Joan Jett Admits Playing With The Ramones Inspired Her Hit Song ‘Bad Reputation’


Joan Jett joined an interview with Guitar Player and unveiled that iconic punk rock band The Ramones greatly influenced her while working on her classic work. Also, the famous musician drew attention to journalists who shared their controversial ideas about her early years.

Following The Runaways, which brought her international fame and commercial success, Jett dropped her self-titled debut solo studio album on May 17, 1980. Still, a few months later, the record was re-issued on Boardwalk Records as ‘Bad Reputation’ on January 23, 1981. It got critical acclaim with Jett’s songwriting and singing performance, and the musician could prove she could be as successful as The Runaways.

The album’s track of the same name became most people’s favorite Joan Jett song and became worldwide known with its well-crafted sounds and lyrics. The song’s riff drew significant attention from the critics and The Ramones fans after discovering traces of the band’s punk rock style. In her interview, the Joan Jett & the Blackhearts frontwoman admitted that The Ramones inspired her to compose that part on ‘Bad Reputation.’

The performance that helped her to come up with the riff can be The Runaways’ gig with the band on January 7, 1978, in New York. In addition to sharing details about her creation process, Jett revealed that the press always showed her as other in the music industry in which women were constantly sexualized and objectified. Therefore, the singer stated that she embraced that notorious image. Also, she and Kenny Laguna reflected her bad reputation in the lyrics.

During the interview, Jett explained:

“There was this one riff that I had sitting around. It was a fast, straight-up Ramones thing, and I thought it was pretty good. I had just come off from playing with the Ramones, so that kind of style was in my head; fast and hard. The writers always tried to make me out to be bad or wrong, not feminine. To them, I was ‘the other,’ whatever that is. I decided to embrace it, and Kenny and I set about codifying it in words.”

You can listen to the song below.