It’s time for another B-Side Bio! Our newest feature is a quick introduction to some of the maybe unknown facts about some of our favourite musicians. Paying homage to the passing of comic book legend, Stan Lee, I’m pulling an artist from one of the Marvel movie soundtracks! The soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 had just about as much success as the movie itself and The Runaway’s hit Cherry Bomb is as iconic as the other perfectly chosen tracks. The Runaway’s leader is the focus of this week’s B-Side Bio as we look deeper into the life of Joan Jett.
Born Joan Marie Larkin on September 22, 1958 in Pennsylvania, Joan eventually adopted her mother’s maiden taking on the moniker Joan Jett.
She got her first guitar at 14, taking lessons from a local man, but quit when he’d only teach her folk music. Recognizing her love for music, her family uprooted and went to LA, where Joan found ‘her people’ at a club, Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco. It was here that she was approached to join an all-girl rock band. The Runaways were together only 4 years and recorded 5 albums and toured around the world opening for the likes of Cheap Trick, Ramones, Van Halen and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Following her time with The Runaways, she performed as a solo act and in 1981 formed Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, who still tour to this day. After 23 other record labels rejected her, she co-formed Blackhearts Records making her the first female artist to run her own independent record company. It was here that she produced The Germs’ only ever album with musicians Darby Crash and Pat Smear who you might know from a little band called The Foo Fighters.
From 2000-2002, Joan took up the role of Columbia in the acclaimed Broadway production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Jett’s song "Bad Reputation" was the theme for Judd Apatow’s TV show Freaks & Geeks and was used by UFC fighter Ronda Rousey as her walkout song at UFC 157 and is her current theme music in the WWE.
Despite being a nearly household name with her success in Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada and South America, she’s just never seen the level of acclaim she deserves in the US and that’s just downright silly. But, she’s not giving up and is still working as hard as ever, and I for one am eager to see what’s next.
Did ya learn something?
I’m keeping it short, but I hope you’ve learned a little something with my B-Side Bios. This week, we’re adding Jett’s acoustic track “You Can’t Get Me” to our PTP Spotify Playlist.