Vocalist for The Runaways Cherie Currie on stage at the Starwood in West Hollywood covered in fake blood. This and the other photographs in this post were taken by veteran rock/nature/surfer photographer Brad Dawber. Dawber has generously allowed Dangerous Minds to publish his rare photos of Currie. Use of these copyrighted images without consent will get you in trouble.
I’m a blond bombshell, and I wear it well
Your momma says you go straight to hell
I’m sweet sixteen and a rebel queen
I look real hot in my tight blue jeans
—lyrics from “Dead End Justice”
It’s well known that The Runaways vocalist Cherie Currie drew inspiration from David Bowie for her own stage persona, as did the rest of the band who aligned themselves image-wise with other musicians like Suzi Quatro and even Gene Simmons. Photographer Brad Dawber was at the Starwood one summer night in 1976 and would capture Currie and The Runaways performance during which Currie would end up covered in fake blood. Here’s more from Dawber on that night and others he spent at the Starwood:
“Rodney Bingenheimer introduced the band that night. After the show, we went to Bingenheimer’s English Disco, and it was another scene there. Band guys, groupies, wannabes, etc. Sometimes Iggy Pop would make an appearance.”
As far as the theatrics behind the bloodbath are concerned, here’s a little backstory on the concept: During the band’s set, Currie “pretended” to hurt her ankle during the song “Dead End Justice.” Jackie Fox (Fuchs) and Lita Ford then used their guitars to “shoot” Currie, following up the fictional assault by “stomping” and “kicking” Currie while she was lying on the stage floor. During the for-show skirmish Currie would periodically puncture the blood packs she was armed with, and when she finally stood up after her beating, she looked like something out of a horror movie. The girls pulled off this show-stopper pretty regularly during “Dead End Justice” but nobody ever managed to capture it as vividly as Dawber.
The images shot by Dawber during Currie’s complete transition from ass-kicking vocalist to blood-drenched vixen are extremely rare, and it appears no video footage of the show that night exists. However, as it has been said before, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words—and Dawber’s NSFW photos of Currie looking more like horror-film icon Carrie (played by actress Sissy Spacek in the film of the same name) at the Starwood absolutely fall into this category. Interestingly, Carrie was released in November the same year as these photos were taken—maybe Brian De Palma caught one of The Runaway’s shows during their blood splatter phase? A girl can dream about such things being true, can’t she?
Many thanks to Brad Dawber for letting Dangerous Minds share his incredible photos of Currie below. Dawber has been taking photographs for decades, and I highly recommend checking out his site and Instagram to see more, as many of his other images of Debbie Harry and other notables are available for purchase.
More after the jump…