Friday, September 10, 2010

Memoir Of A Runaway

I just finished Neon Angel and I have to say it's the most interesting and oddly relate able memoir I've ever read! My other favorite memoirs include Prozac Nation which I was deeply obsessed with in high school and Running With Scissors. All of which have been adapted into movies!
At first Cherie Currie's memoir reads like a crash course on how to become a rock star. She's a unique and sensitive soul, tortured just enough by her parents separation and eventual divorce to evolve from a wallflower to a David bowie obsessed outcast. After being sexual abused by her twin sisters boyfriend at the age of 15 Cherie finds ways of expressing herself while hiding herself at the same time. She dons a mask of confidence complete with red, white and blue hair and takes control of the negative energy people are giving her and shoves it right down their throats with a -if you think I'm weird... I'll show you weird- attitude. It works and soon she's goes from queen of the odd balls to a sort of local trend setter. It's during this time she get approached by Kim Foley to audition for lead singer of his new band The Runaways. That part is history she makes the band and bonds with Joan and Sandy while clashing with Lita. The road leading up to their fame is bumpy and filled with dozens of drug addled and misguided adventures every teen faces, rock star or not. As well as shocking manipulations these girls faced and accepted at such a young age as the price you must pay to be in a successful band.So much goes on in this book that covers their first, second and final tour in Japan. One thing missing from the book is the strong bond Cherie says to have shared with Joan that is never really explained. Little comments about how Joan could always take her out of a depressive spell if just for a moment with a smile or a joke but nothing that really makes the reader understand it. It's almost completely over looked in the book which is odd because in the movie it plays a pretty major part in the bands dynamic as well as Cherie's life. I can only think that she wanted to keep those details private... but then other sad and horrible details pertaining to her sexual abuse and abortion where left in the book which suggests that maybe she left out the true nature and bond of the relationship she shared with Joan per Joan's own request. Either Way this book is so good and I wish I could give my opinion of every detail of this book and describe all the thing I took away from it. As you progress through Cherie's memoir it becomes less about the life of a rock star and more about her struggle with drugs and alcohol. Fueled by many things but mostly her inner demons from her childhood, her regrets about the band and her tangled family relationships. I've learned so much about her that I never knew and while I didn't feel pity for her I did feel a sense of protection. Cherie reminds me of a long time friend of mine. Someone often called a drama queen for her always emotional reactions. She feels so deeply and every pain she experiences is like a physical cut across her heart. Not everyone can understand how much emotions can control a persons life. Cherie is one of those people that I feel are so sensitive and tortured that they have adapted to waring armor of some kind, armor made of drugs, alcohol, art, hate, sex... anything, as a way of protecting and disconnecting themselves, that also lets them feel in control while being out of control. Idk maybe I'm way off. Anyway... so much is detailed in this book about Cherie's life before, during and after her experience with the Runaways but it cuts off rather abruptly at the age of 24 once she has cleaned up her act and become a drug counselor. She had so much talent and potential that I think everyone around her took a piece of her for themselves thinking she had enough to spare when really they ended up taring her apart. The good news is she rebuilt herself over and over again from singer to actress, to drug counselor to personal trainer, to chainsaw artist, to author... she's had quite a life and I encourage you all to read her memoir. I can't believe how much I've written and how much I still want to say but I'll leave on a good note:

Look at her now! Wow. Her and Joan both have only gotten better looking with age! They still seem to have the same look though, Joan all dark and edgy and Cherie is like glam tomboy. :)

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