Cherie Currie's trying comeback 

click to enlarge Cherie Currie of The Runaways appears at the Red Devil Lounge this weekend.
  • Cherie Currie of The Runaways appears at the Red Devil Lounge this weekend.

Three years ago, ex-Runaways frontwoman Cherie Currie was surfing a tidal wave of revivalist recognition. Her tell-all autobiography, "Neon Angel: The Cherie Currie Story," had just come out, as had the 1970s-set docudrama it inspired, "The Runaways," starring Dakota Fanning as a teenage Currie, falling prey to drugs and rock life with her trailblazing all-girl outfit.

"When I opened for Joan [Jett, her old bandmate] at the Pacific Amphitheatre in August of 2010, I really wasn't considering getting back into the business at age 50," says Currie, who plays San Francisco this weekend, backed by her son — who she had with actor Robert Hays — Jake Hays, on guitar.

"But that show turned out so well that I was offered a deal and tours right away," she adds.

Still, Currie wound up getting abused by showbiz again.

A solo comeback recording she made in 2011 — produced by Guns N' Roses vet Matt Sorum and guest-starring Slash, Duff McCagan, The Veronicas and Juliette Lewis — remains unreleased.

"Matt did an amazing job — it really is a great album," says Currie, describing the album, with its anthemic "You Wreck Me," plus a duet with Billy Corgan and a scrappy updating of the old Runaways classic "Queens of Noise" with Distillers-Spinnerette singer Brody Dalle.

"But now we're not even sure if the record is going to see the light of day," chimes in Hays, who has been co-writing with mom when not anchoring his own outfit, Maudlin Strangers.

Currie, 53, elaborates. First, it took over a year for everyone involved to sign off on the disc. Then, she was forbidden from touring by her then-manager Kenny Laguna, who also handles Joan Jett.

"He said, 'Nope, you can't play, it's not time,'" says Currie, who maintains a thriving chainsaw-art company, where her smallest carvings sell for $250 and up.

"One summer went by, and then another, and another was coming up, and I said, 'Kenny, you can't let me sit here. The band's been waiting for two years!' I was trying to tell him that I'm not 20 years old anymore — one year is like five when you hit 50."

Currie allowed her contract with Laguna to expire, so her master tapes now hang in contractual limbo.

"Because the business didn't work for me when I was young, it's become a dream of mine to come back," she says. "But I can't wait for anybody anymore. I just want to play some Runaways songs for all the fans and kind of say goodbye, in a way."

Cherie Currie

Where: Red Devil Lounge, 1695 Polk St., S.F.

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: $15 to $18

Contact: (415) 447-4730;

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Tom Lanham

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