In an interview for Rolling Stone 's "Last Word" column, where iconic artists reflect on the scope of their careers and what they've learned along the way, Joan Jett spoke about her upcoming tour with MÖTLEY CRÜE, DEF LEPPARD and POISON. Asked if she is fazed at all by the fact that some of those bands have been accused of misogyny in the past, she said: "It's very prevalent, all over rock and roll. Look, all I can do as the woman I am is go out there and show an alternative view and do it my way. If I had to weed out every band you thought was problematic, I mean, there wouldn't be very many left. And I think everyone's being a little … Chill out, it's music."
Pressed about whether she thinks rock is less misogynistic now than it was in the '80s, Jett said: "That's a good question. The bands I listened to weren't necessarily at all misogynistic, but I'm talking about guys like FUGAZI. I would say [it's] probably not as misogynistic [now], just because of their openness to getting criticized about it, because you get creamed online and people seem to care about that. That doesn't mean that it changes who they are, so maybe that's dangerous. It goes underground. But I think things are changing."
JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS' "The Stadium Tour" with DEF LEPPARD, MÖTLEY CRÜE and POISON will launch on June 16 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 36-date trek, which is due to wrap September 9 in Las Vegas, was originally scheduled to take place in the summer of 2020 but ended up being pushed back to 2021, and then to 2022, due to the coronavirus crisis.
Joan previously talked about how tough it was being in the rock 'n' roll boys club of the '70s during a 2019 interview with the Australian TV show "The Project". "Just the level of… [people] not giving you a chance right away," she said. "Looking at you as a joke, as 'it's kinda cute.' And then people would get very nasty. It is like what the Internet is today, [but] people saying it to your face. You're a this, you're a that, you suck, your music's bad. It could get really nasty."
Also in 2019, Jett spoke to METALLICA's Lars Ulrich for his "It's Electric" show on Apple Music about how sexism made it harder for women to get the respect they deserved by playing the same style of music as similar male-fronted acts.
"People having trouble with guys wearing makeup and stuff, girls can't play rock 'n' roll," she said. "No, girls can master the guitar, they can play rock 'n' roll.”
"What you're saying is society doesn't allow women to access their sexuality in relationship to music," Jett continued. "They have to be a certain thing, and that's it. Once they do that, they're whores, they're sluts, they're dykes."
JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS released an acoustic album, "Changeup", on March 25. The 25-track effort features unplugged versions of songs spanning Jett's entire career, including her work with the pioneering 1970s all-female band THE RUNAWAYS.
Jett grew up during a time when rock 'n' roll was off limits to girls and women, but as a teenager, she promptly blew the door to the boys' club right off its hinges. After forming her band THE BLACKHEARTS in 1979, with whom Jett has become a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee, she has had eight platinum and gold albums and nine Top 40 singles, including the classics "Bad Reputation", "I Love Rock 'N' Roll", "I Hate Myself For Loving You" and "Crimson And Clover". With a career that has spanned music, film, television, Broadway, and humanitarianism, Jett remains a potent force and inspiration to generations of fans worldwide.
As a producer, she has overseen seminal albums by BIKINI KILL, and the GERMS' L.A. punk masterpiece "GI". Jett and co-founder Kenny Laguna (her longtime producer and music partner) founded Blackheart from the trunk of Kenny's Cadillac after countless rejections from no less than 23 labels. 40 years later, Blackheart is a thriving entertainment company producing music, film, and television, and continues to champion emerging bands.
"Bad Reputation", a documentary about Jett's life, premiered to critical acclaim at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and is now available for streaming.