Bad Reputation: Joan Jett

A Hot Doc About Rock n' Roll's Badass Player

BY: Claire Connors

Seminal rock band, The Runaways, has already been the subject of a 2010 feature film starring Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie, cofounders of the group. The Runaways was based on Currie’s memoir about her role in the making of the band. Now it’s time to hear Joan Jett’s side of the story.

Bad Reputation is the new documentary about Joan Jett’s rise to become the badass rock n’ roller that she is today. Featuring interviews with the singer herself, we learn about how she discovered music, her life-changing move to Los Angeles, and meeting the women who would become The Runaways. One thing is clear from the get-go: Joan Jett loves rock n’ roll.

 

Of course we also hear about the struggles and challenges with being a female musician in a man’s world. But being subordinate was not a role Jett was ever interested in playing. In fact, her fuck you attitude, along with writing one of the most empowering female anthems ever, “Bad Reputation,” is what put her on the map.

The documentary is packed with familiar faces touting the influence and power Jett has in the world of rock. Blondie’s Debbie Harry, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, actor Michael J. Fox who appeared with Jett in the 1987 musical drama Light of Day, Kristen Stewart, and KROQ’s most famous DJ, Rodney Bingenheimer. There’s also interview footage with singer Miley Cyrus, who delivered a rousing introduction to Jett when she was inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.

Jett contemporary Pat Benatar may have sung the words “love is a battle field,” but to Jett that battlefield was rock and roll. At one point she recounts the number of times she was assaulted and attacked with a grim yet cocky grin on her face. The woman’s got the battle scars to prove her place at the top of rock hierarchy. “I’m lucky to still be here,” she says.. Actually, we’re the lucky ones, Joan.