Joan Jett on replacing Cherie Currie in The Runaways: “I had to step up”

Jett was tasked with the lead vocals once Currie left the band

Joan Jett has opened up about becoming the frontwoman of The Runaways after Cherie Currie left the band in 1977.

Jett, who had previously shared vocal duties with Currie, took over lead vocals full time until the band’s split in 1979.

Speaking to Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace in Billboard, Jett said that the group were ‘either going to completely break up as a band’ or she had to step up. “But there were a lot of things I knew,” she continued.


“I knew I wasn’t Cherie. I knew I wasn’t a blonde bombshell. I knew I wasn’t the one people wanted to look at. And that’s a weird feeling. I’m getting emotional, I don’t know why. What else could I do? Either end it or plow ahead and not worry.”

Jett also spoke of her forthcoming documentary – Bad Reputation – which chronicles her life in The Runaways and The Blackhearts. The film covers the harassment and misogyny Jett experienced early on in her career and while it wasn’t specifically tied into the #MeToo movement, it arrives at a time when the international conversation around harassment is continuing to unfold.

“The timing was just organic,” Jett said of the connection. “We’ve been filming this for, I don’t know, seven years? Had the terminology and the lexicon [of the #MeToo movement] happened while we were filming, it would have been in there.

“It was before all this stuff broke at the end of last year. We had finished the movie and started editing. But it speaks to what’s happening now and what’s been happening. The light is starting to shine on all this harassment, but it’s certainly not done.”

Bad Reputation is set for release on September 28. Grace’s album ‘Bought to Rot’ – her first with new group Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers – will be released on November 9.


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