“Girls don’t play rock and roll.” This absurd statement — featured in the Bad Reputation documentary trailer from Magnolia Pictures — greeted Joan Jett at age 13 when she first took guitar lessons. Well, anyone who’s followed Joan Jett over the decades knows that this sentiment didn’t survive in her hands. She quickly proved everyone wrong and, within years, formed female pioneering group The Runaways, who were the subject of a glossy 2010 biopic that largely revolved around lead singer Cherie Currie and Jett as portrayed by Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart. Whereas the above trailer reveals a much grittier treatment of Jett’s trailblazing throughout her career.
As relayed by interviews with Jett and with assists from Iggy Pop and Currie, this documentary details the Godmother of Punk’s struggles to break into the “boys’ club” business that her brand of music resembled in the 1970s. Between wrestling with Rolling Stone for fair (and existent) coverage and sustaining injuries onstage from projectiles lobbed in her direction, not a damn thing came easily for Jett. And as she revealed, there was a point when “the tables turned where it went from ‘cute, sweet’ to ‘slut.'” Jett certainly didn’t let that label slide and showed the world what a wild girl could do.
Bad Reputation will simultaneously land in theaters and streaming services (including iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, and On Demand) on September 28.