Once upon a time in the world of rock ‘n’ roll, a girl wielded a microphone and her band carved an entryway for female rockers. Now the woman who was the girl is wielding a chain saw, carving a new niche in the world.
Cherie Currie became the lead singer of The Runaways before she was old enough to celebrate a “Sweet 16” party. Her life as lead singer has been covered in Currie’s book, a documentary, and a 2010 movie based on the bestselling book, “Neon Angel - Memoir of a Runaway” (Dakota Fanning plays Cherie). “Life is an interesting journey,” Currie, now fifty-three, laughs. “Those were crazy times. They were exciting times. Was it worth it? I say yes!”
Currie pontificates on going back in time to, “The last days of The Runaways. I wish we would have gotten back together. We should have taken time off so we could get back together with a new perspective.” However, “I made the right decision to leave when I did. You don’t know at the moment if your decisions are right or not.” She continues to record; a new album is due in March 2013. Currie dabbles in all the arts: singing, playing music, painting, and -- of course -- carving with a chain saw.
Chain saw art is a form traceable as far back as the 1950’s. It demands concentration, precision, and skill. There are different types of wood to use, and different types of machines. Cherie Currie loves what she does on such a different stage. “There’s not much of a difference” between working a microphone and working the saw. The latter is “more dangerous. But both times are moments in my life when I’m in control. That’s real.” Of course, “I’m covered in gas and oil” when carving, she laughs. “It brings me a lot of happiness.” Her work includes bears, mermaids, dolphins, and furniture. “How can you not be happy when you’re creating something from your soul?”
Young Cherie Currie worshipped performer David Bowie, emulating his costumes, makeup, and hairstyle. In 1976 she actually met her idol. “I was stunned,” she admits. She managed to say a few words of greeting. Thus, Cherie Currie understands how fans react to her; there is a new generation to love The Runaways thanks to the 2010 movie.
Some of that young girl still exists: loving music, loving to perform (she would lip synch to Barry Manilow tunes, she begrudgingly admits). Her happiness with a chain saw is evident in her artwork. She is a sober, philosophical: “Everyone has regrets. My regrets are mine and I’m the one to blame (for making the decisions).” It is a loud, buzzing saw, but Cherie Currie hears it as beautiful music.
Click HERE to check out Cherie Currie’s artwork
All images from chainsawchick.com and used with permission
My website (no chain saws) & my book