BY Lesley Goldberg
March 16 2010 11:15 AM ET
Cherie Currie is many things to rock music fans: The 50-year-old blond bombshell who made out with Joan Jett, the front woman for the rock ’n’ roll band that changed the way women were perceived in music, and now the author of a book that brings us The Runaways, a biopic that opens March 19 and is based on her just-published memoir Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway. The accomplished chain saw carver (Currie was rated number 7 in the world in chain saw competition in 2008) was inspired by her son, Jake (his father is Robert Hays of Airplane! fame) to revisit and expand on her 1989 book, Neon Angel: The Cherie Currie Story, only this time including the dark events that occurred behind the scenes of The Runaways — the band’s rise to fame and demise, Currie’s struggles with drugs and being raped, and how she overcame everything.
Currie to discuss her triumphant return to the studio with Jett, working with Dakota Fanning (who plays her in the film), and that kiss between Fanning and Runaways costar Kristen Stewart.
The Advocate: Why were you forced to omit so much from 1989’s Neon Angel: The Cherie Currie Story?
Cherie Currie: First of all the 1989 book was for young adults. It was the publisher’s first young adult book. The first book had so much in it for that audience that they felt, hey, this is good enough. And around 2000, with my son being a teenager at that time, I decided I wanted to rewrite the book; I read the book again — I hadn’t read it in a few years — and I just wanted to tell the stories I couldn’t tell in the young adult books.
What are the primary differences between this memoir and the 1989 book?
It’s completely different; it comes from a different point of view. It comes from a 50-year-old woman instead of a girl in her 20s. I have no fear in this book. I really have had all this time to think and revisit what really happened. I don’t care what people think; I think that just comes with age.
How much influence did you have during production of The Runaways?
Not a whole lot. They were receptive to some things that I felt could be changed, but again in the end they had the final say, as always. I was so blessed to have worked closely with Dakota, and I was always there for her — I was there with her in the studio, she came to my home. We worked really hard on the songs and on her stage performances. We were under quite a time constraint as well. We gave it our all. Joan was there every day as much as she could be.