Marie Currie is the twin sister of Cherie Currie of The Runaways and joined forces with her sister after she left the band lending her vocals to the albums “Beauty’s Only Skin Deep”, “Messin With The Boys” and “Young and Wild”. After that, she married, raised a family and meanwhile made a name for herself in business and finance in addition to being a big animal rights advocate. Marie was portrayed in the 2010 film “The Runaways” by the lovely actress Riley Keough (who happens to be Elvis Presley’s granddaughter) and was initially approached by Kim Fowley to actually be in the band before her sister agreed. She’s a lovely lady who has lived an interesting, yet happy and normal life by anyone’s standards. Marie doesn’t do too many interviews but was happy to talk briefly with us and answer a few questions about her past and present. Read on….
This interview (as well as all of our Runaways-related interviews) is dedicated to the memory of drummer Sandy West.
Legendary Rock Interviews: Thanks for talking to us Marie! We are big fans of both you and your sister and think it’s so amazing that even after all these years the fascination about you and your twin sister continues. What has life been like in general since you left the spotlight and became a “civilian”?
Marie Currie: Well, that is an interesting question. I have always been a ‘civilian’. I have never thought of myself as anyone special or different so there was never any kind of ‘transition’.
LRI: Clips of you and your sister continue to be all over YouTube so you endure in our memories exactly as you were! Does that blow your mind and are you consistently surprised by fans after all this time?
Marie: It does! Of course I have always been my sister Cherie’s biggest fan and am to this day. I see why she amazes so many, because she has always amazed me.
LRI: There are SO many clips of TV appearances, early music videos, etc. One that really stands out to us is the Japanese interview you and Cherie did together. We still get lots of feedback from Japanese fans in regards to all things American pop music and especially anything related to the Runaways. Did you enjoy that whole experience overseas?
Marie: It was really amazing to see firsthand the dedication Japanese people have to musicians. That was a 1st for me although Cherie was used to that kind of attention by then. I must admit, I never did get used to it.
LRI: I enjoyed some of the performances of the players in the Runaways movie but I won’t lie, I liked Cherie’s book better and wish Lita or Jackie would have been in the movie a little more. Having said that, the greatest thing about the movie is the fact that it turned a lot of young people onto the music the band and other bands from that era made, which is a BLESSING. What did it feel like to look up on the movie screen and see yourself being portrayed and how do you think it compared to the “Neon Angel” book?
Marie: I have never truly grasped the fact that I have been portrayed in a film. There were many scenes I did not agree with as fact because they were the writer/directors fantasies thrown into the mix. I don’t think any ‘made for film’ adaptations turn out totally factual, but she did a nice job.
LRI: Realizing it’s been a while and you’ve had plenty of time to reflect…..what do you remember about your original involvement in watching the band come together or even the moment that you were approached by Kim Fowley to be in the Runaways before Cherie even accepted?
Marie: I must admit that I never thought a man like Kim Fowley could have pulled anything off. He was so freakish and I was turned off by him immediately as not to be believed. That said, it was wonderful to see the girls come together and I was at every show. They were amazing and I have yet to see any other all-girl band better than they were on stage.
LRI: You performed on Cherie’s first solo album which eventually set the stage for the album you two did together, Messin’ With The Boys. Was there a decided difference between the pressure or recording expectations on the “Sisters” album as opposed to you simply working with Cherie on the 1978 debut album?
Marie: Yes! “Messin’ With The Boys” was a challenge for someone as green as me. It really was totally different than just being a ‘guest’ on my Sis’s album, “Beauty’s Only Skin Deep”.
LRI: There haven’t been too many twin sister pop/rock outfits over the years and in some respects, just like the Runaways were paving new territory you and your sister teaming up to begin with was a pretty novel concept. You’re both obviously pretty and sexy and the clips and photo shoots from back then certainly played on that to some extent, although probably innocently compared to some of the stuff nowadays. Was any of the attention ever too much or too creepy at some points or did you both pretty much know what you were getting into?
Marie: To be honest…we were never really “sexy”. I did one photo shoot that was provocative and it was shot at my home when I was married to Steve Lukather of TOTO. Steve’s mom Kathy Lukather was our “stage mom” and she always kept the shoots clean. If she felt they were asking us to do something she found distasteful, she put a stop to it.
LRI: You’ve performed some of those classic tracks like “Cherry Bomb” or “Since You’ve Been Gone” with your sister and backing groups on and off at many different occasions and even the more recent videos of you performing are great. Not only do you seem like you’re really enjoying yourself but you still sound and look great. After all these years is it still fun to be onstage and involved in that interaction when possible?
Marie: I was never comfortable on stage…. not at all like my sister. I never felt like I deserved to be up there nor did I feel at home. That is why I finally said enough and I enjoy the shows from the audience perspective.
Marie: No. I was never meant to be on that path. I think more about what other career I might have gone after if I had been able to stay in school and never been involved in music at all. I was a straight A student, so my life will always end with a question mark as to what I might have become.
LRI: You have had a vantage point of the music and entertainment scene in the late seventies and eighties golden era that few people have had privy to. To many of the people who weren’t born yet, the 70s look WAY more exciting than the eras they’ve lived through. Do you get that way of thinking?
Marie: Of course! The grass is always greener on the “other side”.
LRI: Thanks again for talking to us! You seem to be quite accessible to fans and people who drop you a line on Facebook to catch up. Have your experiences in life with fans been largely positive and enriching over the years and is there anything you’d like to say to people or charities or causes you’d like to promote before we let you go?
Marie: Yes! I LOVE animals and am usually a lover of humans. If I were to say anything to anyone who would listen, it would be this: “Love all creatures and treat them as you would want to be treated. Listen more and learn something everyday from someone, anyone. Always remember, if you are true to yourself and you do the right thing, there is nothing in this life to fear.”