stuff...they are so mistaken.
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