Rockbrat Wonders: When Will Kenny Laguna Release The New Cherie Currie Album ?

We want to hear new rock n roll from this lady ! (photo courtesy of Devious Planet)

Like many other long-time Runaways devotees, I was ecstatic to hear that former vocalist Cherie Currie was locked in a studio and recording a new album ! This was a couple of years back now. After years of spinning Cherie’s solo albums – such as the one she did with sister Marie ‘Messin With The Boys’, and her very underrated 1978 LP ‘Beauty’s Only Skin Deep’ – I could not wait to hear some new material. Matt Sorum from Guns n Roses was producing, Slash and Duff McKagen also played on it – Billy Corgan penned a track – I mean, the whispers I’d heard were that this thing was turning out to be one hellava rock n roll album ! and then…well, there it stalled. And there it remains.

Why ? Well, at that time – Cherie was being managed by Kenny Laguna, who (after a 2010 gig supporting Joan Jett) apparently offered Cherie an album deal on his label – Blackheart Records with a tour to follow. For the rock n roll illiterate, Laguna is well-known for having managed the career of Joan Jett. Sure, he produced some hits in the 60’s for artists such as Tommy James and the Shondells, Darlene Love and The Ohio Express, but let’s call a spade (or a black heart!) a spade: he is most well-known for his management of Joan Jett.

Commenting on her current situation in a recent  interview at, Currie said ‘for some reason Kenny hasn’t mastered it’ and ‘it’s still not being released and there’s not much I can do about that. Kenny wouldn’t let me play any shows after I performed with Joan either. For someone my age, a year is like five. Why wouldn’t he let me play? Even with the (Runaways) movie and my book, that would have been PR enough for me to be able to get out there and have fun and play Runaways songs, and say hi to the fans old and new, but he wouldn’t let me do it.’ Also – ‘I feel extremely betrayed by the whole thing. I don’t think Blackheart had any other hits out of that record company besides Joan, so it doesn’t seem to make sense to me’.  Makes no sense to Mr Rockbrat either. Currie continues ‘He just wants me to sign a record contract that I will not sign. It’s one of those 60/40 contracts that they own you for life. The record has been finished for three years. I’ve had to walk away and let it go and I thought the evil was out of this business. Joan’s record is coming out in October and it just blows my mind because she hadn’t even thought about making a record when I went in to make mine. I wish her the best, but it will be a cold day in f**king hell before I ever let anyone do this to me again.”

Joan Jett caught in the Rockbrat lens back in 1995

Cherie’s comments made me furious – enough to sit down and write this post and I am left shaking my head at this situation. Should I care ? What’s the big deal ? Why does it matter you ask ? It matters to me. Cherie is a star. Full stop. She deserves better. I am also from an era where rock n roll mattered – it was all that ever mattered. It’s always been about the music. If it’s all about the music for you Kenny Laguna – you should go ahead and release her record. Consequently, after a frustrating two and a half years of waiting, Currie did not re-new her management contract with Laguna, which apparently expired back in March.

This all sounds kinda petty dontcha think Rockbrat friends ? I recently contacted Blackheart and asked for a release date for Cherie’s album, but as yet – have not received a reply. This is just the latest – in a string of strange decisions over time – from this man and his small record label which have left me baffled. A friend from San Francisco who runs a popular rock podcast has previously attempted (and failed) to get Cherie on his show, and told me ‘at one point I had an interview with Cherie lined up but apparently Blackheart told her she couldn’t do it’. Not sure of the real reason behind that one – but why wouldn’t you grant permission for an artist on your label to do a radio show ? Same deal with Joan – this podcaster is one of the biggest Jett-head’s on the planet – yet never seems to be able to secure an interview with her. A Kenny interview ? Yep, sure. A Blackhearts (band) interview ? no problem. But not Joanie herself. What’s up with that ? Maybe some at Blackheart still think it is 1982 and they can be selective with their main act ? Who knows. Off topic somewhat, buy another odd one is the amount of compilations Joan has released over the years – peculiar to say the least. There was sweet f.a released after 1994’s ‘Pure and Simple’ – but all we got were endless compilations – that rant another time folks.

An issue I also have which gets under my skin is Laguna’s apparent say in Runaways affairs. Can someone please explain to me the full extent of his involvement with the band and indeed their legacy ? I for one would like to know. For example does he get a cut from merchandise? He was listed as the executive producer of The Runaways film from 2010 – but apart from that ? Any legal ownership? He may have some kind of legal right over the Runaways – but not the moral right – (in my opinion) – to call any shots. (Especially with no band involvement in their heyday). Just calling it as I see it.

Actually, the making of that Runaways movie did not sit well with many. Guitarist Lita Ford was quoted at that time in Rolling Stone saying ‘I just want people to know that I have nothing to do with that film’. Ford also added ‘I’ve always loved Joan. I don’t know what the problem is with him (Laguna) – he really goes out of his way to f**k me up. I despise him for it’. You gotta admire Lita’s honesty folks. Incidentally – for all the hype around that film (which I dug, by the way) – nothing could prevent it from from fizzing out after a promising first couple of weeks in the cinemas. Online stats tell my miniscule mathematical brain that a $10 million budget lined up with a gross taking of $3 to 4 million is not what I’d call a (ahem) runaway success. I suggest you also seek out Vickie Blue’s ‘Edgeplay’ documentary (on the Runaways) as well – which includes honest and revealing interviews with most of the band members. Strangely Joan Jett was absent from the film. May I say how disappointed I was at that time when I learnt that she was not filmed for the Edgeplay doco (her decision I believe). Is it also true that Joan/Kenny would apparently not grant the rights required to air the band’s music in the film ? How sad. Even the Beatles managed to patch things up in the mid-90’s for their Anthology thing !

What do you Runaways fans think about the deplorable decision to pretty much ignore the role of  Jackie Fox in that film ? I-n-e-x-c-u-s-a-b-l-e ! How dare her contribution not receive adequate recognition! Yeah I know that film was pretty much based on Currie’s book – but come on. With no Jackie Fox, there would be no Runaways and her apparent omittance from that major film was an outrage. You may’ve got one past the unknowing 14 year old’s who trekked into the cinemas, but her absence was noticed by many like me. Runaways songs such as the blistering ‘Neon Angels on the Road to Ruin’ and the beautiful “Heartbeat” were co-written by one J.Fox ! She was essential to the chemistry of the band and she will forever be known as the bass player in The Runaways (whether that film accurately acknowledged it or not).

The relationship between Joan and Fox has long been rumored to be frosty – but things got even chillier back in 2009, when Joan Jett/Blackheart Records filed a lawsuit against Fox – which was dismissed some time later. From what I have read, Jett felt that Fox was meddling with the making of The Runaways movie. She hoped that the lawsuit would stop any continued interference. Ultimately the judge cited in favor of Fox. Apparently the filmmakers, (including Joan) didn’t secure Fox’s life rights before they made the movie. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Fox had asked (via letters she’d sent to the filmmakers) if her name/likeness were to be included in the movie. Jett apparently thought that Fox was unfairly attempting to halt the movie’s release and sued her for ‘tortuous interference’ (incidentally, the filmmakers had successfully secured life rights of former drummer Sandy West, ex-manager Kim Fowley and indeed Cherie Currie). Was it unreasonable of Fox – to ask/request/question the role of her character/name/likeness – and how she would be portrayed  ?! Judge for yourself.

As is well documented – the ladies in the Runaways never made serious money in the 70’s – none which went into their pockets at least. So a re-union could be great – couldn’t it ? For band and fans alike ? Apparently not. Recently, Joan Jett stated in LA Weekly that there was no point in a Runaways re-union, saying ‘she doesn’t see the benefit on her end’. Also ‘I don’t really get why we should do it – the downside is bigger than the upside’. May I state the bleeding obvious here Joan/Kenny. The Runaways ain’t about just you two. The Runaways are not Joan Jett and friends. It is indeed a band of five – Cherie, Lita, Jackie, Sandy and Joan. End of argument. Personally, the time for a re-union has passed. It should’ve happened in the mid-90s when Sandy was still alive. Not now. Not unless it’s done fairly for all involved.

I met Mr Laguna briefly a couple of times in the mid-90’s at some Blackhearts gigs – he seemed amicable. I recognise his input and legacy into pop music. I also acknowledge that he has been very good for Joan’s career. He has the respect of many in the music industry – but with decisions like this one involving Cherie Currie’s unreleased album (and his dealings in Runaways affairs), I – along with many other long-time Runaways fans – are fast becoming disillusioned.

As you can gather – I am a passionate Runaways disciple. I have previously interviewed Jackie Fox for the Japanese rock media some years back and found her to be friendly, honourable and decent. I also love Cherie, Lita Ford and have been a Joan fan for too many years to remember – always putting my hand in my pocket to buy new material. How exciting to hear a new album from Cherie Currie I thought ! Something I never imagined in the 80’s and 90’s ! Yet how unfortunate that the straight-forward process of releasing an album gets so freaking messy – why oh why complicate something simple ? Just let me rock.

Does Blackheart feel threatened that a Cherie Currie album could take some spotlight away from Joan ? Not enough room in the Blackheart stable for two Runaways maybe ? It’s a point which Currie alluded to in the Examiner interview saying ‘Joan really hasn’t had anyone else achieve the level of success as she has after The Runaways, but now Lita is back and drawing huge crowds and the original lead singer of The Runaways Cherie Currie is touring’.
So my question to you Mr Laguna and Blackheart Records is simple: when will the unreleased Cherie Currie album be released ? I am yet to receive a reply to my e-mail, so you are more than welcome to leave the answer below this article.

My advice to Cherie Currie is to re-record the album and have it fan-funded. Ginger Wildheart uses this method with great success – even breaking into the UK charts recently and outselling muppets like Justin Timberlake. I for one will offer you the first pledge.

I think I will end this post by quoting the lyrics contained in the Currie tune ‘Beauty’s Only Skin Deep’ which are: ‘I’ve been left for dead – by those who didn’t care – they never considered me or took me anywhere – I’ve got the songs to sing’. Yes folks – Cherie Currie does have the songs to sing – and the voice and charisma to perform them. She is currently out on tour and is in sizzling form. I encourage you to go and see a true rock n roll trailblazer.

27 thoughts on “Rockbrat Wonders: When Will Kenny Laguna Release The New Cherie Currie Album ?

  1. The runaways have NEVER gotten a true break because people want to screw them out of money. Its ridiculous!!! I say kickstarter!!!

  2. I don’t get Laguna and what was clearly screwing over Cherie. There is no reason to hold up a finished album 3 years. As you suggest, I suspect he didn’t want it coming out before Joan Jett released another original album. That’s the only thing that makes sense. I don’t know what his problem with Lita is either, she claimed he tried to sabotage her career back in the 80’s. But I never heard the details from her. Laguna claimed it wasn’t like that. That it was about Lita wanting to use the same photographer Joan had for an album cover back then. Said he told Lita he didn’t think it was good timing and Lita got pissed. I don’t buy that. But Lita never elaborated. I have decided Kenny is a douche. I saw Joan here in Redding, CA in 2004 and I dealt with a man I believe was Kenny Laguna at her merch table. He was a total asshole. But the bigger problem I have is that Joan herself would allow him to dick Cherie around like this. She co-owns the label. Or that she alloed him to shit on Lita over the movie. I am disappointed in her. The issue with Jackie, I don’t know, they have had issues going back 20 years at least that stemmed from Runaways merchandising rights evidently. As far as that, my understanding is that Joan (and Kenny) bought those rights from Kim Fowley. Fowley apparently called and offered to sell the rights to Joan because he wasn’t doing anything with them, and hadn’t for years, and felt Joan was the best person to care-take the Runaways legacy. So right or wrong, Jackie doen’t own any rights to the Runaways’ music or merchandising. Joan does. Her life rights is another issue,.

  3. Good article. Many of us longtime Runaways/Currie/Ford/& Jett supporters are asking ourselves the same questions. I started out as a Jett fan and owe a great deal to the music that inspired me to pick up a guitar play – but I can’t help but wonder what the ‘eff’ is up with the apparent sabotage on Cherie? I’ll tell you – it makes me not want to buy Jett’s new album. I bought Fords, I’ll buy Currie’s for sure if it ever gets released. That Laguna seems like a smarmy creep to me. Where’s the friggin’ sisterhood here? Friends aren’t supposed to treat each other this way.

  4. I agree with the fan funded idea! I will pledge without a doubt! I owe my self-esteem to The Runaways. I had no one to relate to as a little kid until I saw them…Finally! Girls like me!!! Trying to hinder Cheries’ talent is like trying to block out the sun with your hands. It can’t be done! I went to buy a Runaways t-shirt online…guess who sells them? Blackheart Records’ website! So you can peddle her shirts but not release her album?! Are you kidding me Laguna? I really hope Joan has nothing to do with this. If not, why can’t she help get her friends’ album released??? Its a win-win situation to release it! So WTF??? Can it be re-recorded? I say , Let’s rally the troops (the fans, and musician friends) and DO SOMETHING! Cherie, you know who I am and how much I adore you. I will go to the ends of the earth to help you…because the IS no payback for what you’ve done for me in my life. :). Just say the word girl!

  5. I’m a big fan of Cherie’s and do love the new song “you wreck me” . It doesn’t cost anything to make a record in this day on your own. Rerecord it down and dirty and release it on Itunes. With her fan base and tour she could have sold a record on her own. Sometimes when you have a record company funding a project they have a final say if it is worth putting out or taking a loss. Happens everyday. Lets get realistic. People are always going to use Joan Jett and Lita Ford as post Runaways benchmarks. Cherie’s decision to cover “all the air that I breathe” in my opinion was a waste of money and studio resources. No Runaways fan wants to hear songs like that. Yet Matt as a producer went along with that. Great move. If you are going to spend money and get some name artists in to work on your record it better give Joan and Lita a run for the money. Matt is a great drummer, but the fact is all the Cult Songs and Guns and Roses Songs that are staple songs for those bands he didn’t play on and if you heard his solo album… you’d wonder why he’d be a good choice as a “producer” anyway. I can only imagine what Mr. Laguna’s face looked like when string sections were hired to work on a cover song, adding to the expense of royalties to for everyone CD sold to go to the writers of that song. That’s the problem, sometimes.It may be a favorite of Cherie’s, she may do an outstanding job covering it, but a decision like that can kill a deal. In regards to Blackheart feeling “Threatened” I doubt that. Cherie’s material was never hard edged as Lita’s or Joan’s.

  6. I do wanna hear Cherie’s new album although I wouldn’t be interested in an album that doesn’t come from Blackheart Records. I love Cherie’s voice and persona on stage but I’m sorry to say that Cherie’s penchant for drama sometimes sabotage her, Blackheart spend a lot of money on her record and sometimes it takes a while until releasing an album, Why couldn’t she wait? Since Joan came out of The Runaways she been drama free and It bothers me that now she has to deal with this Runaways drama.

    1. My perspective is the same as yours. I discovered the Runaways, Lita Ford and Cherie Currie all because I was a fan of Joan Jett.I was a HUGE fan. Still am. The thing is, it is apparently Joan’s manager causing al this drama. There is no reason for an album to sit waiting to be mastered and released for 3 years. And Kenny Laguna is the president ,or whatever his title is, of Blackheart
      records. As well as having been Cherie’s manager until this past March. As such he could have had the record released. Cherie doesn’t want her fans bad mouthing Kenny or Joan, and that’s cool. But the fact is Ken Laguna is behind Cherie’s album being held up. He has to be. There is nobody else. Joan? I don’t think so. His daughter runs the label now, maybe its her? Kenny is my bet. And the only possible reason is he ddn’t want Cherie’s records out before Joan’s. And that sucks, because Cherie recorded hers 3 years ago and according to her, Joan wasn’t even thinking about recording at that time. And Kenny Kept advising her not to tour and perform? Why? Doesn’t want competition for Joan? What? The worst thing is Joan has allowed it to go on. Joan Jett has no interest in any Runaways reunion, fine. Let Cherie put her album out and do her own thing. She claims to be very protective of the Runaways, yet seems to treat the other former members like they were never part of the band. It’s weird. Her manager keeps Cheries record hostage, she sues Jackie Fox, allows Kenny to insult Lita Ford re: her life rights for the film.Already having caused a rift between the two former friends years before. Refuses to participate in Edgeplay, which was made by a former bandmate Vicki Blue. Doesn’t jibe with her claims that the Rumawas are so important to her.

  7. >I love Cherie’s voice and persona on stage but I’m sorry to say that Cherie’s penchant for drama sometimes sabotage her, Blackheart spend a lot of money on her record and sometimes it takes a while until releasing an album, Why couldn’t she wait?

    How long should she wait ? three years, five years, ten years ? That is not fair and reasonable. I also would not call signing a record deal, recording and waiting for it to be released ‘dramatic’ – You are not from Blackheart are you ?!

    1. I’m not from Blackheart, I’m just a fan and I love Cherie, but hey, She’s had problems with all of her music, she is always complaining after and blaming everyone else.
      About Edgeplay I totally understand Joan for not doing it, It was an awful documentary about dramas and not about the music and the importance of the Runaways, I’m glad she didn’t do that.

      I think she should just wait and get along with Blackheart or get the money to buy the masters from Blackheart and own her own music or just find a solution with Kenny without trashing Blackheart and her friend Joan.

      1. Alonso:
        You have your opinions and I respect them. Though I see it differently….and I do not think Cherie has complained and blamed anyone – other than Blackheart for sitting on her unreleased album. Cherie is an inspiration. She could be sitting around felling miserable about how things have gone, but no – she is always out there and charging on forward – I believe it is the only way to be. I will never unerstand Joan (Kenny) not participating in Edgeplay. Vickie Tischler-Blue is a film maker – and much of the Runaways story is not just about the music – VH1 or whoever can take care of that. Personally, I think it made Joan/Kenny look ‘too cool’ to be involved in the docomentary. Most Runaways disciples would prefer to sit and watch that than the film from 2010. Why should she sit around and wait, or appease Blackheart to get her album out ? Why go through life bowing to everyone’s demands. Screw that. I don’t live my life like that. Neither should she. I also do not think she has trashed Blackheart or Joan – everyone loves Joan – being honest is not bad-mouthing, it is – well, just telling it from your soul. Thanks for reading….

  8. I understand the way you think. But looking at Cherie’s career she has always complained, Since the Runaways days, then with her solo recordings, this is another one of those to me.

    About Edgeplay I do prefer as a film maker to watch The Runaways film , Edgeplay makes them look like idiots and a bunch of crazy women when they are not that at all! I wouldn’t have liked Joan to be involved in that. beside the photography, the lighting, the editing and the use of the music in that film is awful to me. But I have watch Edgeplay many times, because I love the Runaways i just wish there could be a real and good documentary about the Runaways.

    But about Cherie, to be totally honest I was looking forward to the album because of the collaborations, if she releases an album without those, then I’m not interested. I understand before she had an issues with Blackheart, she had an Issues with Matt Sorum and that’s why the album got delayed first.

    1. You applaud Joan for not appearing in Edgeplay then complain about the music. Well, nit only did Joan refuse to participate in the film, she wouldn’t give the filmmaker, a former Runaway, permission to use any of the Runaways music in the film.Thats the deal with the music.

  9. I really don’t think it’s fair to trash Joan and Kenny when we don’t have any actual information about what is going on. This is all speculation. Cherie herself said DON’T blame Joan. Also, I get the Blackheart Records newsletter and let me tell you, is not the Joan Show most of you seem to think it is. They do A LOT of promotion for Girl In A Coma, which seems to be their biggest act, aside from Joan. Until now, Joan hasn’t had a new release that wasn’t a greatest hits compilation since 2006. I think everyone is putting the cart way in front the horse.

    1. Cara: No one is trashing Joan. We love Joan forever. Speculation ? Maybe. Maybe not. People tend to speculate when their is no response from the other party. We await a reply from Mr Laguna or someone from Blackheart as to what the hold-up is with Cherie’s album. Whatever other artist you choose to name – be it the Dollyrots, Eyeliners, Girl In A Coma – that label IS Joan Jett. Actually the Dollyrots were on Kickstarter looking for funds sometime back – Blackheart doing anything for them ? Fetish, Fit To Be Tied, Flashback – I couldn’t keep up with all the Joan compilations some time back. Anyway, this is getting off topic – and is only about the question we asked – ‘when will the Cherie Currie album see the light of day’ ?

    2. I am not trashing anyine. But facts are facts. Cher Currie’s album was finished 3 years ago. Kenny Laguna was er manager and IS the president/SEO of Blackheart records, her label. It is his call whther an album gets released on his label. He has that power. So he has to be responsible. There isn’t anyone else.

  10. Imagine how successful Joan could have been in the 90s / 00:s had she broken away from the apron strings of Kenny. She was big in the 80;s, and truth be told, cult status in the 90s. For gods sake, she cant take a dump without checking with Kenny first !

    1. 751grrl:

      Thanks for reading. No, as yet – we have received no reply from Mr Laguna or anyone from Blackheart Records – though I am confident that Blackheart would’ve seen our article. Maybe this blog is deemed too insignificant or unworthy of a reply ?

      I can tell you that this issue means a lot to so many people – (as proven that our blog received record statistics in the 24 hours after this article was published). I have done the right thing by Mr Laguna and Blackheart Records over the years – purchasing Joan Jett records, cassettes, CD’s, merchandise, and attending shows (as many of us have) – and it is my hope that Blackheart extend to us some courtesy with a simple reply. Cheers…Mr Rockbrat

      1. C’mon Rockbrat. Blackheart doesn’t DO common courtesy or simple replies. They are after all only living up to their own name. They will continue to ignore inquiries and the fans alike. Truthfully, I think aliens have taken over the body of the person that used to be Joan because she doesn’t care.
        Laguna will wait until it suits the label to release Cherie’s masters. It ill serve to benefit them either financially or in some other way.
        HEY! I just had a great idea!!! I’ll start a label called ‘Two-Faced’ – I’ll get all my musician friends to sign with me and then I’ll sabotage their efforts by not releasing anything and disallowing them from touring so they can’t possibly succeed in their musical endeavors!!!!
        Oh how I love sarcasm. I live for it. =)

  11. Totally agree 100% with this article. – Have been a Runaways and Joan fan since 1983. Your article was very insightful – I have bought every Joan Jett album since I was 15 years old – but after reading this – it makes me wonder how the system really works. I love Joan and Cherie Currie equally – and I hope that the record company does the right thing and releases it. I was on the Blackheart mailing list – maybe I will also contact them to ask about Cherie’s album….maybe we all should !

    1. Its not about any system. Its pretty simple to connect the dots. Exhibit A: Cherie Currie recorded an album which was finished 3 years ago.2010. In the can waiting to be mastered an released. It is still hasn’t been released and there are no plans to do so. Exhibit B: Joan Jett recorded a new album titled Unvarnished earlier THIS year. It will be released next week. Per-Orders have been taken. Both artists are on the same label,both managed by the same man, Blackheart Records president Ken Laguna. (Cherie isn;t as of march, but point made). Fact: Joan Jetts new record will be out next week. Fact: Cherie Currie’s recorded, recordd 3 years before Joan’s won’t be released anytime in the foreseeable future. May never. What is the common denominator? Kenny Laguna.

  12. My question to cherie,would be, why are you not still talking about your political views, you are a libertarian/constitutionalist, the world needs to hear some common sense, let your voice be heard on these issues.

  13. I’m going to come at this thing, from a very different angle,Joan and Kenny are liberals, cherie Curry is a libertarian/constitutionalist.Cherie used to post her personal opinions on the political madness going on in this country, this could be one of the reasons, why Joan and Kenny are not releasing her record, I’m just saying, this could be pay back from the powers that be.

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