The Definitive Oral History of Metal
Publication Date: March 2010
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Cherie Currie, with her signature Bowie haircut and fishnet stockings, was the groundbreaking lead singer of '70s teenage all-girl rock band the Runaways. At the tender age of fifteen, she joined a group of talented girls--Joan Jett and Lita Ford on guitar, Jackie Fox on bass, and Sandy West on drums--who could play rock like no one else.
Arriving on the Los Angeles music scene in 1975, they catapulted from playing small clubs to selling out major stadiums, headlining shows with opening acts like the Ramones, Van Halen, Cheap Trick, and Blondie. Currie lit up the stage with the provocative teen-rebellion songs "Cherry Bomb," "Queens of Noise," and "Born to Be Bad," riding a wave of hit songs and platinum albums, all while touring around the world.
On the face of it, Currie's is a riveting story of girl empowerment and fame. But it is also an intensely personal account of her struggles with drugs, sexual abuse, and violence. She and her bandmates, runaways all, were thrown into a decadent, high-pressure music scene where on the road, unsupervised for months at a time, they had to grow up fast and experience things that no teenage girls should. Neon Angel exposes the side of the music industry fans never get to see, and chronicles the group's rise to fame and their ultimate demise.
Shocking and inspiring, funny and touching, Neon Angel stunningly re-creates a bygone era of rock and roll, all the while providing an inside look at growing up hard under the relentless glare of the public eye, and chronicling one tough woman's fight to reclaim her life.
TONY O'NEILL is a poet and novelist whose books include "Down and Out on Murder Mile" and "Digging the Vein". He lives in New York.