Joan Jett on Her Own Style
Where does your sense of style come from?
"My style? It's probably a mixture of a lot of different things. But when I was a kid — when I was starting in the Runaways or just before the Runaways — I used to go to a club in Los Angeles called Rodney's English Disco. You're talking mid-'70s, and most of the songs on the radio at the time were disco, and this was a club for teenagers. If you were over 18, you were already too old; no booze, no alcohol, there was none of that.
It was strictly a dance club. They played all the British glitter singles that were coming out of England that, at the time, American kids never got to hear. Things like T. Rex or "Rebel Rebel" by David Bowie and Gary Glitter, Suzi Quatro, the Sweet, a lot of bands American kids never heard and still aren't really familiar with. It's a lot of heavy drums, handclaps, big choruses, that sort of three-minute very catchy rocknroll stuff. The music really turned me on; I would listen to the records and learn how to play guitar to these singles. But the style also turned me on, lots of big platform boots and flashy clothes, lots of satin — really actually kind of horrible, when I think back on it.
Then I was a big fan of Suzi Quatro, and she was a bass player and played rocknroll, so I was thinking, "She's having hits in England, so girls are playing rocknroll over there. If she can do it, then I can do it, and there's got to be other girls here in Hollywood that want to do it." Suzi wore a bit of leather, so I started wearing a bit of leather — it kind of evolved out of that.
And there was this store I would hang out at in Hollywood called the Pleasure Chest. It was a sex- equipment store, lots of latex and dirty T-shirts and bondage belts and lace slips. I would get a lot of my clothes from that place — T-shirts and belts and things. My style evolved out of all that stuff — it was partly glitter, partly punk, and partly streetwear."