Top positive review
17 people found this helpful
on 2 June 2010
Rock'n'roll has always been the realm of men, but some women have gotten to shine over the years as well. "Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway" chronicles Cherie Currie's brief time as a reigning female rocker with the band the Runaways -- drugs, sex, rock'n'roll, and the painful memories of a young girl who grew up too fast.
At fifteen, Cherie Currie's family had completely crumbled and she had been raped by her twin sister's slimy ex-boyfriend. So she had a lot of rage and rebellion boiling inside... which was exactly what a sleazy manager out to create a "bad-girl" rock'n'roll band wanted. She became the lead singer of the five-girl band The Runaways, along with rock legend Joan Jett.
But the Runaways didn't have the glamorous wild life they had hoped for, since their manager pocketed almost all their money and they were forced into a grueling grind of record-cutting and touring. But internal tensions within the band started getting nasty because Currie was getting too much attention, and a nasty split from the band threw her into a downward spiral.
Cherie Currie is definitely one thing: brutally honest. "Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway" is like watching someone rip off a giant band-aid and showing the world the scars underneath. Her story about the Runaways is filled with sleazy men, loveless sex, hard-boiled bandmates and the consequences of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll. There's no glamour here.
In fact, she's most brutally honest about herself. The overall tone of the book is that of a mature woman ruefully looking back on her youthful mistakes, and she never sugarcoats the horrible things that happened. There's a raw pain to her stories -- her downward spiral after quitting the Runaways (including stealing all her dad's money for drugs), her abortion, and a grotesque story about being kidnapped and raped by a crazy murderer.
In fact, by the time Currie's story hits age twenty, you feel exhausted. But it's pleasant to hear about her finally finding her way in life and getting past her all-consuming drug addiction -- there's an afterword where she describes how her various family members are getting on, and what she is now doing with her life
"Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway" is a bloody, dirty, chaotic tale of rock'n'roll life -- definitely not a light read.