The Runaways, one of our most highly anticipated movies will finally debut in theaters on March 19th. We’ve been waiting a very long time to see seems to be two great actresses bringing to life two amazing performers: Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie.
Click here to read a preview of the first two chapters.
About Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway by Cherie Currie
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.
About The Runaways
The Runaways is based on lead-singer Cherie Currie’s book ‘Neon Angel’ – a reflection of her experiences as a rock star, but also delivering a strong anti-drug warning to teens and others. David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” serves as a metaphor for the narrative– a slow countdown, a surreal but spectacular rise to fame, then alienation and burnout – a long long way from home.
The movie chronicles THE RUNAWAYS from 1975 – 1977; formed by teenage girls living near Hollywood, CA., and heavily manipulated by their manager Kim Fowley as ‘jailbait rock’ (all the girls were 16 or younger when the band recorded their first album). The band ultimately succeeds on their own merits as musicians, becoming the first all-girl rock-band to ever break into the world of arena-filling hard rock acts.
The movie focuses on the band’s formation, and their meteoric rise to fame. Their first single, ‘Cherry Bomb’, gets some attention in the United States, where THE RUNAWAYS’ U.S. tour hits major venues (Cobo Hall, with RUSH) and sleazy rock-clubs, often pairing them up with The Ramones, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, and other popular 1970’s rock acts. But ‘Cherry Bomb’ and several other songs from THE RUNAWAYS’ first 2 albums become huge hits in Japan — and their arrival for a set of shows there in 1977 is like Beatle-Mania. The band is overwhelmed by the Japanese reception. Almost prophetic, THE RUNAWAYS’ last big hit song in Japan is ‘Neon Angels On The Road To Ruin’.
Cherie is initially thrilled to be in the band, and lives the rock star life. She pushes the edge — and their records sell well, generating lots of media controversy and hype. But during the tour of Japan, her personal life disintegrates, and she burns out — ultimately leaving The Runaways when they return to the U.S. The bass player (Jackie Fox) quits too, leaving only Lita Ford, Joan Jett and Sandy West. Joan Jett has decided that rock & roll is her life, and that The Runaways is her ‘family’; she is upset by Cherie’s decision to leave, but knows that decision is best — for Cherie.
THE RUNAWAYS’ success was earth-shaking in rock music — changing the rules forever. But with the successful 5-girl lineup no longer intact after the Japan tour, their future was dubious, at best. Lita Ford (guitar) and Sandy West (drums) still think the band can make it big again, so they persevere with Joan Jett.