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Music / Joan Jett

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"I love rock and roll, so put another dime in the jukebox baby!"

Joan Jett (born Joan Marie Larkin, September 22, 1958 in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania) is an originator, an innovator, and a visionary. As the leader of the hard-rocking Blackhearts, she's had eight platinum and gold albums and nine Top 40 singles, including the classics "Bad Reputation," "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," "I Hate Myself For Loving You," and "Crimson and Clover." She sits at the head of her own independent label, Blackheart Records. Jett has acted in movies and television, including 1987's Light Of Day and a memorable cameo in Repo! The Genetic Opera; and in a Tony-nominated Broadway musical, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. She has appeared on such acclaimed television shows as Oprah (the last season) and Law & Order. As a producer, she has overseen albums by Bikini Kill, Circus Lupus, as well as the Germs' LA punk masterpiece, GI.


Her music has become a permanent force in mainstream culture. Carrie Underwood sings a parody of "I Hate Myself for Loving You" as the theme for NBC's Sunday Night Football, and her music is heard in countless films and TV shows including Easy A, Kick Ass, The Runaways, Shrek, Baby Mama, and many more.

Since co-founding The Runaways, the pioneering all-girl punk quintet, at age 15, Jett's determination and drive have kept her in the public eye. Jett was able to see her story told in The Runaways, the film based on (lead singer of The Runaways) Cherie Currie's book Neon Angel starring Kristen Stewart as Jett, and her fellow A-lister Dakota Fanning as Currie. Jett was close to the project: She served as an executive producer.

The two discs of the Greatest Hits set, meanwhile, present twenty blazing tracks from Jett's three-decade-plus career. It's a comprehensive look at one of rock's most iconic figures. Of course, the hits collection was released through Jett's own Blackheart Records, a label she founded with long time songwriting partner and producer Kenny Laguna, in 1980 - which made her the first female artist to own and operate an independent record company.


Blackheart Records is currently home to such up-and-coming groups as San Antonio-based female threesome Girl in A Coma (Both Before I'm Gone, Trio B.C., Adventures in Coverland) and Los Angeles' pop-punk trio the Dollyrots (Because I'm Awesome, A Little Messed Up). The label continues to add new artists to its roster.

Jett and the Blackhearts continuously tour across the globe to throngs of adoring fans. Joan Jett has spent her lifetime breaking barriers and challenging expectations - this is, after all, a woman who is both a spokesperson for PETA and a devoted supporter of the US Military. She's fought hard for all of her historic accomplishments, yet she remains humble and appreciative.

"I've had a blessed career," she says. "I consider myself so lucky to have been able to do things my own way."


  • Joan Jett (1980)
  • Bad Reputation (1981) - re-issue of Joan Jett on a bigger label
  • I Love Rock 'n' Roll (1982)
  • Album (1983)
  • Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth (1984)
  • Good Music (1986)
  • Up Your Alley (1988)
  • The Hit List (1990)
  • Notorious (1991)
  • Pure and Simple (1994)
  • Evil Stig (1995) - recorded with The Gits
  • 1979 (1995) - fan club only album
  • Naked (2004)
  • Sinner (2006)
  • Unvarnished (2013)

Associated Tropes:

  • Awesome McCoolname: Though she was born with the less awesome last name Larkin.
  • Bald of Awesome: Shaved her head in 2000 (to play Columbia in The Rocky Horror Show and kept it shaved for a few months.
    • "Switch hitter, you know she plays the field"
  • Cool Old Lady
  • Cover Version: A lot of her output with the Blackhearts is made up of covers, not that we're complaining.
    • The Cover Changes the Meaning: "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" and a few others.
    • Covers include (get ready for a Long List):
      • "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" by Arrows
      • "You Don't Own Me" by Lesley Gore
      • "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)", "Doing All Right with the Boys", and "I Love You Love Me Love" by Gary Glitter
      • "Shout!" by The Isley Brothers
      • "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs
      • "Call Me Lightning" by Pete Townshend
      • "Crimson and Clover" by Tommy James and the Shondells
      • "Bits and Pieces" by the Dave Clark Five
      • "Little Drummer Boy" by too many to count
      • "Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen
      • "Summertime Blues" by Eddie Cochran
      • "Nag" by the Halos
      • "Everyday People" by Sly and the Family Stone
      • "Starfucker" by The Rolling Stones
      • "You're Too Possessive"
      • "Cherry Bomb" and "I Love Playin' with Fire" by her old band The Runaways
      • "Tossin' and Turnin'" by Bobby Lewis
      • "Bird Dog" by Boudleaux Bryant
      • "I Can't Control Myself" by Reg Presley
      • "Hide and Seek" by David Walker
      • "I Need Someone" by The Belmonts
      • "New Orleans" by Mike Berry
      • "Roadrunner" by Jonathan Richman
      • "Fun, Fun, Fun" by The Beach Boys
      • "You Got Me Floatin'" and "Up from the Skies" by Jimi Hendrix
      • "Just Lust" by Rick Nowels
      • "I Wanna Be Your Dog" by The Stooges
      • "Tulane" by Chuck Berry
      • "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" by AC/DC
      • "Love Hurts" by the Everly Brothers
      • "Pretty Vacant" by the Sex Pistols
      • "Celluloid Heroes" by The Kinks
      • "Tush" by ZZ Top
      • "Time Has Come Today" by the Chambers Brothers
      • "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
      • "Love Me Two Times" by The Doors
      • "A.C.D.C." by Sweet
      • "Androgynous" by The Replacements
      • "Science Fiction / Double Feature" by Richard O'Brien
      • "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister
  • Cultural Rebel: One of the first prominent female hard rockers.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Arguable example - Jett is known for wearing all-black clothes to the point that it can become an Iconic Outfit, but this is more to reinforce her image than to actually denote, y'know, evil and stuff. She's said to be very amicable and kind-hearted in real life.
  • Even the Girls Want Her
  • Heavy Meta: "I Love Rock 'n' Roll".
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: And how!
  • Iconic Outfit: Leather vest, black eyeliner, black hair, leather pants, and tattoos.
  • Ironic Echo: From "Victim of Circumstance": "I'm just a victim of a bad reputation, I've got no chance to shake it!"
  • Male Band, Female Singer: Joan leading The Blackhearts.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Jett is famous for being one of the first extremely successful women for getting into the 5-6 range, standing shoulder to shoulder with rock titans like AC/DC and Van Halen
  • Nice Girl: She even says people find it shocking when they find out how much more subdued she is in real life, compared to her stage image.
  • Non-Actor Vehicle: Light of Day.
  • Ode to Apathy: She wrote a song called "Bad Reputation" about a woman who doesn't care about her bad reputation and so doesn't attempt to improve it.
  • Older Than They Look: She was born in 1958, but doesn't look past her thirties.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Her signature look.
  • Rearrange the Song: All the songs she's ever covered become punk-hard-rock. And it's awesome.
    • When she starred as Columbia in The Rocky Horror Show, the character was modified from a perky 50s burlesque girl to a tough punk drifter. This lead to, among other things, Columbia's tap dance interlude in "The Time Warp" being replaced by her reaching into the orchestra pit to grab an electric guitar and shredding an improvised solo.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: The album title Evil Stig.
  • Stage Name:
    • Born Joan Marie Larkin
    • The name Larkin is derived from an old Irish name meaning "fierce."
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: It's occurred sometimes, such as with "I Need Somebody".
  • Textless Album Cover: Album.
  • The Lad-ette: Famously so. She's known for her short hair, dressing like a biker, having numerous tattoos, and getting on stage swearing like a sailor while playing badass riffs like it's nobody's business.


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