Joan Jett on the Rock Hall: ‘There Should Be More Women’
Rock 'n' roll has always been kind of a sausage fest, but even if men have tended to hog the spotlight, plenty of brilliant female artists have made their own crucial contributions along the way — and Joan Jett would like to see more of them numbered among the inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Jett states her case plainly in an excerpt from a recent conversation with Billboard, saying, "There should be more women in the Hall of Fame, and more women in rock. They're out there, they just don't get the notice the pop girls do. Go to any city and there's an all-girl rock band -- it's just a matter of society wanting to hear that kind of music. But people's tastes change, so you have to just do what you love and hope other people love it too."
Jett, who will be honored with her own Rock Hall induction on April 18, understands firsthand the prevalence of sexism in the music business. As she went on to point out in her Billboard piece, she ran up against nothing but rejection while seeking her first solo deal following the breakup of the Runaways.
"We couldn't forget that we were girls -- we had to defend it all the time. I could not get a record deal after the Runaways broke up," said Jett. "I gave all the labels four songs: 'I Love Rock 'N Roll,' 'Crimson and Clover,' 'Do You Wanna Touch Me' and 'Bad Reputation.' All four of those songs became hits, and all of those labels sent us rejection letters."
Seemingly in a reflective mood on the eve of her enshrinement, Jett closed out by musing about how far she's come since those early days, and what — if anything — she'd change if given the chance. "If I could go back and give my 15-year-old self some advice, I'd say to document what you go through," she concluded. "The Runaways have few photos or video. I don't think teenagers think that far ahead. I didn't think about the future or 'When will I retire?' I still haven't thought about that. Other people keep going, so obviously I can."
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