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Joan Jett prefers ‘playing all the crappy little clubs’

Story published in the Vancouver Sun on August 24, 2010.


Joan Jett may be in her fifties, but that doesn’t mean she’s traded in her leather bustiers for cotton floral-print pantsuits.

Her voice says it all: Over the phone, calling from her home in New York, the infamous tomboy from ’70s all-girl punk rock band the Runaways growls with a sense of authority. She speaks and you can’t help but nod in agreement. Like the 15-year-old bruiser that first clawed her way into the world of rock ‘n’ roll, Jett still has a clear sense of who she is and what she’s fighting for.

Which is why calling the 51-year-old a role model might be a bad idea.

“I could never say that about myself. To me that sounds conceited,” Jett says in her raspy, East Coast voice. “It’s like, ‘Oh, I’m great I affected all these people, look what I did.’ It’s not for me to say, as far as I’m concerned, because any artist can think they change the world. I just want people to get something from [my music].”

Jett’s world-changing status can be argued, though, if you’ve got the guts.

With the release of the biopic The Runaways (based on band mate and lead singer Cherie Currie’s memoir Neon Angel), Jett’s life and story has been splashed across the big screen, reaching a whole new generation of teenagers with the help of Twilight stars Kristen Stewart (as Jett) and Dakota Fanning (as Currie).


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