News Column

Runaways singer Cherie Currie plays Fresno show

August 15, 2013

YellowBrix

Aug. 15--Until it happened, Cherie Currie didn't think she'd be back in the music business.

"I've been off the scene for a long time," says the 53-year old Currie, who in the 1970s was thrust in the spotlight as the voice of the all-girl rock group the Runaways.

The band's exploits were documented in the 2010 film "The Runaways," in which Currie was portrayed by Dakota Fanning.

Currie quit the band -- which also included Joan Jett and Lita Ford -- and eventually quit music almost entirely. She made her living as a woodcarver. She played shows, but rarely.

But with the film came a renewed interest in the band and its singer. It took just one show -- an opening slot for Joan Jett in August of 2010 -- to put Currie back in the business.

"The reviews were stupendous. The reaction was great and right away we got offered a record deal," Currie says.

That album has yet to materialize, but it got her a producer (Matt Sorum from Velvet Revolver) and a band and put her back on the road. She's in the midst of a monthlong tour that stops in Fresno on Friday night at Strummer's (formerly Starline).

Fans can expect the '70s rock sound that Currie is remembered for. There will some Runaways songs and a few songs from the forthcoming album. Mostly, she sticks to her rock-and-roll roots, playing music that anyone can make, anyone can sing.

In that way, there is little difference between Currie and the audience watching her on stage.

"I'm just standing a couple of feet higher for an hour," she says. "There's no difference. We're all doing this together."

Along with the album and tour, Currie landed a guest spot on an upcoming album from metal singer Glenn Danzig. The pair perform a duet of the Nancy Sinatra hit "Some Velvet Morning."

Currie will open for Danzig at the Gibson Amphitheatre Aug. 30 as part of his 25th Anniversary Tour. It will be the final show at the venue before it is demolished.

It has extra importance for Currie. She saw her first concert at the Gibson when she was 14: David Bowie's "Diamond Dogs" tour. It was what set her on the path to the Runaways.

"I'm so grateful to Glenn to be able to stand on that stage," she says.

She's also grateful she gets to go up on stage at all, and she makes it a point to be at the merchandise booth after each show to meet fans and sign autographs.

"I want to say thanks to the people who didn't give up on the Runaways, even long after I did."

Show information

Cherie Currie with locals Red Coats and Hammerdown Syndrome. 9 p.m. Friday at Strummer's, 833 E. Fern Ave., Fresno. Tickets are $15. (559) 485-5356, numbskullshows.com

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6479, jtehee@fresnobee.com or @JoshuaTehee on Twitter. Read his blog at Fresnobeehive.com

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(c)2013 The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)

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