Joan Jett on Her Rock Hall Induction: 'It's a Roiling Pot of Emotions'
Last April, Joan Jett was one of four women who played with Nirvana during its Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. "Maybe it reminded people I'm out there," Jett quipped on Tuesday (Dec. 16).
Maybe so. Jett and her band the Blackhearts were named as one of six acts to be inducted into the Rock Hall on April 18 at Cleveland's Public Hall, the fourth time it's been held in the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum and the third time at that venue. The ceremony will be filmed by HBO for broadcast in May.
"It's a roiling pot of emotions," Jett tells Billboard. "I'm amazed. I'm happy. I'm honored. I'm flabbergasted. It feels so surreal. It's kind of still sinking in. When I think about all the musicians in the history of music that have been out there making records and touring, that I get chosen into this elite group of musicians is pretty incredible."
This is not the first time Jett and company have been on the Rock Hall's final ballot. But she says not getting in has not weighed heavy on her mind. "I think you don't think about those things -- at least I don't," Jett explains. "You just go out and do your job and make your records, and if something like those accolades get put onto you, then that's an extra bonus. But I don't know that you can set out to achieve that; I think it's a gift, and I don't think you can sort of expect it. So, no, when I was nominated before and didn't get voted in, I took it with a grain of salt because that's the way it is. I did not expect to have it handed to me on a golden platter."
The Baltimore-born Jett (nee Joan Larkin) -- who began recording with the Runaways in 1976 and released her first solo album in 1980, landing the chart topping hit "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" the following year -- added that the Rock Hall induction feels like a total career achievement and her impact in breaking down barriers for women in rock. "Certainly I will take that with me to that ceremony," she says. "I'll take the view that it's encompassing my early work with the Runaways, all the various incarnations of the Blackhearts...everything."
As for the rest of 2015, Jett says that "we'll be doing a lot of exciting touring" as well as "some recording, but we don't have a time for that yet."
Jett will be joined in the Rock Hall class of 2015 by Green Day, Lou Reed, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Bill Withers. Ringo Starr, the only Beatles member not inducted as a solo act, will receive an Award for Musical Excellence, while the doo-wop/gospel group the "5" Royales will be presented with an Early Influence Award. Tickets for the Rock Hall's 30th annual induction ceremony go on sale at 10 a.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 18.