Interviewers love to ask Joan the same questions over and over, to the point where I can almost predict where an interview will go and what Joan will say. I hardly read them anymore. But this one from The Morton Report’s Jaan Uhelszk, one of the founding editors of Creem magazine, covers a lot of interesting ground, and is not just a textbook re-hash of her career. I love this! Here’s a few of the questions; be sure to read the whole thing HERE:
You once asked “What’s so threatening about a girl with a guitar?” But it’s because it is sexual.
You know, I don’t understand what’s threatening about a girl being sexual. Give her the tools, and she’s an enlightened person. Keep her in the dark and she’s a pregnant 14-year-old. That’s what we are. We’re a shamed country. We hide everything.
What do you think your greatest strength is?
Not even knowing that the possibility that you can’t succeed exists. It’s not even in the realm of reality. I don’t know where that comes from. I don’t know if that’s just being reinforced as a child, being told by my parents that I could be anything I wanted to be, and doing it at such a young age. And, because the fact that I was able to be in a band, you know, I just figured, well, I’m doing it. There’s no reason I can’t do it. I’m a big person on logic. You know, there’s no logical reason why girls shouldn’t be able to do this, or I shouldn’t be able to do this, or I should stop doing this if I’m still enjoying myself.
Are you Joan Jett all the time, or are you able to turn it off? It seems as if you’re always on tour.
Oh, totally. I’ve been on the road for so long, I’m finding that when I’m home, I enjoy just being home. It’s not like I’m going out every night. I’m not going out to clubs. It’s not like I live across from the Whiskey A-Go-Go. But I just try to enjoy other aspects of my life, I guess because I’ve immersed myself so much in my career and on the road and just kinda with my head down and just chugging forward, that all of a sudden, I looked around and went, “I don’t know New York. I don’t know my friends. I want to spend time with my animals.” So when I am home, I’m viciously protective of my space.
Do you have a motto?
Well, you know what I say, and it’s not just for gigs, but it’s really for any time when I’m feeling a little out of sorts and not feeling – what’s the word? Social. And you know I have to be social, whether it’s doing a show or just be in a situation where you’re mixing with people. And I realize how much people’s moods can affect the room or vibes. You know when you walk into a room full of bad vibes, you can feel it. Or if you walk into a room with good energy, you can pretty much really feel it. And I think what I say to myself is two things. I say, “Be light,” or “Be a light.” As opposed to being deadness, and so it says everything to me. It says be in a good mood. You know, just be light. Be pure essence. Be pure being. Just be, you know?
And it’s much harder to do than it sounds, but it’s a great exercise. As a human being, it’s just a good way to bring awareness to everything you do, or just every thought you have. All it means really is tap into who you really are because you can control your mood. You’re in control so it’s like that whole thing of trying not to let your surroundings dictate how you’re gonna feel, you know? You want to be the light in all the chaos. You want to be the person that puts a smile on other people’s face. It’s something I genuinely use, pretty much every day. My mantra.
That mantra works for you, Joan. You’ve been the light in our chaos for a really long time. PEACE.