Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

Cyber Chat with Joan Jett

Joan went online on the Prodigy Service to chat with their subscribers. The following is an edited transcript of what the fans asked, and Joan's answers.

Chat moderator: Joan is here at her musical partner's house, wearing her sneakers, jeans, pocket rag and a rad tiedye...she looks great and she's waiting around for YOU to ask her something shockingly fire with both barrels...

Who are you?

JJ: I am the goddess of hellfire.

Equipment: What kind of guitar do you play ? Why?

JJ: I play a Gibson Melody Maker and I play it because I like the way it sounds and feels...the pickups are velvet hammer made by Red Rhodes.

I am a girl and I play guitar, but sometimes I find that I have trouble with certain chords because my hands are too small. Do you have any advice for getting around this or should I try to find a guitar with a smaller fret board?

JJ: Get a smaller guitar like a Melody Maker or an SG.

What type of amp do you use?

JJ: Music Man 212 with EV speakers.

Influences/current listening: Who are your influences?

JJ: Early 70s British glitter music and late 70s punk rock music... Stones definitely.

Do you like Kurt Cobain?

JJ: Yes, he was a great guitar player and a great singer.

Do you listen to Nirvana?

JJ: Yes, I have and I do. I used to listen to them all the time... day and night.

Joan, I heard that you like Lungfish, and I was wondering if any other Dischord bands strike your fancy as well? Tell me what you like about Lungfish?

JJ: I think they are an incredible guitar band with an energy that I don't see from other acts... the lyrics are very intelligent and creative... other Dischord bands: Fugazi. I listen to all their albums.

What music have you been listening to lately?

JJ: Fugazi, L7, Paul Westerberg... Indian devotional music... Lungfish... Mudwimin, Stone Fox and many others.

Do you like the band Silverchair?

JJ: Yes, I like them... heard a lot about them in Australia.

Jeff Beck has always been the best guitarist in my opinion. In your opinion it could be Page?

JJ: Page is a great guitarist, but Keith Richards is my favorite.

Joan, do you like Metallica?

JJ: They are great guys

Any fond memories of the late 70's Whiskey/Starwood scene?

JJ: Foggy (but great) memories.

Mia Zapata/Evil Stig: Who is Mia Zapata?

JJ: She was a great poet and singer of The Gits in Seattle and she was brutally raped and murdered July 93.

Joan, how did you get involved with Evil Stig and the Mia Zapata case?

JJ: When I wrote the song "Go Home" for our last album with Kathleen Hanna in reaction to the murder of Mia Zapata, then we dedicated our video to her... the members of the ex-Gits saw the video and asked me if there was any way to help them raise money for Mia's murder investigation. We decided to perform some of the favorite Gits songs with me singing lead... this was for the benefit show... other bands that helped: Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Posies, Seven Year Bitch and tons of other great bands have been helping The Gits find the killer.

Are you still trying to raise money to help find the murderer of your friend and fellow musician in Seattle? Has there been any breaks in the case?

JJ: Yes, we are still raising money... and there are suspects in the case.

What is the current status of the Mia Zapata case? How will the money be used to help, and can we make donations directly somewhere?

JJ: I'm not sure of the current status of the case because the investigation is still active, the police do have suspects...we continue to fund the private investigation and donations can be sent directly to MIA ZAPATA INVESTIGATIVE FUND, 1202 E Pike St., Seattle, Washington. [Zapata's killer was eventually found and convicted in 2004].

I have a friend who swears he knows who killed Mia, but he won't tell me.

JJ: On the Evil Stig record is the name of the PI you should call and tell this to. Her name is Leigh Herron.

Did you go to the MTV awards?

JJ: No, I played CBGB's with Evil Stig

People Joan has worked with: Joan, how was it recording "Cherry Bomb" with L7? Why'd you choose that song?

JJ: It was a blast... we chose that song because L7 were big Runaways' fans and the concept of the Rock for Choice album "Spirit of 73," was a 70s hit by a 90s band and this qualified

Joan, got any good stories about your work with Paul Westerberg? How'd you get him to be in your video? JJ: He was a great guy but I can't tell the stories... and I got him to be in the video because I asked him.

>Do you have any plans to do more work with the Rock For Choice group? I was at the concert where you did "Cherry Bomb" with L7, it was great!

JJ: I hope to work with L7 again soon.

What was it like working with Bikini Kill?

JJ: Inspiring and a lot of fun.

Did you talk with Trent Reznor during the shooting of your movie Light of Day? If so what was he like?

JJ: Yes, he was great

This is going a loooong way back but how did you enjoy doing the movie with Michael J. Fox?

JJ: I enjoyed it, and Michael Fox is a wonderful guy

How about a Runaways reunion?

JJ: No way.

Women in rock: What female bands most encompass the vision you had for women in rock?

JJ: There is no one vision for women in rock... they can do anything!

What advice would you give to a young woman starting in the music business?

JJ: Get ready for some hard knocks.

What type of barriers have you experienced in your rising career?

JJ: Gender barriers... rock 'n roll barriers... people judge you by the way you look and black leather wasn't always in fashion.

What do you think of the riot grrrl movement and do you feel that you are in any way a predecesor or role model for this movement?

JJ: I think it's a great way for women to express themselves.

Being female, have you ever felt restricted to playing certain types of music?

JJ: No... never.

Cal Ripken/The Orioles: Did you get a kick out of presenting a gold record to Cal Ripken on Tuesday night? [Joan presented a gold record to Cal Ripken and sang the national anthem on the night he tied Lou Gehrig's consecutive game record].

JJ: It was an incredible honor to do that in front of all of Baltimore and the world... Cal Ripken is the kind of hero that we need now.

Did the Angels say anything to you as you walked to their dugout, since you were looking good in your black leather?

JJ: No, they didn't say anything... we were all in awe of the moment.

Are you like........a baseball fan or did you just do it because you were asked?

JJ: I'm a huge Oriole fan.

Did you get an autographed ball or bat from Cal?

JJ: No.

Being in a band/life on the road: I've always wondered what it's like being in a band. How is your life different from someone who's not in the music business? What do you do everyday? Normal stuff?

JJ: I don't know. I've always been in the music biz...I still do normal things...

What country in Europe have you enjoyed touring the most?


France and Germany were great... in fact they were all great. You have toured so much for so long ... what do you do on the road to keep it fun for you?

JJ: I can't tell you!'ve been great in the recent years, do you see yourself slowing down anytime soon?

JJ: No

I'm sure you get inundated by fans ... what is the best way for us to show appreciation without annoying you?

JJ: I love my fans and if they are polite they don't annoy me.

Do you prefer small or large venues when playing live?

JJ: I prefer small venues.

Did you know that it costs more than a dime now to play the jukebox?

JJ: Yeah and I've thought about changing the lyric, too!

What's yur favorite song you wrote?

JJ: I love them all.

How did it feel to be turned down by everyone when you first started making records?

JJ: It made me angry... and strengthened my resolve.

I feel that you want to stick with the same sound. How do you feel towards change? Musically?

JJ: I do what comes naturally

Are you satisfied with what you've accomplished with your music or did you want to do more?

JJ: Yes and yes.

What was your most outlandish experience on the road?

JJ: I can't tell you about that. . .

A little bit of everything: Joan I think you are the best! I loved the movie Light of Day along with the music from that, any more movies?

JJ: Thanks, yes another movie

How did you feel when you heard about Lennon getting shot?

JJ: Darby Crash died the same night and it was one of the worst nights.

What was the best and worst thing being a part of the early days of MTV?

JJ: The best thing was the innocence, the open programming, the low cost of doing videos... the worst thing was watching big business take over when it succeeded

What do you think of Weird Al's "I Love Rocky Road"?

JJ: We didn't love it.

Hey, do you keep yourself looking so young and beautiful?

JJ: Thank you!

Are you a computer buff, and what do you like to do when you aren't traveling?

JJ: No, I'm not a computer buff... I like to read and practice yoga...

Do you practice a particular faith or religion? If so what is it?

JJ: No, I don't practice one faith or religion... I take from all of them

I've always thought you were really hot. Any plans to do a Playboy spread or something of that nature? Inquiring minds want to know.

JJ: (Laughter)

Where do babies come from?

JJ: The stork

What do you like in a man?

JJ: Manners.

You ever going to have a Girlschool reunion? You still friends with any members still?

JJ: I was going to get back with the Shirelles.

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