Cherie Currie – Across The Ocean

Cherie Currie

Cherie Currie! Yes Cherie Currie from The Runaways is coming down under for her own headline tour this May and June.


It has been forty years in the making but now is the time. The Runaways had quite a history lending itself to a feature film but now Cheri Currie is continuing to write on own story with her recent album Reverie released last year which saw her reunite with long time producer and song writer Kim Fowley before he passed away. There’s plenty more to look forward to with some new releases due later this year Cherie mentioned when talking to Across The Ocean.

Great news that you are touring Australia in May, it seems long overdue?

I know! It was definitely one place that was on my bucket list for the last forty years. I’m absolutely thrilled!

Another forty years for a follow up tour might be tough?

Yeah, that might be tough!

Do you think considering where you are at now that you are your most happiest musically speaking?

Yeah, it has been a while with a lot of ups and downs. At fifty six I’m pretty happy.

Were you starting to feel the pressure to release a new record?

Definitely, I made a record for Blackheart back in 2010 with Matt Sorum producing it and for some reason that record was shelved for a couple of years. After I opened for Joan Jett in March of 2010 they didn’t book me for any more shows. I waited out my contract and moved on. I then made a record with Kim Fowley but the good news is now is that the Blackheart record is supposed to come out in September.

How was the experience of making your new record with Kim Fowley?

Well, Kim and I buried the hatchet a few years ago and which I thought was so important because you’re haunted by things in your childhood. I realised any kind of angst I had was only hurting me. I reached out to him and we became very good friends. When he reached out to me after I had left Blackhearts to make a record I jumped at this chance knowing that he was dying of bladder cancer and I thought what a great thing to be able to go in the studio as an adult, not this scared kid that I was and work with again and my son Jake Hays. I’m so glad I did it, so glad and now I just have great memories of him. I don’t have those memories that have haunted me for decades.

Was it like a cleansing process in a lot of ways?

Definitely and being a mother also myself and being wiser I needed him to answer questions about why treated us the way that he did. I walked away understanding him a lot better and I’m very grateful because if it wasn’t for him there wouldn’t of been a Joan Jett, a Lita Ford, myself and Sandy West. He did the best he could with very limited resources considering his childhood was dismal. It was absolutely more than a cleansing, it was resurrecting myself as a human being. That kid that was so beaten up and torn down I healed back that child in me as well. I recommend it to everybody.

What was your reaction when you first recording Reverie and playing it back for the first time?

Considering that Kim got so ill after the fourth song he turned the record over to my son which was unexpected. Jake was in the middle of his record deal and having to record an album of his own. That did throw a wrench in the works and the saddest part was we finished the record two weeks after Kim died. He went down very fast but we did the best we could under the circumstances. I was glad just to put something out there because I hadn’t put anything out since 1980.

It must be great despite the tough times making this record to be able to share that with your son?

I agree and Jake had been on four tours with me before we did this record. He has been a writing partner for the last decade. For him to see the brilliance in Kim Fowley as a song writer and producer was just unmeasurable. It was quite an experience and for him to work with a guy who started my career for me was the cherry on top the cake. It was wonderful and considering Jake had toured with me so many times and toured so many times with his own band he was ready and knew the ropes inside and out. It has been great to be a part of my son’s career.

Knowing that you’ve come through the other side does it make it easier to contemplate another album at some point?

Well, the record from Blackhearts is going to be coming out in September. That is quite a record, it has Billy Corgan from The Smashing Pumpkins on it. He wrote a duet for he and I to do, he got Brody Dalle and of course The Veronicas and even Juliette Lewis. Plus I have live album Live In London which will be available when I’m in Australia. I’m pretty good for records right now.

The big question people want to know is whether that Runaways reunion show will ever happen?

No, I don’t think so. I just held out hope until the last moment that it could definitely happen. Lita and I started working again and I couldn’t see why it wouldn’t but Lita has problems with Joan’s camp so I don’t see it happening. I finally had to realise that it isn’t going to happen and it was a relief to be honest with you.

When you look at the record industry particularly with upcoming album releases do you get frustrated with the industry and where it is at now?

It’s just so different from when I grew up where you had to have a record label. Now you can make a record in your house and put it out on your own. It is a totally different environment and I think there is far more opportunities for people now than there was back then but with that also comes laziness on behalf of the scouts and the record companies. That is why you see the Whiskey A Go Go going downhill, they have pay to play bands and there is nobody out there scouting for great artists any more.

It is really tough on the kids because you have the Idol shows and The Voice where these people are just so great that it makes kids think that could never sing that well so they might as well throw in the towel. I think that is too bad because had we had an American Idol, I don’t know if you have Australian Idol or The Voice out there, gives the wrong impression to kids that were born to be musicians and singers. Look at Mick Jagger, that guy isn’t a great singer and he probably would have been voted off. You’ve got the perfect voices and that gets tiresome to me. I like people who are just are themselves and have something special. Rough edges make the performance! I just hope that young people realise that if you are born to do this regardless you’re going to make it and just not ask anyone’s opinion. The last thing people should do is ask for acceptance and ask for people’s opinion.

Are you still actively pursuing your chainsaw art?

I am yes, yeah! I have been doing that for fifteen years and that was my full time job but of course touring and making records kept me away from it but I’m slowly getting back in to it!

Rob Lyon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Lyon has been writing about all things music for well over ten years in Adelaide clocking up more live shows each year seeing the best going round.

Whether it is rummaging through vinyl at record stores such as Clarity and Title finding hidden gems to scouring the internet to find that album by the next big thing or chasing bands to get that elusive autograph and photo his passion is music all the way.
Rob Lyon

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