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Bad Reputation. The Unauthorized Biography of Joan Jett by Dave Thomson. Pub.Backbeat Books, 2011.

January 23, 2021 Comments off

” I love rock’n roll put another dime in the Juke box baby..” yes this hit for Joan Jett and The Blackhearts was one of my favourite rock songs not only of the 80’s but of all time. Jett had that attitude and a sneer that could curdle milk.

Joan Larkin entered the world of rock’n roll as Joan Jett via an impressario Kim Folley and an all female rock band called the Runaways. All the girls were 15 and 16 and they came from South Los Angeles which was the hub of American rock music.

This is a sort of biography of Jett but mostly a portrait of rock music in LA and later to London through the punk era and into the 80’s and 90’s and how Joan Jett evolved her musical image from rock chick to lesbian roll model. It is not a life story but it is bloody interesting. Her musical influences from Suzi Quatro to the Ramones is documented with many quotes from notable people of her era.

Sexuality has always been a huge part of rock’n roll and The Runaways her first band were portrayed more for their sexuality than for their music but good music is what they were all about. It is a sleazy story in parts but that is because of the male attitudes to a girl band that toughened Joan Jett up. You can read about the rest yourself and it is very enlightening.

When Jett formed the Blackhearts in the early 80’s she wanted guys in the band. She was sick of the all girl thing. Her image had toughened and I love Rock’n roll sealed her reputation for ever.

Kristin Stewart and Dakota Fanning made a film in 2010 called The Runaways that brings credibility to Joan Jett’s bands and music and women’s rights.