Quick Review Joan Jett Bad Reputation

Bad Reputation
2018 | R | 1Hr 33Min | Documentary | Magnolia Picutres

Director: Kevin Kerslake
Writer: Joel Marcus

Joan Jett
Eric Ambel
Billie Joe Armstrong

The life and career of rock ‘n’ roll icon Joan Jett from her early years ripping it up onstage as the founder and backbone of hard-rock legends The Runaways, to her longtime collaboration with Kenny Laguna as Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, and her enduring presence in pop culture as a rock pioneer and mentor. With her inimitable singles “I Love Rock N’ Roll,” and “Bad Reputation” Joan Jett inspired a generation of young women to rock.

Man, I was 11 years old when I first heard "I Love Rock and Roll" and was hooked forever! That sound, that badass image, and Joan it was love, at first sight, thanks to MTV! I still had money left over from the summer of mowing lawns so it was not hard for me to catch a ride to the mall and buy my second ever album. When the song "Nag" came on it was the first time I ever picked up the needle to listen to something again and again. So simply put I could not wait to watch this documentary. 

Bad Reputation opens with a story of 13-year-old Joan tell about her desire for a Sears electric guitar. And how her parents didn't understand why she would want such a thing, thankfully they got her one anyway. And she wailed away on that bad boy until she became as good as—if not better than—the teen boys also dreaming of rock-and-roll stardom in the SoCal suburbs of the 1970s. Director Kevin Kerslake proceeds to take us through the years as Jett struggles to remain commercially viable, a challenge for any legacy act. Then along came the riot grrrl movement, which brought Jett back to her punk roots. In addition to her production work for Bikini Kill, and co-writing credits with Kathleen Hanna, she joined forces with the surviving members of the Gits to promote women's self-defense and to search for Mia Zapata's killer. She has also played for the troops and spoken out on behalf of LGBTQ rights and the benefits of vegetarianism.

Joan defiantly lived a rollercoaster life always having to fight her way through a male-dominated sport. It's her fight and drive that really keeps you watching, even this guy almost broke down in tears watching the segment from the Seattle grunge era. If you love Joan you will love this Doc if your a casual fan or somebody looking for a great story of survival you may love this even more. 

This wild child can be seen on Hulu and is well worth your time.

4 out of 5 Stars


  1. A true pioneer! This is a great post -- perfect for International Women's Day that is coming up on March 8!

  2. I'm dying to see this! I remember sitting on the floor of my bedroom listening to the 45s of I Love Rock N Roll and Crimson & Clover on my 'portable' record player.
    I didn't get into the Runaways until that movie came out in life but man am I glad I did!

    1. Yeah I need to dig into the Runways and give them more time.

    2. You probably know Cherry Bomb already. I recommend starting with their 2nd album Queens of Noise.


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