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Joan Jett On How Rush and Molly Hatchet Got On Her ‘Bad’ Side

Joan Jett
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Notoriously, Joan Jett, the original “riot grrrl,” has had a bad reputation for many years….before she even wrote the song of that same name! But did you hear the one about that time she almost kicked Rush’s ass? She talks about that and a few other things in a wide-ranging interview with The Morton Report.

First, the Rush thing: What’s up with that? From what Jett says, their offenses were relatively minor – the Canadian rock legends were standing on the side of the stage at a Detroit show where Jett’s pre-solo outfit The Runaways opened for them, “laughing at us and stuff.”

Jett explains the wrongness of this perfectly when she states, “And you know, If I were Rush, I wouldn’t be laughing at me.” Southern rockers Molly Hatchet reportedly got a bit more personal, with one member griping “I can’t believe we’re opening for a b—-.”

Joan also recalls playing a show with the Scorpions in their native Germany where they were upset because Jett and her band the Blackhearts were more popular with the German music fans – a bit of a blow to the Scorps collective egos. The rest of the story allegedly includes the Scorpions spitting on Jett.

She admits that ‘Bad Reputation’ sums things up pretty nicely and that she’s probably earned that reputation, because she dares to “do these things that, you know, boys do.” But she also says that one of the greatest misconceptions is that she’s “unapproachable,” noting that people can be “a little afraid or apprehensive.”

Being perceived as one of the first women to play hard rock is a strange thing for Joan to swallow. She says “it just feels weird, you know, to say anything beyond I’m a rock and roller.”

It’s only rock and roll, but we love the way she does it.

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