Joan Jett Shaped my Wardrobe Choices (well, once)
A recent post by Wendy Brandes that mentioned The Runaways got me all nostalgic about my pre-teen obsession with Joan Jett. (Well, obsession is a little strong. I thought she was really, really cool. It's not like I was going through her garbage or anything.) When I first saw the album cover for I Love Rock-n-Roll in the mall record shop I thought 'Whew, now that is a look.' I do believe she was the inspiration behind my choice to wear a hot pink blazer (or buy it in the first place) to my first concert which I'd really rather not reveal! It was, however, the first time I had ever seen a guy walking around with an Adidas bag announcing in a repetitive drone "Acid and hash. Acid and hash. Acid and hash." My dad was with us and I half expected him to say 'Alright then, night's over!' and drive us back over the border to home in Canada (we were at Rich Stadium in Buffalo. It was a metal band and I'm leaving the hints at that.) But I think he was pretty sure we would get through the night without becoming addicts and being turned out. Luckily, he was right.
Back to Joan Jett! So, Wendy got me watching videos and I'd completely forgotten about her song Do You Want to Touch Me which I loved even more than I Love Rock-n-Roll, if that were possible. (Before I scraped enough pennies together so I could buy the album, me and my brother sat by our little radio/cassette player, waiting to hear I Love Rock-n-Roll on the radio so we could record it. I said 'Johnny, we may have to wait a long time to hear it, but we'll get it.' He nodded slowly, with big eyes. And it was the next song! The radio gods had mercy on us, we would have waited all day.) As for Do You Want to Touch Me, well, either I never saw that video or it made no impression on me because when I watched it it was all new to me. And hilarious. There's a scene in the end where the guys in her band, the lesser exalted Blackhearts, are standing on a fake beach singing the chorus and there's a guy walking by with a metal detector. So 80s. And Joan Jett flashes us repeatedly in a very skimpy bikini. I had no idea what those words meant then. I didn't want to know. "Touch me there?" Where? In the garden? On the elbow? Germany?
I'm really curious how these songs will sound to someone too young to have heard them the first time around. I still like 'em.