Sep 23, 2014
I love rock 'n' roll. And I still love Joan Jett. Earlier today I saw that it was Joan Jett's 56th birthday. I believe it is her day, but I don't believe the black-haired sprite will ever be a day over 26, which is roughly the age she was when I conducted this telephone interview with her on December 23, 1983.
JOAN JETT podcast excerpt: "The success of 'I Love Rock 'n' Roll was amazing. I don't know how to understand it."
On that day, the former Runaway was still high atop her profession following the back-to-back mega-success of her solo album, Bad Reputation, and her first project with The Blackhearts, I Love Rock n' Roll. She was one of the first women to strap on a guitar and rock as hard and loud as any of the fellas.
JOAN JETT podcast excerpt: "The thing that bothered people about The Runaways is that we weren't bad girls. We all came from middle class, suburban homes. We were five regular girls. The thing that got people up in arms was that girls at 15 smoke, drink, and talk about sex. That's just the way it is. The boys can do that but the girls can't? The girls are much dirtier than the boys!"
In this conversation, a very energized Joan Jett speaks to me about the depression she felt after leaving The Runaways, which she helped start at the tender age of 15. She told me about producing an album by LA's punk band The Germs. And she talked about the lucky day she met Kenny Laguna and how they formed The Blackhearts. (Laguna can even be heard late in the chat, bragging about what a genius he is!)
JOAN JETT podcast excerpt: "We went to all the big labels and the small ones and offered them 'Bad Reputation.' We even offered it free. No one wanted it! It's because I won't confirm to their idea of what a girl should be. My parents didn't teach me to be that way... They never said, 'You can't do that because you're a girl.' I was shocked when people said, 'Girls can't play rock 'n' roll!'"
And Joan -- if you ever want to catch me up on the last 30 years, you're more than welcome here.