The Tragic Childhood Of Joan Jett

Joan Jett used to tell people that Jett was her mother’s maiden name, and even though it was a lie, she had to roll with it as she wanted to sound more rock ‘n’ roll and fit into her new identity. This wasn’t the only instance that required Joan to adapt to a new life and run away from her past, as her battle with life started early on.

Joan Marie Larkin was born in Pennsylvania in 1958. Her interest in music started during her childhood years, and Joan got her first guitar around the age of 13. Soon after, she began taking guitar lessons but quit since her teacher only wanted her to play folk music. From then on, Joan practiced on her own.

Unfortunately, her childhood wasn’t filled with sunshine and rainbows. She went through various changes and had to adapt to each one. From an early age, she learned to embrace her identity rather than trying to be someone else because she didn’t fear being excluded. She had to establish her persona and to do that she had to become a runaway.

Joan Jett’s Struggle To Be Independent

The rocker’s family relocated more than once when she was a child. So, Jett had to adapt to a new environment and make new friends each time. This wasn’t an easy process for a child her age, but she had the strength to overcome it. In fact, her family’s relocation from Maryland to California when she was a teenager would play a key role in her music career.

Jett also had two younger siblings, Anne and James. Their parents would mostly care for the younger children, which resulted in Joan reportedly not receiving enough attention from her parents. The rocker had to be independent at a young age as she also had to cope with some family drama.

Her parents got divorced when she was just a teenager, and their separation took a toll on Joan. The rocker ran away from her home only at the age of 15. It was tough to be an underage teenager and all alone in a city like L.A., but Jett was determined to start a career as a musician.

She formed the Runaways when she was just a teenager, only a year after she ran away. Success, however, wasn’t easy to achieve. Even though the band eventually achieved commercial success and international recognition, they weren’t as popular in the United States. The Runaways would disband in 1979, but Jett wasn’t one to give in.

Jett was determined to become a musician, and to do that, she had to relocate again. She moved to Long Beach to work with the producer Kenny Laguna. She eventually managed to record her self-titled solo album, but it got rejected by every major label company. She then released her album under her record label with Laguna, Blackheart Records.

Kenny had to invest his daughter’s college savings into their label to release Jett’s debut as a solo artist. After the release, Jett received commercial success and got signed by another record company. She then recorded ‘Bad Reputation,’ which was a major commercial hit.

Her life story took a positive turn after that as she reached worldwide success with her band, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. The rocker is now known as the Queen of Rock and Roll and the Godmother of Punk, as she managed to persevere despite all the hardships she encountered along the way.