Hi guys. I'm Joan Jett. I started in a band called The Runaways, we were all girls and at the time it was very pioneering as there weren't really any girl bands around, especially teenagers. After that experience, I moved on to the band of the Blackhearts, which was an all guy band except for me because I did not want comparisons to the Runaways.

Some of our big hits were "Crimson in Clover," "I hate myself for loving you," "I love Rock n Roll," "Do you wanna touch me" and "Bad Reputation."

I've done a couple of movies. I executively produced "The Runaways" which starred Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning and told the story to a degree of the Runaways.

I have a new album, Unvarnished, and it's really important to me. https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/unvarnished-deluxe-edition/id684303774

The single Any Weather I wrote with Dave Grohl. You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rkhv4TXt_iM

Ask me anything.

tweeted in advance: https://twitter.com/joanjett/status/387279834247749632

Thanks everybody for so many amazing questions. I'm sorry I could not get to everything so let's do this again sometime soon. Thanks again and enjoy our new album.

Comments: 1891 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

Frajer2056 karma

How do I stop giving a damn about my reputation?

JoanJett_2969 karma

Well you know I've been in that place too where you worry about what everybody thinks of you, am I popular, do people care, are they looking at me, all that stuff. That's a drag, man. Having to worry about fitting in, am I cool enough to ANYTHING.

You gotta not care about what people think in general about you. I'm not talking about bad stuff, if you're a nasty person, because I don't consider myself a mean person, I consider that I know what i want and I'm tough. But I'm very emotional and un-tough on a lot of levels, I cry very easily, I'm sensitive and I don't think that's a bad thing.

A lot of people would say "well that's not a bad reputation. you sound like a pussy" and I would say yea. but I am passionate about music and being taken seriously about my music, so if you're going to mess with that, we have a problem.

A lot of "Bad Reputation" came from comments that people said in the early days of "she'll never make it, she has a bad reputation" it was probably said at one point. Inspiration comes from all sorts of places. And you have to decide that it's not worth all that mental anguish worrying about what other people think.

Just be yourself and everything will fall in line, the way it's supposed to be. If you're yourself, that's the best thing you can do, because you can never go "damn if I'd only been myself." Live an authentic life and you don't have to worry about your reputation.

meta_morphosis1185 karma

My 11 yr old daughter did a really great report on you for school last year. Topic was to a famous Pennsylvanian. Would love to send you a copy. She is a huge fan. We don't have a question. Just wanted to say thanks for the music and for breaking the stereotypes of women musicians! We love you.

JoanJett_1712 karma

That's great, that is really awesome. You should send the report to Blackheart, I would love to see it. Famous Pennsylvanian, that is so funny that she picked me. My dad would be proud of that.

pretty_dreams845 karma

Holy fucking fuck. First of all, you're like my hero. I swear down; you're a legend. I just want to say thank you for your music because it helped me through some hard times.

JoanJett_1139 karma

When people tell you this to your face, it means SO MUCH. If we were face to face, I bet you would tell me what hard times I got you through. And it's really quite varied, and it really makes me take what music does for people seriously. If I'm that conduit, I'm honored.

JamesRenner840 karma

Do you sing along to I Love Rock n Roll when you hear it on the radio?

*Edit: My first gold!?! I feel so rock n roll.

JoanJett_1579 karma

No. I just turn it up.

Bluepillschool574 karma

If you hadn't been a rock star for most of your life, what occupation would you want to be?

JoanJett_859 karma

Well before I was in a band, I wanted to be everything from a vet, an astronaut, an archeologist was a big one. It could be very wide-ranging because I had a lot of different interests including music so I'm very happy where I wound up.

Bluepillschool538 karma

What was it like to work with Kristen Stewart when she portrayed you? Do you think she did a good job in her role of you?

JoanJett_913 karma

I do think she did a good job. I think she was extremely dedicated to it, chopped all her hair off and really immersed herself in everything she could find about the Runaways and I helped her find some things, told her some things that I had never told anybody ever, not even for the book, how you function in life or what I was thinking at the time to give her insight into myself and my family. All of the actors did the best that they could with what they had, and it's a great story and it should be told. For me as the artist, you always wish that they would choose something more substantial than showing a tiff. But beyond that I thought they did a really good job.

JoanJett_1008 karma

And she really played guitar too! Which helped. So I could discuss how I play the guitar, how I hold the guitar, the way I stand. A lot of things I didn't realize I was doing until I saw her onscreen and realized oh my god I do that stuff. She noticed that, and picked up on it before I ever would have. Little things that people don't notice, but I guess if you're a good actor you do.

KillerKuma375 karma

Hi Joan,

I’m wondering if you could give any advice/words of wisdom to a young person who’s spent her past years throughout high school dumping nearly all of her work earnings on music instruments/equipment (band room is almost finished) and still doesn’t have a band due to lack of connections and stage fright?

P.S. my musical influences would at least include: The Runaways, Cheap Trick, The Replacements, The Ramones, X, Blondie, etc.

Also, might as well take this chance to introduce you to G.I. Joe PSAs

JoanJett_789 karma

And you can't find somebody to jam with?!?!?!?!?

That's some of the greatest music, and there are many fans and music and people who want to be in bands just like you.

I was so shy when I started in The Runaways - I mean, painfully shy. I was a shoegazer. I could not sing unless the lights were off in the studio. I could not bear to let them watch me emote, I was not there yet. But I will tell you, the more you work at it, the more it goes away. I'm still fairly a shy person in general, but when I get onstage I get comfortable. That didn't come right away, it took a lot of time, and I'm lucky enough that I've been able to have a long career to work on that.

As far as you being in a band, you can never be sure, but if you really want to be in a band and you really believe it, keep trying. Put ads online, I don't know where you put ads these days, people still read their local free newspapers and a lot of musicians advertise in those, but I would try every route to hook up with other people who have like interests that you do that want to do the same type of music.

If you don't give it a shot, you will always regret it, especially since you spent so much money on gear. You owe it to yourself to try.

deanaspencer23326 karma

Joan, you know and meet so many people in your life and career, how do you know which people are genuine and are interested in YOU as a person and not a celebrity and not what you can do for them?

JoanJett_551 karma

You don't. You never know. That's the sad thing about it, is that you don't know. And you certainly don't know when you quickly meet somebody. But even as you know somebody longer, it's really hard to know. Obviously you go on your gut feeling but that can be wrong too. ANd it's terrible to have to be wary about people, because it is not my nature, but I've been burned a few times and you just have to careful.

ashbrk305 karma

First of all: I fucking love you. I tried to join band (yeah, geek) in middle school and was told, "Girls don't play drums, play the flute." Wrong Answer. You are seriously the greatest inspiration. Ever.

That being said, the only love I have that stands up to my love of your music/reputation/activism is that of Queen. So I just wanted to know what the experience was like opening for them a couple of times in '82. (i.e. Did you spend any significant time around Freddie, ever consider any collaborating with Brian, etc.)

JoanJett_296 karma

I never really was able to get close enough to spend enough time together where you could ask anybody those kind of questions. I think you have to build a relationship first. I had the chance to play with Queen a few times, but there wasn't a chance to hang out and ask those questions, but I think both those things would have been amazing to do.

ashbrk140 karma

Also, your new album is INCREDIBLE

JoanJett_235 karma

Thank you. I really appreciate that.

RockabillyGal13124 karma

Hey Joan, Primarily, I would like to say you're so rad! Because of women like you, I have been playing the drums and guitar since 10 years old. I am 23 now. Thank you for still continuing on with punk rock!

  1. What was your first guitar? And what was the first song you learnt to play?

Thank you! <3 Kristen.

JoanJett_215 karma

Wow that is GREAT that you started so young and are still playing. That is really awesome to hear. First guitar I had was a Sears Silvertone. In fact, I think I heard Johnny Ramone used one for a while, but I don't know if that was true. I probably tried to learn how to play "Smoke on the water" or "Bang a Gong" by T. rex.

philabuster425183 karma

Joan, "Light Of Day" is a great song and an under-rated movie. Tell us about working with Michael J Fox on screen and singing with Bruce Springsteen on stage.

JoanJett_317 karma

Well Bruce I didn't sing with him, he wrote the song "light of Day" so I didn't perform it with him, but I performed it with Michael. And Michael was AMAZING He is the nicest guy and still is. He was giving as an actor, this was my first film, I was a virgin and he could have messed with my head but he was so helpful, he taught me things about finding my mark without looking down. He would say "you'll feel your keylight." A lot of actors won't teach people but not Michael. He really does play guitar as well and we did a couple of gigs as The Barbusters in Ohio when we were filming in Cleveland, just to play so the movie band could have the feeling of what it was really like to play in a club. I thought it was a lot of fun and a great learning experience on many levels for me.

Doctors_Companion01168 karma

Is there a certain life event that you believe shaped who you are today?

JoanJett_492 karma

Well I think what shaped my life was definitely my parents and the way they brought me up early. I think this is one of them; bless my mother, she's passed away. When I was about four years old, I got a rabbit muff for Christmas from one of my mother's best friends. You put your hands in it, it's like a handwarmer for little girls, and I was a little tomboy and i hated it. I threw it on the ground and said "Id on't like this" and my mother hauled off and slapped me across the face and said "HOW DARE YOU TALK TO POLLY LIKE THAT. YOU APOLOGIZE RIGHT NOW. YOU NEVER HURT SOMEONE LIKE THAT" and I was horrified. And I think something like that shapes your life. It didn't hurt but it humiliated me. It showed me what a dick I was being and as a little girl, i got it. and to this day, I will do my best to not be mean to people. And my mother was not a violent purpose, it was more of a statement, a lot of noise to scare the shit out of you. And I think that's important you know? To set some kind of boundary for kids not being a jerk, because kids learn early from their parents. So that is one of them, but my parents took us to a lot of places, we went out and saw a lot of museums, Smithsonian Institute when we lived in Maryland and went to Washington, we would always do a lot of things and did not always sit in front of the TV. Every time I see the World's Fair stuff in NY, I remember being there with me and my brother in Queens.

wtfudgery99 karma


JoanJett_197 karma

Well I probably only have one that jumps out at me and that is David Bowie. I grew up as a big fan of David Bowie, and he is just a genius. He has been able to shapeshift for so many years and make so many different kinds of music incredibly well and interesting. So Bowie would probably the one I say. I tend to be pretty insular, but on this record I wrote with a few other people, this is a new thing for this album.

KaylieGilhespy88 karma

Do you remember the moment when you knew you had truly made it?

JoanJett_216 karma

well hearing "I love Rock n Roll" on the radio was a big one, and knowing that the momentum was moving forward was big and then when it hit number one... I did not know that I had ever felt that I had make it. Because once you make it once, you have to make it again. I would have to prove it every time. We were indie and forced to be indie, we wanted to sign with a big label but nobody wanted me (I kept all the letters so we have proof, all 23 majors and minors heard them and everybody passed). So we were forced to be our own label, and Kenny Laguna took $500 out of his child's future college money to print out a hundred vinyl records of "Bad Reputation" and we sold them out of the trunk of the car. And that was our first Blackheart record. But when "I love Rock n Roll" hit number one, that would have to be my moment, because we did this with our own blood, sweat and tears. And those were the days when radio couldn't play what they wanted. It was a different world. You had regional hits, where something in the Northeast might not be a hit out West but you're able to do that all over the country, and people today don't get that experience.

KaylaChinga84 karma

When you started, eomen in rock music had no real mentors or examples to follow. What advice would you offer to younger female musicians today?

PS I have your first Blackhearts album on vinyl and I think I played that until the needle broke.

JoanJett_152 karma

So cool. It's very tough to give advice because it's tough out there for everybody but for a girl it's even tougher, because I don't think the glass ceiling has changed at all in the past 30 years. Otherwise the radio would be covered with girl bands, or girls in bands, so I don't think much has changed on that level. But I think that bands can still have a lot of success trying to go another route. The internet did not exist when I started out, the fact that bands can build a website and get all their information out there is really helpful. If you really love to play, I would say to keep doing it, because it's what you love and what you have to do.

If it's just a pastime, keep doing it because it's relaxing and to blow off some steam. But if you're not sure if you want to do it, or you're thinking you can be famous, you shouldn't do it because you want to be famous. You have to do it because you love it and you want to play for people. And if that's what you want to do, then do it, but you can't go into it with that mindset of "we'll be in a band and we'll be famous." I wanted to have a record out and go on tour and THEN maybe I'd be famous if I get all those things. But now with the internet, you can put your music up and let people know who you are and that's a way to get people out to a few shows, or a record company could see you and want to sign you. Stay focused on the music part, and not on the fame part.

lindsaydrums77 karma

Hi Joan, It's my birthday today. I'm 23. I can already relate to aspects of your new song Hard to Grow Up. Do you have any advice of things you wish you knew at 23?

JoanJett_171 karma

Boy, you sound like a lot more thoughtful than I was at the time. I was not thinking about anything deeply. I was so focused on music and the band and making albums, I was not thinking about other aspects of life which I do regret. To be so superfocused and honed in on one thing can be good because then you get what you're supposed to get done, done but you also miss out on other things. I could have spent more time with my family, and a million other little things.

Advice? Wow... that's a hard one. If you are gonna live your life, just try to not be crazy, have fun but have some focus and some purpose and try to know what that is. If you don't know now, try to figure it out.

RecieKay73 karma

What was your experience like doing Rocky Horror on stage back in the day?

JoanJett_104 karma

It was a BLAST. It was scary, I didn't know if I'd be able to do it, it was different and I had never done anything like it before. I didn't know if I could hang with these Broadway people and sing and dance, it was a little overwhelming but once I knew my part I was okay and the cast was really wonderful and very giving. They put me at ease. The music and the play itself I pretty much knew by heart anyway because it came out in 1975 right when the Runaways started and we went and saw it several times, before they did the theater dress-up stuff. It wasn't as serious as they get today, and it was a blast. I really had fun, definitely asskicking.

EtherealWasteland68 karma

First of all, I have to tell you that you are a huge inspiration/idol of mine. Also, I have been so curious as to your opinion on the movie The Runaways. Do you think they accurately showed your story? How did you think Kristen Stewart did portraying you? Again, you're the fucking best, I've been listening to your music all day in anticipation of this AMA.

JoanJett_107 karma

That's great. The actors did a great job with the script they were given. They can only do what's on the page, so they did the best they could, and they tried to immerse themselves in everything they could about the band. There wasn't tons of shows to watch or things to see, especially moving pictures, there was a little bit of stuff from Japan and a few European TV shows and interviews but that was it. There was nothing like what there is today. When I think back, I can't believe we did not document anything, even one tour, and I definitely regret that. But there's a lot more to be told about The Runaways and different stories that have more heft, so it's not the complete story but it's the partial story.

thedailyguru61 karma

The new song "Soulmates To Strangers" is absolutely brilliant and brutal a the same time. For me, it's one of the few heartbreak songs that MUST be played at maximum volume.

Where did that lyric come from, and how did Laura Jane Grace come to be part of it?

JoanJett_90 karma

Very interesting, great question. Well I mentioned before we've played with Against Me a couple of times. First time was on the Warped tour in 2006 and I fell in love with them, I really enjoyed their music. We had a chance to play together again last year and Laura Jane was starting to through her transition from a guy to a girl. That was just about the same time this was going on, and I asked her if she wanted to write a song because I always thought she was such a good songwriter and if we had some time, would she want to throw around some ideas and she said "yes definitely." So she sent me an email that was the beginning of "Soulmates to Strangers." The idea came from Laura Jane but the lyrics were re-worked and changed to reflect more directly on my life, but I think many of us have been in relationships where you think you've found the one and you just... think, wow, I'm in love, this is IT. And then something happens, you can't even put your finger on it, and then you don't quite feel the same way anymore. All of a sudden, there's fights or something and you are going "who is this person?" I've seen this happen to other people and it has happened to me. So I think obviously Laura Jane (I can't speak for her but she may have been drawing from her own experience) came up with the seed of this song and then we finished it up. That's a song we definitely do live in concert and I'm glad you like it.

JJBH60 karma

Do you still have any of your stage clothes/platform boots from you days with They Runaways?

You've toured with some great bands. Who have been some of your favorite bands to tour with?

JoanJett_112 karma

You know, I really wish I did. I may have something stored somewhere in a closet far away hidden with my guitars that I don't take out. But I don't think I do. A lot of the clothes I have from early on I've given away to either charities or the Rock and Roll hall of fame which now has one of my leather jackets. I don't have any of the Runaways gear or jumpsuits though.

We just had some great tours with Green Day and the Foo Fighters but we've had some fun tours with all different kinds of bands. Alice Cooper and Motorhead. Motorhead just sonically is SO INTENSE. You physically get knocked over. It was fun because I knew all those guys from the Runaways days, and it's fun because we're still doing this and all on the same tour. It was a blast. But I don't have any good stories for anybody.

OliviaMoney51 karma

I heard an interview with you recently on NPR but wasn't able to find it on Google... during which you talked about writing your own music... how do you feel about young "artists" these days, especially young women, who have teams of 20-30 people writing their songs? Is this indicative of the times?

JoanJett_101 karma

Whoa. You tell me. I don't know. I think it's what the times are demanding. If you're talking about the popular artists, they collaborate with a lot of different people and it seems to be in vogue now. It probably is indicative of the times. How I was saying earlier radio has changed, there was a little bit of difference around the country and now that is gone and everything is uniform. That is not the only place it's happening in music, there's a lot of consolidation. But I just know that's not where I'm comfortable, so I write with my songwriting partners and bandmates and on this album I wrote with Dave Grohl and Laura Jane Grace. I like to write within my group.

HelpMeLoseMyFat48 karma

Joann, I know my mother loved you, I just wanted to say thankyou for a lot of wonderful memories for me. My mother and I would sing your songs and really just have a great time!

My question: your voice is very recognizable, do you ever get noticed in public and any funny stories of getting pointed out ?

Take care!

JoanJett_84 karma

Yea but it's not usually because of my voice. I think that people say "Maybe that looks like Joan Jett" and then they hear me talk and then they ask me, but I do get recognized sometimes. I've had some really touching things when people come up to me and they were just so moved by the music or something I did that they are very emotional, and that really gets to me, because it shows the power and importance of music and why you have to stay focused on the music aspect as opposed to the other bells and whistles about being in a band. I'm blessed and I recognize that, but to be able to make people feel good is really an amazing thing.

bogus_otis46 karma

Congrats on your longevity and success. Were there any scenes left out of the movie that you would've liked to have made the cut?

JoanJett_82 karma

No, that wasn't the issue for me with it. It was a movie and living in a band is much more detailed than what most movies are, and so there is a lot more detail to the Runaways than what was able to be shown in that hour and a half. But they pretty much used everything they had.

carissaj2840 karma

What's the trick to being able to tour pretty much non-stop for your whole career without taking much of a break? Thank you <3

JoanJett_75 karma

It just becomes a habit and then you realize if you stop people definitely will forget about who you are. But beyond that, we love to play and so that's what we do. When we do our new album, we'll put the new songs in a set for a good amount to see if we can learn them better and how the audience responds to them. I'm always working on something, and I love playing live and I feel like I make records so I can tour. I love to travel and meet people. There was no trick to it, I just really enjoy it.

ctman7137 karma

Hello Joan,

Do you plan on going to see Cherie Currie next month at her show in NYC?


JoanJett_64 karma

Depends on the day! I'm not adverse to it.

pinkwaff1e35 karma

how did you deal with creeps and haters?

JoanJett_96 karma

I don't pay attention. I don't read stuff or message boards because you definitely get affected. You can read a hundred great comments, amazing comments, and have one bad one and that is all you can focus on and it wrecks your day. It says something about negativity and how it draws us somehow. I know there will always be people who don't like me or who want to take shots just because they can. I don't give a shit, I'm tough, I've taken it from a lot of people and I can take it from you, so go ahead and take your shots. And they just don't exist to me.

samuelzz1035 karma

I have two questions:

Why is it so hard to get your album notorious? did you not like it in hindsight, or is it copyright issues?

And also, do you still use a Ibanez TS9?

JoanJett_66 karma

I don't know, but I can probably try to find an answer for you someplace. I would have to ask a business person. I'm the music person. But it's certainly not because I don't like the album. I didn't like the haircut when I made that album, though.

I never did use an Ibanez anything. Guitar or amp, as far as I know. Guitar definitely no.

rana_mae33 karma

Will you ever write an autobiography? I would love to read your story straight from the source.

What is your favorite song on Unvarnished, and your favorite song from your career in the '80s?

Thank you for playing for our troops overseas! It means more to us (I am an Army Wife) than you know.

P.S. My husband and I loved meeting you last July on JBLM! I've seen you in concert four times. Thank you! <3 -Laurana & Adam

JoanJett_80 karma

You can never say never. I'm not sure if I even want to. I just don't know. Some of it is just not able to be reached, you can't remember some of it and the people that could help you remember have passed away. It might have to remain a remain.

My favorite song on Unvarnished: I don't have a favorite. I love em all. I just spent a year and a half making the record and six or seven writing them, they are all my babies so I can't really choose and it depends on my mood too. From the 80s: I don't have favorite songs. I don't have favorites, I really don't.

And that's great. I actually almost joined the Military between the Runaways and the Blackhearts, I was nervous and scared and didn't know what to do with my life and I thought I might join a branch of the military and learn a skill. I was batting it around thinking about it, and only had a week because then I met Kenny Laguna, who became my songwriting partner and producer, but that shows you where my head was at. I always remember those people that fight for our country are just like me, no different, because I was almost one of them. For me, I think it's important to give back to them. We've been to some pretty hairyplaces overseas where they are in harms way, and they say "what are you doing here" and you say "we're here because of you" to be doing music in the middle of something so terrible as war. I hate war but I love and respect our troops. You have to differentiate between the people and war.

carissaj2831 karma

Hi Joan, Your music is helping me get through college and it helped me get through high school. Thank you for being so amazing. I want to ask you, what's the most important thing you've learned from being a famous rock n roller? Thank you

JoanJett_83 karma

I don't think it's different than what most people learn in life, you just get some fame to go along with it. The thing that I come back to is being genuine. The most important thing is being genuine, and real, and not getting caught up in the "Star-Ness" of it. You don't want to act like a star around other people. You have to watch it, and you want to stay grounded, it's very important, and that's probably what I have learned most because you definitely have opportunities to let your ego run wild and you have to keep your ego in check. Egotistical people are not pretty. We all know that, I'm sure everybody knows an egotistical person someplace.

JoanJett_103 karma

It's disgusting to try to make people feel like peons. Like "how dare you look at me" type shit. I think it's important to stay grounded. You can still be a star and be famous, but don't act like it.

blue_hippie_frogs31 karma

Also, what do your tattoos mean to you?

JoanJett_74 karma

Oh they all have different meanings. My very first one is a Jet that I got with Cherie. We both went out and she got a cherry on her shoulder and I got a jet on my left hip diving into the jungle type thing. I remember my father giving me shit when he saw the bandaid on my hip, asking "What did you do" but he didn't find out.

The jet was really just symbolism, it probably meant the least one on level to me, because it represented on what I was about to embark on which in a way is the most meaningful but also has the least meaning. It's a paradox.

The other tattoos are versions of the universe, of being born from nothing and becoming something. That's the type of things they mean to me.

mwrenner30 karma

Hi Joan! I recently got to see you perform at CNU last weekend and I was blown away. I also loved all the new songs you played from the new record.

My question for you is this:

Many musicians talk about how different their stage persona is from their real personality. Some even give it another name. Do you consider the way you act on stage to be a different personality, or do you just not give a damn about your bad reputation?

JoanJett_61 karma

I feel it's me onstage, just amped up a little bit. I am playing songs, not discussing politics or deciding on a tv show to watch, and I think I'm myself onstage. I wouldn't know how to change. If anything I'm not as bold in regular life as I am onstage, that's when I am at my most bold. I think I'm a little bit more quiet when I'm offstage.

brokenleo8929 karma

First off, thanks for the gift of another great album to love. What is the best gift a fan has given you and what has been the worst?

JoanJett_51 karma

I couldn't possibly answer that. I've been given so many nice gifts by fans, for YEARS. Too tough to answer.

mariana1029 karma

how you learn to play the guitar all by yourself ? because I'm trying but it is very difficult

JoanJett_65 karma

well I bought myself a learn how to play guitar by yourself book. So I don't know if you are having someone teach you, but get a book, so you know where to put your fingers. Otherwise it would be tough to learn. Also you have to fight through getting callouses on your fingers because it hurts, you are pressing your fingers on metal strings, they will hurt at first until you start building up callouses. But if you are having trouble making a chord, get a book, that is how I learned. There are guitar tuning apps so you can tune your guitar, and just learn how to play along with your records. And it's great to be able to play along with another musician. That is like trial by fire.

SeanO628 karma

Hey Joan, what do you do to relax after a show? Do you go straight home or do you hang out with the band?

JoanJett_65 karma

I pretty much go home. If we're on the road, I go back to my room and just chill out. Unless there's a reason for me to go out and do something, I don't really go out and do that. My head's ringing and I just want to be quiet.

saraannstone25 karma

Three words that summarize who you are.

JoanJett_97 karma

Isn't that for you guys to say? It's kind of hard to analyze yourself. If you can actually come up with three words to describe yourself, aren't you thinking about yourself too much?

I try to be authentic, whatever that is. I guess there are ways to describe me, it just is going to take a while to get there.

Friendly yet guarded. I'm not mean, I think a lot of people have an image that I'm mean and I would bite your head off, but I'm not like that.

Lingulist25 karma

What's your favorite guitar besides your Gibson signature?

JoanJett_67 karma

Well the Gibson signature is modeled after a Gibson Melody Maker that i've played since the Runaways, which is my favorite guitar which is why I play it so much. My first real guitar (after that Sears one) was a Gibson Les Paul single cutaway, blonde, very heavy. It's a great guitar and it plays great, but it's hard to use because it's so heavy and that's when I came across the Melody Maker.

I bought it off of Erik Carmen who played in a band called the Raspberries. One of their hits was "Please Go All the Way" and THAT IS MY GUITAR and I played that song on all of our hits. So that guitar not only played on my hits, but on the Raspberries' hits.

My signature is a copy of that one, it's just MY Melody Maker.

Blind_galaxy18 karma

I think you are one of the most enlighted persons in this Earth, I do think we are all light, but some just shine effortlessly and you have that divine rock and roll touch. What are your favorite restaurants in NY, I recommend Rockin' Raw. Love from Peru

JoanJett_46 karma

I don't tend to eat out a lot to tell you the truth because I eat out so much on the road, but in the city I like Indian food. So there are a bunch of different good ones, I don't really have a favorite.

BenK9118 karma

How long ago did you decide it was time to write a new record? Thank you very much for continuing to be yourself. You are fantastic.

JoanJett_43 karma

Well years ago, actually. I probably started writing this album before our last album came out in 2006. But I started writing "Reality Mentality" in 2001 when reality TV shows started proliferating all over the place. I felt like I had writer's block so I held it in my back pocket for a while, but as reality TV continued to proliferate I saw it had more meaning. I saw this reality vibe slipping into things like the news, and shows where they are asking heavy questions of people that require heavy answers but they don't give them that time. The news has become reality-ized. So when it seeps into EVERYTHING. So I wrote that song, and that was the first impetus to write this album. But then we had "Sinner" come out, and we did tours with Green Day and Foo Fighters and then I executive produced The Runaways movie, and then I wanted to put out this album. And everyone asked "Why put out a new album" Well we put a song on there about Hurricane Sandy, and about people's spirits being able to turn around in things like disasters and traumas and how you can turn that around and build something back from that. Having seen it firsthand. It is one thing to see it on the news, but living it is a whole nother thing. I lost my parents recently and some friends, so I know everybody can relate to that, so I had to write some songs about that stuff. TMI, people's tendency to overshare, I tend to have boundaries and I like my boundaries so I am not really judging people but I think you have to watch it. Now we know the NSA is collecting all our stuff, but you never know, when they start using your location information and all the stuff they put up on websites with your mother's maiden name that people can use for nefarious things. There are a lot of us out there living life and there are people who are predators who want to use our shit against us. So there was a lot of inspiration that went into this album.

awesomemaryann17 karma

Hey Joan! Do you own an old school motorcycle? I think that this is so your style! :)

And I just want you to know that I love you and your songs since I was a kid! You rock! Kisses from Brazil!

JoanJett_58 karma

No I don't. I've taken pictures on motorcycles and I have ridden on the back of them with someone who knows how to ride them but I don't have a motorcycle. I don't want to have a motorcycle. I see the way people drive and I would be afraid to ride around any city on a motorcycle. One wrong move and you're toast. But I think they look cool. If I could ride one by myself on a long stretch of road, that would be cool.

liviaslingerland6 karma

Hi Joan,

I'm 19 years old, going to school for music (guitar performance) in Los Angeles, and I have my own rock and roll band in which I am the lead vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter. What advice would you give a young female musician aspiring to take her band to the highest level possible?

JoanJett_15 karma

Well you have more tools now. I'm sure you must have built a website and where you can have people listen to your music, and you should be touring, it is really important to be getting out there. To reach the highest level you have to not just have a dream and focus but you also have to make sure you are writing great songs, and if you feel they're what you want to represent you, that is key. But getting out on the road is key. And get your music out there. Maybe something catches, maybe it gets picked up and used on television, you just never know.