Joan Jett recalls being spat at while playing with The Runaways: “No one gave us any credit that we could play at all”

Rock legend Joan Jett has spoken about the sexism she faced early on in her music journey and spoke out about the abuse faced by The Runaways

Guitar goddess Joan Jett has recently spoken out over the sexism she’s faced since picking up a guitar for the first time at 13-years-old.

In an interview with The Guardian, the Bad Reputation rocker revealed she would cry backstage after gigs with The Runaways as people would call them sluts, spit and throw bottles at them.

She stated, “No one gave us any credit that we could play at all,” and told of how people saw them as a gimmick, adding: “And that was really galling because we played better than a lot of the bands we opened for.”


The Runaways were set up by Jett and drummer Sandy West, with the addition of Jackie Fox, Cherie Curie and Lita Ford and went on to be one of the most renowned all-female rock bands, with hit songs such as Cherry Bomb earning the band a respectable name for themselves.

The Runaways respected reputation in music has even earned them a biopic film with the same title as the band name, starring Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett which was released back in 2010.

But Jett’s first experience of sexism within rock music dates back to her first guitar lesson at just 13. She told The Guardian how she expressed an interest in wanting to play rock ‘n’ roll but her teacher replied, “‘Girls don’t play rock’n’roll. Let me teach you On Top of Old Smokey instead.’”

Sadly, sexism within the music industry is rife and Jett admitted, “It’s not just in rock’n’roll, it’s everywhere.” And any social media comment section on a female artist’s account can prove we still have a long way to go.

Joan Jett And The Black Hearts are heading out on the road for The Stadium Tour alongside Def Leppard, Poison and MÖTLEY CRÜE, you can grab your tickets here.