“Hello world, I’m your wild girl.”
Whether Joan Jett is one of your favourite musicians or you’re unfamiliar with her music (or somewhere in between), new documentary Bad Reputation is well worth a watch. Tickets include entry to Adelaide Film Festival’s Closing Night Gala party.
Jett is a fascinating human being: when she first plugged in her electric guitar at 13 years old, she was told ‘girls don’t play rock’n’roll.’ Yeah, right. Five years later, Jett and her band The Runaways recorded the smash hit Cherry Bomb. After the demise of The Runaways, Jett and creative partner Kenny Laguna launched Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, only to be rejected by 23 record labels. Their response? A string of hits including the worldwide smash I Love Rock’n’Roll. And her career as one of the great women of rock continues to this day.
Kevin Kerslake’s documentary tells the story of the girl from Wynnewood, Pennsylvania who wanted to make noise and would let nothing stop her. Jett and a to-die-for gallery of guests including Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Pete Townshend and Kristen Stewart (who played Jett in the 2010 feature The Runaways) reveal Jett’s status as a rock icon, feminist heroine and passionate supporter of causes beyond the music world. Raucous, intimate and packed with fantastic archival footage, Bad Reputation is a hugely entertaining profile of a music pioneer whose uncompromising spirit and kick-ass attitude remain undiminished. Put another dime in the jukebox, baby.
In anticipation of the screening – and in celebration of Joan Jett’s incredible discography, both solo and otherwise – we’re looking back at five of her best songs. Do you agree with our choices? Let us know what your own favourites are!