Following the Runaways movie, comes this, the first Joan Jett biography.

Dave Thompson spares us the usual early chapter that goes heavily into a subject’s childhood, instead he goes straight into the action of the early ”˜70s glam rock scene with stories from the period and what influenced the young Joan to pick up a guitar.

The difficulties of being in the first all-girl rocking band, as their first tours coincided with the emergence of punk in ’76 are described. Sprinkled with tales I had not read before, involving various punk bands, the author goes on to describe how Japan treated them with greater respect than the West. Yet in spite of their success there, things couldn’t last due to the pressures they faced within the Runaways.

Details of her struggle in continuing as a solo artist are explored fully along with her eventual success in the early ”˜80s, the result of hard work and perseverance. Thompson’s research gives us comprehensive info of her touring and recording schedule throughout the ”˜80s, fleshing out her story, but there aren’t many exciting rock and roll adventures over this period in her life. The main point covered throughout the ”˜90s is her ground-breaking work having an influence on the Riot Grrrl scene that she involved herself with.

What is made clear is how much she was always a fan of music as well as a star.

Dominic Tidman

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