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Joan Jett said that Rush laughed at The Runaways performance

Joan Jett

Classic Rock

Joan Jett said that Rush laughed at The Runaways performance

One of the first heavier Rock and Roll bands formed by only women, The Runaways had several were together from 1975 to 1979 and released four successful studio albums. The classic line-up had Joan Jett (Guitar, vocals), Lita Ford (Guitar), Sandy West (Drums), Cherie Currie (Vocals) and Jackie Fox (Bass), and they had hits like “Cherry Bomb” and “Queens of Noise”.


Sadly, rock and roll music hasn’t been diverse during its existence, as it has always been dominated by white men. Nowadays we have much more all-female groups but back in the 70s it was really something new and when The Runaways appeared, they really impressed a lot of people. But as Classic Rock reported, Joan Jett said in an interview that they weren’t accepted right away by other groups. She recalled that Rush laughed at them while they were performing and Scorpions were not happy to see they were bigger than them in Germany.

Joan Jett said that Rush laughed at The Runaways performance and Scorpions were mad about opening for them

“One time, The Runaways opened for Rush, I think in Detroit. I remember those guys standing at the side of the stage laughing at us. And, you know, if I was Rush I wouldn’t be laughing at me. Then there was Molly Hatchet. The guys said: ‘I can’t believe we’re opening for a bitch.’ And then Scorpions were mad because they were a German band and we were bigger in Germany than they were. People just don’t want to see girls doing things they don’t think girls should do,” Joan Jett said.

In 1987, in an interview with Spin Magazine she had already recalled that night and said: “The assholes! They’re assholes, and I don’t care if you print that!”

Her former bandmate Cherie Currie told CTV in 2010 that the story was true. She recalled that Rush and The Runaways were from the same record label and that the Canadian trio really didn’t respect them. “They were sabotaging our equipment. Sabotaging our stage show. They were doing everything they could to stop us. But, we were unstoppable. The only thing that stopped us was ourselves,” Cherie Currie said.

What Geddy Lee said about Joan Jett’s comments on Rush’s behavior

The Rush co-founder, bassist, keyboardist and vocalist Geddy Lee responded to Joan Jett’s comments in an interview with Prog magazine in 2013. He said that they had nothing but respect for them and that they never treated them badly.  “The Runaways had a ginormous chip on their shoulders. I remember that show. We had trouble with our gear so our soundcheck got delayed and The Runaways never got one. But we were always good to whoever was opening for us.”

“We had no bias against them because they were girls – none of that bullshit. I know they said that we were laughing at them when they played, but quite frankly they were too shitty to listen to. And 40 years later they have a story to tell about it. Who knew?” Geddy Lee said.

After the end of Runaways Joan Jett started her very successful solo career, which has countless hits. The band was still not inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but Joan was already inducted as a solo act in 2015.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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