Joan Jett got her start by hanging out at the Sunset Strip nightclub Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco, where she plunged into the glam-rock scene. In retrospect, it’s hard to believe they let in teenagers like 14-year-old Joan. As with Manhattan’s Studio 54, every manner of vice was on offer, but she emerged relatively unscathed. Through the club, she met the notorious Kim Fowley, who helped her put together an all-girl band. If Jett longed to be taken seriously as a musician, the overwhelmingly male-dominated media of the time couldn’t see past the Runaways’ jailbait image (manager Fowley, who used it as a marketing tool, shares in the blame). Only in London, during the punk era, did Jett feel like she fit in. Director Kevin Kerslake’s documentary proceeds through the years as Jett struggles to remain commercially viable, a challenge for any legacy act, irrespective of genre, gender, or orientation.
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