So everyone loves Joan Jett right? Of course they do, what’s not to like? With a reputation that seems to grow on a daily basis, Joan Jett has endured several musical climate changes and still remained cool, respected by her peers and adored by her fans. It seemed only a matter of time that a film in her honor would be made so ‘Dogwoof’ decided to take it upon themselves to carry that torch and just get it done in a shade over ninety minutes her life is there for all to see on the silver screen or in your living room as is now the case.
So popcorn at the ready dim the lights and let’s turn on and tune out its time for ‘Bad Reputation’…Some big hitting talking heads as we go back to day one with Jett. Back in the ’70s when Jett started The Runaways I guess u blokes won’t have a clue what it would have been like for an all-girl group it must have been twice as hard and must have taken some resolve just to survive let alone thrive but Jett comes across as single-minded and driven and then punk came to town and was a real game-changer for lots of reasons. I loved seeing the footage of early Blackhearts gigs and hearing the news from the band which was very cool. Even Joan Jett got twenty-two rejection letters from record companies even at that time they didn’t do it for the money they just wanted to get a record out there. It seemed like an industry that was and possibly still is obsessed with sexuality and Jett has had to fight against that all her career. Some of those interviews and their banal line of questions seem so out of step today and they should have been then as well. Footage of the early JJ&TBH playing on Sunset Strip is so raw and in your face.
Releasing their own records and selling out through reputation and just being good at what they do is such an inspiration even now it gives you goosebumps.and the iconic video for I Love Rock N Roll and the look was inspirational and it seemed like all of a sudden the stars aligned and the band took off. Great moments in Rock N Roll history and all of a sudden it seemed the world had forgotten she was the frontwoman and kudos was beginning to be shown. Maybe the UK wasn’t so obsessed with what sex a singer was as much as it seemed to matter in the States and Jett took hold on this island with the likes of Bowie jumping up on stage and being taken seriously by the radio and music fans alike. I think the movie captures this for sure and having the likes of Billie Joe, Iggy and Dave Grohl all having a say shows the huge respect she has from her peers in the industry.
I also forgot Jett tried her hand at acting I guess ultimately shes as punk as it gets from starting a rock n roll band to starting her own label to acting she did what was true to herself and was honest and comes across as sincere and a loyal ally but ultimately she will be remembered for being a rock and roller, not a bird in a Rock n Roll band or some chic with a guitar. The movie does tell her story in 90 minutes even if it was a lot to tell shes had some amazing musicians around her her whole career and that’s no accident either it might not be the most incredible or outrageous rock n roll story but it is certainly one worth telling and makes great TV. The only downside is the lack of extras and I guess these days it would have been easy to tag on a rare live show or one from her own archive or complete videography, bloopers who knows just a little more bang for your buck I guess. Fans will watch it and just get it and non-fans can kiss my ass Joan Jett is da bomb and one thing I know for sure is ‘I Love Rock And Roll’ just like Joan does.