Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Mar 22nd 2010 2:00PM by Emily Tan
"I didn't like being told that girls couldn't play rock 'n' roll," guitarist and ex-Runaway Joan Jett told Spinner at press event. "I'm sitting in school with girls playing cello and violin, playing Beethoven and Bach. 'What do you mean girls can't play? Do you mean they can't master the instrument?' No, you don't mean that. What you mean is socially they're not allowed to because rock 'n' roll implies sex."
Despite the backlash at that time, Jett didn't let it faze her and looked to the big stars at the time like the Rolling Stones in order to learn how performing was done. "Being told you can't do it because you're a girl just didn't' wash," Jett said. "My parents always told me I could do anything I wanted, and I believed them. So I think it's important that you're able to own it. And women owning their sexuality is threatening."
After the Runaways made their mark, Jett has seen the tradition continue with many female musicians following suit but admits that the experiences were very different. "I don't think you can really make comparisons," Jett said. "Certainly people have drawn parallels to the Riot Grrrl movement in the mid-90s with Bikini Kill, Babes in Toyland, L7, a lot of bands like that had success, the Breeders, Sleater-Kinney. But beyond girls playing instruments, I don't know that you can say it's the exact same experience really. I think we were doing something a little bit different."
And while Jett thinks it's great that the band's story is finally told, she sees it more than just a biopic.
"The movie also touches on other issues that teenagers go through when you're talking about communication with family and friends and you know, trying to get through that whole mess that a lot of kids have a lot of difficulties with or just exploring your sexuality," Jett said. "Just the whole gamut of feelings teenagers experience when you hit that age."
If there's anything people can take away from the film, Jett hopes that it inspires them to go for what they always wanted to do. "It's really important to follow your dream, and if life takes you another way, at least you made an attempt at fulfilling yourself," she said. "And if you don't get there at least you'll have great stories to tell along the way. That's the message I'd like to get out beyond just showing what the Runaways went through."
'The Runaways' is playing in select theaters now and releases nationwide on April 9.