Joan Jett has revealed why The Runaways turned down the opportunity to record ‘I Love Rock ‘N Roll’ – the song that would later become the title track for Joan Jett & the Blackhearts’ best-selling album.
Speaking to SXM’s Volume, the legendary rocker revealed that the reason that her former band – consisting of Lita Ford, Joan Jett, Cherie Currie, Sandy West, and Jackie Fox – didn’t record ‘I Love Rock ‘N Roll’ was due to the fact they had previously recorded another song with a similar title.
“I had it as an idea; The Runaways rejected it – early – you know, in ’77, that was pre-Alcock…” Jett began.
She continued: “When I found the song, our first album had just come out and we had covered Lou Reed’s ‘Rock N’ Roll.’ I didn’t want to just turn right around and do another song with rock n’ roll in the title. To me it’s geeky. …It was just too much ‘rock.’ They didn’t want to do it…”
She added, “That was my baby, I was saving that for whatever, but it wasn’t for John Alcock and The Runaways’ last album.”
“It was a completely rational reason why we didn’t do it. …I totally kind of agreed with the girls,” Jett recalled after she showed her bandmates the track.
It would soon prove to be a wise choice on Jett’s behalf, as the song – written by Jake Hooker and Alan Merrill and released in 1975 by the Arrows – would later become a chart-topper for Joan Jett & The Blackhearts in 1982.
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The Runaways formed in Los Angeles in 1975 an quickly established themselves as one of the most influential all-female punk acts in an era that was heavily dominated by male musicians.
Joan Jett is again set to tour in 2021 alongside Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard and Poison.