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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 s 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.


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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 s 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.

30 review for Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Kramer Bussel

    This wild ride of a memoir takes us from Currie's suburban upbringing as a young rebel, dyeing her hair red, white and blue and dressing up as her idol, David Bowie, to, in a turn that is dramatically sudden, being asked to audition for The Runaways by Kim Fowley and Joan Jett while at her local hangout. All of a sudden, she's thrust into the big-time world of rock music, and the pace is hectic, with fame, and drugs, chasing the band. The heart of the story is Currie's quest to find a family who' This wild ride of a memoir takes us from Currie's suburban upbringing as a young rebel, dyeing her hair red, white and blue and dressing up as her idol, David Bowie, to, in a turn that is dramatically sudden, being asked to audition for The Runaways by Kim Fowley and Joan Jett while at her local hangout. All of a sudden, she's thrust into the big-time world of rock music, and the pace is hectic, with fame, and drugs, chasing the band. The heart of the story is Currie's quest to find a family who'll appreciate her for herself; her dad does, and, to a large degree, her twin sister, Marie, and older sister, Sandie, but she contrasts them with the sisterhood, of sorts, she finds with her bandmates. The growing infighting amongst the band, in large part of what was perceived as Currie's starring role in the press, along with her own increasing reliance on drugs and exhaustion from touring, help drive them apart. Her life post-Runaways finds her acting (in the film Foxes, alongside Jodie Foster), recording solo albums and, mainly, figuring out who she is...all while still in her twenties. So much happens to Currie while still a teenager that it's sometimes hard to remember that she is so young. This is often a dark story, including rape and attacks that read like something out of a true crime book. Her evocation of shows overseas, in Europe especially, are some of the most vivid, including garbage and knives being thrown onstage as punk hit; you can practically feel the anger hurtling toward the stage, and Currie documents these times as vividly as she does the wildness of setting out on the road for the first time. Kim Fowley emerges as the villain who turned a group of young, talented teens into a world-famous band, and while his actions speak for themselves, Currie also details the mixed feelings she had about him, at once abhorring him and appreciating the opportunities he gave her. Sadly, her teen devolution into a range of drugs continued for a while as she tried to break free of their grip, even after watching her alcoholic father die. This Currie, the one struggling for her place and her pride, is as much a player here as the one brandishing glitter and attitude onstage. She is circumspect about some moments, such as her relationship with Joan Jett, writing, "She was my anchor. How do I explain about a person that was my best friend, someone I would confide in like a sister, someone who to me became a strong, sexual attraction? Well, it's easy. Just like how easy it was to be that way with her. I can leave it by saying that I had moments with a friend that quake me to this day. And they were some of the most satisfying moments of my young life." These tender moments are few and far between in Neon Angel; much more drawn out are some of the horror stories that illustrate the dark side of fame, or rather, fame under the iron fist of Fowley. Currie's transformation from Bowie-wannabe to Cherry Bomb through recovery to mom, actress and chain saw cutter is fascinating and riveting.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie

    I've always been a huge Joan Jett fan so this book was a magnet for me. Loved the whole book, her life and her story. Unlike many celebrity memoirs I have read, she is so likable you just can't help but feel all that she has survived. I love this girl and love this book!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laurel

    I think it goes without saying that the writing isn't inventive literary genius, or like, follows normal rules of tenses. But that's not why you read this book. you read it to see what life is like going from a 15 year old valley freak, to a 17 year old banshee in a globe trotting touring band, to a 21 year old coke burnout living in the Hollywood Hills with a fat dealer and passing out at the grocery store. At first I was miffed that the beginning of the text opens with a "This book is based in I think it goes without saying that the writing isn't inventive literary genius, or like, follows normal rules of tenses. But that's not why you read this book. you read it to see what life is like going from a 15 year old valley freak, to a 17 year old banshee in a globe trotting touring band, to a 21 year old coke burnout living in the Hollywood Hills with a fat dealer and passing out at the grocery store. At first I was miffed that the beginning of the text opens with a "This book is based in part on..." referencing the '89 version published with a different co-author. I felt almost cheated - what was being scrubbed from the record? The afterword explains that Cherie wrote the original book as sort of a "young-adult" cautionary tale and that many of the stories she recounts were of a more teen-friendly nature, not a Hollywood Babylon style tell-all. So there's that. As a true completest I'd love to get my hands on the first edition, but it sells for $100+ everywhere. Perhaps it will be my greatest find someday at a junk shop. What's a good metaphor for the hunt for an elusive object? The book itself is quite funny in parts, terrifying in others. Cherie makes Lita Ford out to be a real bitch, but maybe Lita was already wearing this thong unitard under all her clothes and it was too tight. Kim Fowley doesn't quite get the treatment I thought he would, seeing how he blatantly stole money from a bunch of naive teenage girls and continually verbally abused them, but there's a little Stockholm Syndrome in Cherie's descriptions of him, so perhaps that's how she got over. I don't think he's mentioned in the afterword, which is just a long scroll of what everyone in the book is up to now. I can tell you, though; Kim still lives the perv life. He has a radio show on the Underground Garage station on Sirius XM on Saturdays, during one of which he kept proposing to this twenty year old girl in studio. Also his website is amazing. The afterword is also where I found out that Cherie's older sister Sondra played Zach Galifianakis' mom in The Hangover. Anyway, read it if you can get your hands on it. I got it ILL cause it was checked out of the Henrico Library in March and has yet to be returned. If you get the original edition let me borrow it. And don't use your mind's eye to see Cherie as played by Dakota Fanning. It's just wrong. First read: Read from May 16 to 22, 2012, ISBN 9780061961359

  4. 4 out of 5

    nicole

    Fame, manipulation, bad hair, and lots and lots (and lots) of quaaludes. What a train wreck. Both the text (did she have an editor?) and the story (though on the story side of things, that's what keeps you reading, of course). It's hard to look away but in this case, sometimes I really wanted to. I'm afraid I'm forever damaged by Cherie Currie's horrifying history of sexual abuse and stupidity. If you were repulsed by the film version of Kim Fowley, don't even pick this up. Dude is despicable. On Fame, manipulation, bad hair, and lots and lots (and lots) of quaaludes. What a train wreck. Both the text (did she have an editor?) and the story (though on the story side of things, that's what keeps you reading, of course). It's hard to look away but in this case, sometimes I really wanted to. I'm afraid I'm forever damaged by Cherie Currie's horrifying history of sexual abuse and stupidity. If you were repulsed by the film version of Kim Fowley, don't even pick this up. Dude is despicable. One of the worst parts of this book is that it's actually frequently hard to feel sorry for Cherie, despite all the ways she was taken advantage of because she comes across as such a complete dip shit. You were hardcore? Nobody could tell you what to do? Then why is this memoir a lesson in manipulation and how to fall for it? Cherie Currie's life sounds like the exact opposite of the "freedom" she thought she was living out. That said, this is not uninteresting. It's a big ol' mess, quick and reads like a juicy diary, though ultimately too depressing for me.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tanya (Girl Plus Books)

    3.5 stars - After seeing the movie The Runaways I felt led to pick up Cherie Currie's book at the library. Overall, Neon Angel was what I expected - a behind the scenes look at the drug-fueled downfall of a former teenaged rock musician/actress. Currie experienced more in her first 20 years or so than usually seen in several lifetimes. Unfortunately most of the negative experiences seem to be caused by her own (drug-addled) choices or naivete. Many times I was struck by how incredibly naive she 3.5 stars - After seeing the movie The Runaways I felt led to pick up Cherie Currie's book at the library. Overall, Neon Angel was what I expected - a behind the scenes look at the drug-fueled downfall of a former teenaged rock musician/actress. Currie experienced more in her first 20 years or so than usually seen in several lifetimes. Unfortunately most of the negative experiences seem to be caused by her own (drug-addled) choices or naivete. Many times I was struck by how incredibly naive she seemed to be (or at least how she chose to portray herself). At first I excused it by thinking "she was only a teenager" but, despite her age at the time, she was no ordinary teenager. By the age of 15 she was in a rock band and touring the world. Surely, sheer life experience would have added a bit of wisdom or even "street smarts" along the way. It also rankled to read of her twin sister Marie used as a scapegoat for her drug use. Apparently, Marie's unwillingness to fully support their joint-effort album drove Cherie straight to freebasing cocaine. Seriously? Somehow I doubt Marie was forcing the pipe to her lips. How about some personal responsibility for the choices she willingly made? It was also interesting when reading the afterword where Currie gave some "where are they now" info, there was absolutely no mention of Lita Ford. No love lost there! All in all, Neon Angel was an interesting look at a crazed lifestyle and ultimate redemption.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    She had me with the first chapter, where she first describes her Bowie fixation. Despite the fact that I've always had a soft spot for The Runaways, I knew I'd have an easy time reading the memoir of a fellow Bowiephile - but man, I had no idea what I was getting myself into with reading the stories of Cherie Currie's life. Even after seeing the Runaways movie (which was based largely on this book), I only knew the tip of the iceberg. Currie shares tales from her life that made my blood run cold She had me with the first chapter, where she first describes her Bowie fixation. Despite the fact that I've always had a soft spot for The Runaways, I knew I'd have an easy time reading the memoir of a fellow Bowiephile - but man, I had no idea what I was getting myself into with reading the stories of Cherie Currie's life. Even after seeing the Runaways movie (which was based largely on this book), I only knew the tip of the iceberg. Currie shares tales from her life that made my blood run cold, hot, and every temperature in between. And the style of writing that she and her co-writer employ is personable, bittersweet and deliciously campy all in one package. I got the feeling while reading this book that I was sitting at a diner with Cherie Currie, demolishing bottomless cups of coffee and shooting the breeze. I enjoyed the way this book addressed the reader with a breezy tone of familiarity, as if we were her besties. Her life story is not always easy to digest, but from the very first chapter, it's easy to invest in the wild life of this amazing lady. Good stuff.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sian Lile-Pastore

    at the beginning of this book i felt slightly disappointed in myself that I didn't join a band when i was 15 and go on tour and get a bit crazy while wearing a corset and suspenders(i was busy getting videos out of pier video in aberystwyth and reading books about aleister crowley), but by the end of reading this i realised that i had made the right choice. (and ye-es, there wasn't really a choice - no one came and asked me to join a band while i was hanging out in the sugar shack). so, there are at the beginning of this book i felt slightly disappointed in myself that I didn't join a band when i was 15 and go on tour and get a bit crazy while wearing a corset and suspenders(i was busy getting videos out of pier video in aberystwyth and reading books about aleister crowley), but by the end of reading this i realised that i had made the right choice. (and ye-es, there wasn't really a choice - no one came and asked me to join a band while i was hanging out in the sugar shack). so, there are actually lots of horrible things in this book and the way the runaways were treated when they were so young is just horrifying. argh. men are awful but aside from this - or because of this - the book is really fascinating. i loved cherrie's natural writing style, and I liked how she wrote about all the stuff without ever really portraying herself as a victim. the 'deleted scenes' while a cute idea, i could have done without. really enjoyed it, love the music and am gonna go and watch the movie.

  8. 5 out of 5

    SarahJayn

    When I first read this book, I was a little confused. I had to go back and read it again. Basically, I was confused because I have no idea how a memoir this good - raw and honest and confused and funny and sad - could have been boiled down to the piece of garbage that was the movie, The Runaways. Seriously, how did that happen? Currie is not the most fantastic writer that ever existed. Her voice is plain and had a little of I'm-trying-too-hard-to-sound-like-a-real-author syndrome going on at tim When I first read this book, I was a little confused. I had to go back and read it again. Basically, I was confused because I have no idea how a memoir this good - raw and honest and confused and funny and sad - could have been boiled down to the piece of garbage that was the movie, The Runaways. Seriously, how did that happen? Currie is not the most fantastic writer that ever existed. Her voice is plain and had a little of I'm-trying-too-hard-to-sound-like-a-real-author syndrome going on at times. But the story . . . the story is fantastic. Instead of the shock-and-awe style that most rock n' roll biographies depend upon, Currie leans heavily on the internal conflict. Sure, a lot of crazy stuff goes down, but whatever hell Currie is going through pales in comparison to her internal demons. A great read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mickey Tompkins

    I really like the Runaways stuff, but after she left it became the Nikki Sixx show with how much coke she did. The best part of the book was her encounter with James Lloyd White, that was absolutely terrifying! I'm not sure if Cherie actually wrote this or had a ghost writer, but according to Joan Jett who did the forward she was even surprised by how well Cherie could write.....I agree Her life is/was pretty amazing, and it's incredible she is still alive, she got her shit together it seemed thou I really like the Runaways stuff, but after she left it became the Nikki Sixx show with how much coke she did. The best part of the book was her encounter with James Lloyd White, that was absolutely terrifying! I'm not sure if Cherie actually wrote this or had a ghost writer, but according to Joan Jett who did the forward she was even surprised by how well Cherie could write.....I agree Her life is/was pretty amazing, and it's incredible she is still alive, she got her shit together it seemed though. If you like biographies, and tell-all with the dirt and sleaze then this is the book for you......too bad the movie wasn't as in-depth as this book, now I have to read Joan & Lita's books.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Caryn Rose

    This was a very tough book to read because it was a very tough story. This is a rewrite of an earlier edition and you can definitely feel that in parts. The beginning could be tough because there was less edit help than there was at the end. There seemed to be a conscious attempt to retain as much as Cherie's voice as possible and that did make reading the story tough at times. I wish there had been a little less voice and a little more editing in places because that would make the story easier This was a very tough book to read because it was a very tough story. This is a rewrite of an earlier edition and you can definitely feel that in parts. The beginning could be tough because there was less edit help than there was at the end. There seemed to be a conscious attempt to retain as much as Cherie's voice as possible and that did make reading the story tough at times. I wish there had been a little less voice and a little more editing in places because that would make the story easier to read simply from a language perspective - because it is a very powerful story. If you didn't hate Kim Fowley before, you will by the time you're done.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Randi (The Artist Formerly known as Guitar Chick)

    As a a huge Runaways fan, I loved this book instantly. There are better written books, but this had so much info on the Runaways, the icky Kim Fowley and Cherie's post Runaways life that I sucked it all in in a bout three hours. It's probably a good thirteen and up book if you skip the Kim Fowley's Naughty Things chapter. I did and I was just fine. Although some of the content is very intense, some of it is really very funny (i.e. Sandy West spraying Seltzer Water at a prostitute). A good read f As a a huge Runaways fan, I loved this book instantly. There are better written books, but this had so much info on the Runaways, the icky Kim Fowley and Cherie's post Runaways life that I sucked it all in in a bout three hours. It's probably a good thirteen and up book if you skip the Kim Fowley's Naughty Things chapter. I did and I was just fine. Although some of the content is very intense, some of it is really very funny (i.e. Sandy West spraying Seltzer Water at a prostitute). A good read for more mature readers.

  12. 4 out of 5

    C

    Ever since I opened this book I have been unable to stop playing the Runaways. That is how much I have been immersed, obsessed with this book. Cherie Currie has written a memoir that reads real, raw and full of life. Her life is sprawled out within this book and charts her time before and after the Runaways. God, I just love this damn book and now I have the runaways in my life.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Simpson

    Phenomenal. I love Cherie Currie so much, she is definitely, my idol, after reading this book and seeing the movie. To hearing the music. The book was the cherry on top. She is a wonderful human being, who has grown so much. I loved it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Katryne

    I only came into contact with the Runaways through the feature film, and I only now realise that it's based on this book. Cherie Currie has had quite a history, typical of a rockstar in some ways, and unique in many others. I'm surprised she made it out alive.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    A powerful and inspiring story of life on the run, Neon Angel is about the nostalgia of 1970's music and the friendship of an exciting rock band as much as it's about the lead narrator's personal life.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Boring.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Monique

    You couldn't make this up if you tried to! Before watching the movie The Runaways, I didn't know who Cherie Currie was. The Runaways, for me, was Joan Jett's first band, but the movie made me want to know more, and since Joan Jett is extremely private, I picked up NEON ANGEL: A Memoir of a Runaway. What a revelation it was! I can hardly find the words, but NEON ANGEL is a must read. It's enlightening, disgusting, exhilarating, nauseating, mesmerising, heartbreaking, and enthralling. The Runaways You couldn't make this up if you tried to! Before watching the movie The Runaways, I didn't know who Cherie Currie was. The Runaways, for me, was Joan Jett's first band, but the movie made me want to know more, and since Joan Jett is extremely private, I picked up NEON ANGEL: A Memoir of a Runaway. What a revelation it was! I can hardly find the words, but NEON ANGEL is a must read. It's enlightening, disgusting, exhilarating, nauseating, mesmerising, heartbreaking, and enthralling. The Runaways really were tough chicks, it wasn't an act, but being in that band was close to hell. Cherie Currie's audition must be read to be believed! And Kim Fowley, the band's manager? Whoa! There are the unfortunate and all too common stories of the band not seeing the money (but wait until you see how that turned out!); the strained relations between the girls - we're talking 15 and 16 year-olds when they started - and the substance abuse. There are also very unusual family dynamics at work; Cherie has an identical twin sister, and the responsible adults not whom you would expect. NEON ANGEL is unlike any other rock star memoir I have ever read. Ms. Currie is brutally honest, open when she can but careful when she has to, because there are explosive revelations. Even though she had serious substance abuse issues, she went through horrific, unimaginable experiences, such as rape and torture, that no one should ever go through. Her writing style is unpolished and straightforward, and I think it was the right decision not to overedit her words; I guess we have Tony O'Neill, the co-author to thank for that. Her voice comes out strong and clear, and I think it serves her story well; it's very dynamic and it puts the reader in the moment. There are also several fabulous pictures that accompany the text. Cherie Currie would be the first to acknowledge that she made mistakes, but my goodness, what a life filled with incredible highs and horrendous lows. I read way past my bedtime, sometimes nearly in a trance and in tears. I wish this review to be a hug for her. I'm glad she made it, that she's alive and thriving, and that she chose to tell her story, one that I will never forget.

  18. 5 out of 5

    kory.

    wow what a wild fucking ride also kim fowley is fucking vile content/trigger warnings; fatphobia, suicide, ableism, divorce, gendered slurs, bullying, physical violence, rape (multiple), drug abuse, sex, queerphobia (homophobia, lesbophobia, f slur, violence), child abuse, verbal abuse, mental abuse, predatory men, pedophilia, forced voyeurism, sexual assault and harassment, anti-sex work antagonism, alcoholism, abortion, self harm, car crash, addiction, kidnapping, attempted murder, cancer, death wow what a wild fucking ride also kim fowley is fucking vile content/trigger warnings; fatphobia, suicide, ableism, divorce, gendered slurs, bullying, physical violence, rape (multiple), drug abuse, sex, queerphobia (homophobia, lesbophobia, f slur, violence), child abuse, verbal abuse, mental abuse, predatory men, pedophilia, forced voyeurism, sexual assault and harassment, anti-sex work antagonism, alcoholism, abortion, self harm, car crash, addiction, kidnapping, attempted murder, cancer, death of a loved one, edit 7/7/20: lowering my rating because i just learned that a member of the runaways, jackie, was drugged and raped by kim fowley in front of a bunch of people who just watched, including the band. and in this book, cherie writes about it, only she creates a fictionalized version of it where the fictional victim encourages kim as jackie passively watches. and in cherie's version, cherie is the only one to object while it was happening, which doesn't line up with other people's memory of the night. jackie said cherie writing about it retraumatized her. and a roadie recorded jackie's breakdown, after the band treated her like garbage for being "whiny" and not wanting to party (which cherie goes on and on about in this book, and it's like....hm i wonder why she didn't want to do drugs with y'all), and the band listened to it and mocked her as pre-show ritual after she left the band. joan is said to have told someone who was there that night to deny being there if questioned by lawyers if jackie's mom sued. and when jackie later spoke out about the rape, joan denied being there/witnessing it, claiming she would've done something if she had seen it. also worth noting that another member of the band was raped by kim and when she spoke to the girls about the abuse she was experiencing from him, they didn't believe her or didn't care. so basically....what the fuck @ most of the runaways

  19. 5 out of 5

    John

    Not particularly well-written, but nonetheless a supremely engaging read, NEON ANGEL tells the story of Cherie Currie, a girl who, within the space of several months, went from being a high school outcast to one of the hottest names in the rock 'n' roll music industry. As lead singer of the Runaways, Cherie Currie launched her career playing alongside the likes of Joan Jett and Lita Ford. Like all good rock 'n' roll stories, though, the dream quickly deteriorated into a nightmare of various addi Not particularly well-written, but nonetheless a supremely engaging read, NEON ANGEL tells the story of Cherie Currie, a girl who, within the space of several months, went from being a high school outcast to one of the hottest names in the rock 'n' roll music industry. As lead singer of the Runaways, Cherie Currie launched her career playing alongside the likes of Joan Jett and Lita Ford. Like all good rock 'n' roll stories, though, the dream quickly deteriorated into a nightmare of various addictions and abuses. In this case, the abuses were mostly suffered at the hands of the band's manager, a piece of human scum whose concept for the band's image could be summed up in the words "jailbait sex." And, even though he rode roughshod over their lives, called them horrible names, refused to pay them, threatened them with lawsuits, and even pimped Cherie out on one occasion, the girls still continued on in their ironic belief that they were living the lives of wild, carefree spirits who wouldn't take any crap from anyone. I mostly became interested in the Runaways after first seeing the movie trailer for the 2010 film of the same name starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning. I thought it looked like a cross between Mark Wahlburg's ROCK STAR and Oliver Stone's THE DOORS, but the end result was ultimately disappointing. NEON ANGEL, however, tells the story in a way that puts the movie version to shame (though, to be fair, the movie would've had to have been NC-17 to do the book justice--and this was a Dakota Fanning movie, after all.) NEON ANGEL also elaborates on Currie's post-Runaways life, starting with how she immediately pissed away a promising solo career (not necessarily her fault). Then we learn how she pissed away a promising acting career (totally her fault). There's also a really harrowing chapter about the time she was kidnapped and brutalized at the hands of a lunatic, as well as enough depictions of cocaine abuse to make even Hunter S. Thompson wince. And, like all good rock 'n' roll stories, Currie manages to redeem herself at the end. The scene where Rosanna Arquette finds her folding linen for $2.50 an hour at a women's department store is especially memorable. As with most memoirs, however, NEON ANGEL suffers somewhat from subjective bias. I imagine that people like Lita Ford weren't QUITE as horrible to her as she portrays them. I'm also not at all convinced that Currie was quite the caliber of artist that she thinks she was. But, heck, this is a rock 'n' roll memoir, so where would we be without a little excess ego? And, as far as rock memoirs go, they don't come much better than NEON ANGEL.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Terese

    What a survivor she is

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kyli

    Neon Angel read like a diary - it was honest and raw and kept me turning the pages. Some people might say that Currie was self-centered and that she caused her own problems, but I actually admire her strength and her ability to change the course her life was taking. It's a story that most definitely could have ended differently and does for many people. The writing wasn't entirely impressive, but there were some scenes that I felt were very well described and there was a lot of emotion weaved thr Neon Angel read like a diary - it was honest and raw and kept me turning the pages. Some people might say that Currie was self-centered and that she caused her own problems, but I actually admire her strength and her ability to change the course her life was taking. It's a story that most definitely could have ended differently and does for many people. The writing wasn't entirely impressive, but there were some scenes that I felt were very well described and there was a lot of emotion weaved through every chapter. It's so shocking that at such a young age, someone could experience so many extraordinary things, both good and tragically bad. I had to skip over most of the chapter that detailed Currie's abduction and rape. I'm not sure exactly what happened there, but I knew where it was going, and decided after reading that it gave other people nightmares not to expose myself to it! I don't often do that and I can usually read through scenes like that, so that's saying something about how awful I knew it was going to be without even reading it! I can't imagine the strength and perseverance it must have taken to overcome not just one rape, but two, along with an abortion, and a downpour of other bad experiences. It's easy to forget that when she joined the Runaways, she was just a child; an essentially parentless child who was trying to fill that void with whatever she could find. Ultimately she found Kim Fowley who would make her dreams come true and tear her apart all at the same time. I really enjoyed reading about the Runaways and their life on tour. It was fun learning about a lifestyle I could only wonder about. Despite how difficult it was to read about Currie's mistakes and all of the moments she naively put herself in danger, I found myself turning pages quickly, not because I wanted the book to end, but because I wanted to read about how she got her life back on track. It was really rewarding to find out that she did, indeed, do just that. For me, its the end result (her strength, determination, and resilience) that made this book a memorable and empowering read. Also, just to add - I think the movie would have been much better if it stayed truer to the book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Roberto

    This totally hooked me, in a car crashy way, all that sleaze and decadence. Kim Fowley! Bitchiness! And that whole late 70s Los Angeles disco darkness. I found myself just having to know what would happen next to Cherie, and some of it is just so bad. Poor Cherie. Then there were times when i just wanted to shake her and tell her to lay off the cocaine of a morning, maybe go easy on the tuinols, and stop pissing off Angela Lansbury. Still, she is obviously amazing, that hair, the outfits, just a This totally hooked me, in a car crashy way, all that sleaze and decadence. Kim Fowley! Bitchiness! And that whole late 70s Los Angeles disco darkness. I found myself just having to know what would happen next to Cherie, and some of it is just so bad. Poor Cherie. Then there were times when i just wanted to shake her and tell her to lay off the cocaine of a morning, maybe go easy on the tuinols, and stop pissing off Angela Lansbury. Still, she is obviously amazing, that hair, the outfits, just about the coolest, snottiest singer ever, in the coolest band ever. The last few pages were a bit tedious, it felt like she didn't know how to end the thing and it just kept getting less and less relevant to the whole story of the runaways...i guess this is a story of survival, but more importantly it is a story of girls in glittery jumpsuits rocking out. If you love the runaways, you kind of have to read this. Then go watch Foxes.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina Rutter

    Shortly after watching the movie The Runaways I came across this book during one of my online searches for interesting books. I was so excited to find this, and just knew I was going to love it! It did not disappoint! Cherie Currie is lucky to be alive today for so many different reasons! I was shocked, and horrified at some of the things she went through. Oh, and let me not forget pissed off! If you think you're going to be reading some run of the mill celebrity memoir when you open this book yo Shortly after watching the movie The Runaways I came across this book during one of my online searches for interesting books. I was so excited to find this, and just knew I was going to love it! It did not disappoint! Cherie Currie is lucky to be alive today for so many different reasons! I was shocked, and horrified at some of the things she went through. Oh, and let me not forget pissed off! If you think you're going to be reading some run of the mill celebrity memoir when you open this book you're in for a good surprise! There's so much to Cherie's story that I feel like this woman has lived many lives. If you're a fan of memoirs don't pass this by just because it's a celebrity memoir! It's absolutely worth the read! Now that I have read the book I'm going to go watch the movie again because I feel I will understand it so much better now!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I loved this book tremendously - especially how compassionate her voice became as the story went on and she became more self-aware - but as an abuse survivor myself, it's hard to shake the fact that there's almost nonstop darkness during her time as a performer and touring musician, especially when she later talks about all of the good times in a rather vague manner. A dark time is rarely all dark 24/7, and I think a couple of amusing and happier anecdotes (of which she assure the reader there a I loved this book tremendously - especially how compassionate her voice became as the story went on and she became more self-aware - but as an abuse survivor myself, it's hard to shake the fact that there's almost nonstop darkness during her time as a performer and touring musician, especially when she later talks about all of the good times in a rather vague manner. A dark time is rarely all dark 24/7, and I think a couple of amusing and happier anecdotes (of which she assure the reader there are, even though we don't get to read as many of them) and I think a little balance in the middle might have helped. However, that said, Currie's ab is ultimately trimphant, and she is quite a survivor. She's an amazing woman, her art is beautiful, and I wish her all the luck and success in the world. She's certainly earned it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Several months ago I sat down to watch The Runaways (the movie) staring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning. I ended up really enjoying it. Going in of course I knew about Joan Jett (I love her stuff) and I knew the song Cherry Bomb, but I didn't know much about the band itself or their history. I was intrigued enough to picked up Cherie Currie's Neon Angel, the book the movie was based on. It's rare for me to read a memoir but I definitely wanted to learn more. I was absolutely enthralled with t Several months ago I sat down to watch The Runaways (the movie) staring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning. I ended up really enjoying it. Going in of course I knew about Joan Jett (I love her stuff) and I knew the song Cherry Bomb, but I didn't know much about the band itself or their history. I was intrigued enough to picked up Cherie Currie's Neon Angel, the book the movie was based on. It's rare for me to read a memoir but I definitely wanted to learn more. I was absolutely enthralled with this book. Cherie's story is exciting, horrifying, inspirational and above all honest. It was shocking to see how much this girl/woman went through, especially at such a young age. Really it's a miracle she's alive today. Although it wasn't easy and took a few tries, she was able to drag herself out of the black hole she was in and land in a better place.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    From page 331: "When I was fifteen years old, I imagined that I could just jump into being a rock star, and never have to struggle for it. It was like one of those rides at the carnival where the bottom drops away and you're stuck against the wall, spinning wildly, feeling sick and disoriented, unable to get off or even move until the ride stops." Currie paints a very raw picture of her life as the lead singer of The Runaways. Her story is intriguing and it was a great read. Don't just see the move From page 331: "When I was fifteen years old, I imagined that I could just jump into being a rock star, and never have to struggle for it. It was like one of those rides at the carnival where the bottom drops away and you're stuck against the wall, spinning wildly, feeling sick and disoriented, unable to get off or even move until the ride stops." Currie paints a very raw picture of her life as the lead singer of The Runaways. Her story is intriguing and it was a great read. Don't just see the move - http://www.runawaysmovie.com/ - as the book contains more details and dives deeper into the harsh reality of the lives of these teenage girls who are thrust into adulthood and a rock and roll lifestyle.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stella

    Let me begin with stating that I have always been and always will be a Joan Jett kind of girl. This book was not something that I picked up because of some weird Runaways movie tie in, but in fact have wanted to read for a long time. I love books about music and especially books of this nature. That being said, I felt that Cherie was a little "woe is me" and never thought about what anyone was feeling/experiencing. There were very negative lights cast on some members of the Runaways, and parts t Let me begin with stating that I have always been and always will be a Joan Jett kind of girl. This book was not something that I picked up because of some weird Runaways movie tie in, but in fact have wanted to read for a long time. I love books about music and especially books of this nature. That being said, I felt that Cherie was a little "woe is me" and never thought about what anyone was feeling/experiencing. There were very negative lights cast on some members of the Runaways, and parts that could have been expanded upon. Maybe I expect a lot. It was still an interesting read none the less.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Fleming-Swehla

    I couldn't put this down and stayed up all night to finish it. I was a Joan Jett fan, Lita Ford fan, and saw Cherie Currie in the movie, Foxes and was completely sucked into Cherie Currie's autobiographical account of those crazy crazy years in the Runaways. This edition includes a very nice intro from Joan Jett. The story also goes beyond the years of the Runaways to chronicle Cherie's personal journey through drugs, alcohol and the Hollywood scene. Great story. Good for her for making it throu I couldn't put this down and stayed up all night to finish it. I was a Joan Jett fan, Lita Ford fan, and saw Cherie Currie in the movie, Foxes and was completely sucked into Cherie Currie's autobiographical account of those crazy crazy years in the Runaways. This edition includes a very nice intro from Joan Jett. The story also goes beyond the years of the Runaways to chronicle Cherie's personal journey through drugs, alcohol and the Hollywood scene. Great story. Good for her for making it through and getting through it all with hope and inspiration.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Steven Davis

    I was a bit slow outta the gate what with having the time to read it. From the start, it's rolling thru Cherie's life. I ran into Kim Fowley in Hollywood after I saw The Runaways open for The Ramones. Was struck by the openness the author had in the telling of her life journey, the honesty and some of the brutality as well. Knew she was a chainsaw Carver, didn't know she was in recovery. Thank goodness. Grateful to have read her story. Excellent book! Thanks to a dear friend for sending it to me I was a bit slow outta the gate what with having the time to read it. From the start, it's rolling thru Cherie's life. I ran into Kim Fowley in Hollywood after I saw The Runaways open for The Ramones. Was struck by the openness the author had in the telling of her life journey, the honesty and some of the brutality as well. Knew she was a chainsaw Carver, didn't know she was in recovery. Thank goodness. Grateful to have read her story. Excellent book! Thanks to a dear friend for sending it to me! Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch Cherry Bomb!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Niche

    I understand that Cherie Currie is not a writer and she does has a pretty amazing story to tell but... it's obvious that she has a hard time relating to other people. All the other people mentioned in the book, Joan Jett included, do not feel like real people. They're more like cardboard cutouts. She does not try to explain, or justify, or relate to, other people-they just seem like a mystery to her. No one apparently told Cherie Currie that old saying, "Show don't tell."

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