This is a documentary about Joan Jett, the iconic young woman who kicked doors wide open for bands featuring all women.
There were girl groups before, most were like ‘The Supremes” and “Martha and the Vandellas.” However, Joan Jett’s group was nothing like the girl group’s predecessors. Joan put together a band of teenage girls and they were named “The Runaways.”
“The Runaways” played in and around Hollywood and eventually in several other countries. The girls were very popular in Japan where they played at Budokan. The band was as popular with girls as they were with boys.
A lot of notable people have very nice things to say about Joan. Featured in this doc are:
- Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day)
- Rodney Bingenheimer
- Carianne Brinkman
- Bill Curbishley
- Miley Cyrus
- Michael J. Fox
- Kathleen Hanna
- Debbie Harry
- Sally Hershberger
- Kenny Laguna
- Ian MacKaye
- Alison Mosshart
- Dougie Needles
- Mike Ness
- Iggy Pop
- Thommy Price
- Chris Stein
- Kristen Stewart
- Pete Townshend
- Dana White,.(List from IMDbPRO.com)
When “The Runaways” were formed, Kim Fowley thought that Cherie Currie was the star. Fowley had ties to many different groups and people including Phil Spector, Alan Freed, Berry Gordy and many others.
Fowley’s decision that Cherie being the star because she was blonde and because she was the lead singer was flawed. This isn’t to say that Cherie isn’t talented, she is. However, Joan Jett is the total package. She is the dark hair, dark eyed opposite of Cherie. Her guitar playing is badass and her looks scream; I’M A ROCK STAR!!!
“Bad Reputation” shows that Joan is also a philanthropist.
There is a band up in Seattle, they are called the Gits. There is a documentary about them simply entitled “The Gits.” This band was a big part of the ‘Grundge’ movement and were very popular. In a horrible event, the singer of the Gits, Mia Zapata, was murdered while walking home one night. Joan is in this doc. She lent her talent to raise money for a private eye to find out who killed Mia. This seems to be typical of Joan. She is a person who feels other people’s pain and this shows in this documentary. Zapata’s killer was caught in 2003 and is doing 37 years in a King County, Florida prison.
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I am totally bias because I am totally in love with Joan Jett. Her music is part of my young adulthood. When I was pregnant with my first child, at 20 years old, I was setting on a bar stool fighting off morning sickness. But, I was there and I was happy in between the horrible waves of nausea.
Joan’s parents told her she could be whatever she wanted to be. It’s a beautiful thing to see a girl and now a woman doing just what she wanted.
One of the best rock documentaries I’ve ever seen.
This film is now on most digital platforms and in some theaters, check yours to see if “Bad Reputation” is playing there. This review barely scratches the surface. Enjoy.