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Rock veterans Cherie Currie and Brie Darling team up for new duo
Cherie Currie was "going out of the music business" when the former Runaways singer made a guest appearance on "Fanny Walked Off the Earth."
Instead, she came out of that with a new band.
Currie has joined forces with Fanny drummer Brie Darling for a new duo that released a mostly covers album, "The Motivator," in August. Now the two are on the road, talking about another album and exactly where Currie did not expect to be at this point in time.
"I wanted nothing to do with this business anymore. I was just done with it," Currie, 59, says by phone with a laugh. After her tenure with the Runaways ended in 1977, she went on to a solo career and to acting and also became an award-winning chainsaw artist. Her memoir “Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway” provided the basis for the 2010 film “The Runaways.” But she and Darling — as well as Darling's husband, six-time Grammy Award nominee Dave Darling — bonded while making the Fanny album, which made continuing on inevitable.
"They just slayed me," Currie says. "She's just brilliant and he's just brilliant and I never had as much fun in the studio with anyone as I did with them. We just enjoy each other's company and we seem to make each other better. So I couldn't not do it."
The feeling was mutual for the Darlings. "We hit it off immediately in the studio," Brie, 70, says. "The minute (Currie) walked in the door there was something about her. She's just one of those people who has a 'thing.' It was obvious from the start. We both cut our teeth on songs from the late ’60s and early ’70s that still stand the test of time, so we felt we could make a record that captured that."
"The Motivator" is that, with nine covers — including the T. Rex title track and songs by the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, Stevie Wonder and Thunderclap Newman, as well as three newly written songs.
"Of course we were thinking about the political kind of aspect ’cause the climate now is just so awful," says Currie. That led to selections such as the Stones' "Gimme Shelter" and Wonder's "Higher Ground." "We just decided we were going to choose songs that resonated with us and that we loved to listen to as young people."
Guests on the album, meanwhile, include Currie's ex-husband, actor Robert Hayes, and her sister Sondra Currie, Susan Olsen of "The Brady Bunch," some of Darling's siblings, actress/director Allison Scagliotti and Suzi Quatro's sister Patti, a member of Fanny as well as the ’60s bands the Pleasure Seekers and Cradle.
Currie is pleased to report that she and Darling are "just kicking ass" on the road, which is what will likely make the tandem a going concern — with more original material next time around.
"With this record I feel like we honored our past," Darling explains, "and by writing a few songs we started the beginning of our new journey together. I think the goal is to see what that brings in the future. I want to be ready for anything and open to everything and see where we're going. So, yes, I'm really looking forward to the next record."
Cherie Currie and Brie Darling perform Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Magic Bag in Ferndale. The Amy Gore Band and Royal Sweets are also on the bill. Doors at 8 p.m., tickets $20; 249-544-1991 or themagicbag.com.
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