Embracing their legacies and forging into the future
Saturday, November 9th was a girl-powered, sold-out show at Pappy and Harriet’s with rock legends Cherie Currie and Brie Darling. Joining them as opener was Pearl Aday.
Before Currie and Darling took the stage, the evening started off with the swagger of Pearl Aday and her band. For those not familiar with her, Pearl’s music is country-infused rock. Her vocals draw the obvious comparisons to Janis Joplin (her father was a drummer for Joplin), but to my ears, I was reminded of Faces-era Rod Stewart. Pearl’s rock resume is pretty impressive: she was a back-up singer for Meat Loaf (her step-dad) and before that Motley Crue. Her band included her longtime friend, guitarist Jim Wilson, bassist for Daniel Lanois and Emmylou Harris. Pearl’s set was comprised of songs off her 2010 debut Little Immaculate White Fox, and her most recent Heartbreak and Canyon Revelry.
Curie and Darling are on the road in support of their new album, The Motivator, the title taken from a T-Rex song. It’s a collaboration between the two that mixes original songs with covers of songs that have inspired and influenced them.
Both ladies came up during the male-dominated glam-rock/nascent punk scene of the 1970s-Darling as drummer of the all-female band Fanny (a band championed by no less than David Bowie) and Currie as lead singer of the Runaways.
Fanny was founded by two sisters, guitarist June and bassist Jean Millington. Various iterations of the band included Brie Darling and Patti Quattro, sister of Suzie Quattro. Fanny was the first all-female rock group to release an album on a major record label, Reprise.
As so often is the case, the pioneering work of “women in rock” is often overlooked in favor of their male contemporaries. But instead of letting that make them bitter or angry and driving them to leave the music business altogether, as Curie has stated she was tempted to do, it’s spurred both women to embrace their legacies and forge into the future, as visualized on the cover of their new album.
Incredibly, Curie and Darling didn’t meet until 2017 when Fanny decided to regroup and record a new album under the name Fanny Walked the Earth. An invite was sent out to Currie as well as other members of Fanny-influenced girl groups. Alice Bag of the Bags, Susanna Hoffs and Vicki and Debbi Petersen of the Bangles, and Kathy Valentine of the Go-Go’s all make appearances. It was then that the pair formed a fast friendship and the seeds of a joint venture were planted.
It was a groovy beginning to their set at Pappy and Harriet’s with covers of songs by T-Rex, the Stones, the Youngbloods, the Hollies, and Buffalo Springfield. The middle part of their set showcased their original material with the songs “This Is Our Time”, “Just Too Bad”, and “Too Bruised”. The last four songs were reserved for two Fanny Walked the Earth originals: “Lured Away” and “When We Need Her” at which point Darling jumped behind the drums for two Runaways’ classics: “American Nights” and “Cherry Bomb,” which was such a crowd-pleaser that there were chants from the audience to repeat it. The band returned for an encore with a cover of The Kinks’ song “Do It Again”.
If there’s any justice (and credibility), these two ladies will someday be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with Suzi Quattro (a cause Currie has taken up).
Cherie Currie and Brie Darling Set List:
He Ain’t Heavy
This Is Our Time
Gimme Some Truth
Just Too Bad
When We Need Her
Encore: Do It Again
Pearl’s set list:
Living A Lie
All I Got (Gina’s Song)
Check Out Charlie
Nutbush City Limits
Article and Photographs by Marie Randall