When I’m not doing voiceover or narrating books, my husband and I have a blast creating music together. This summer, we decided to do some covers. First one up: Bad Reputation by Joan Jett.
Joan is truly a badass. I’ve seen her a couple times in concert and she owns the stage – edgy and dynamic, a total boss. I have a long history with her. I used to do a crazy drag queen character named Sugar “Shock” Rose back in my NYC performance art days. My show stopping number was a take off on the song “I love Rock n Roll” (name of song/lyrics changed; I won’t mention to what – I have a child now, haha).
Joe created the cover art from a picture of me when I was about six. There I am with my posse: my older sister (in back) and my two cousins (flanking me). My mom’s handwritten inscription on the flip side reads “Fourth of July, 1977”. It’s one of the only pictures of my childhood that I have – the rest having been lost to countless moves, storage facility auctions and flood/mold infestation. I love it ’cause it captures my young spirit, and foreshadows my teen years to come: Rebel, through and through! It sits in my vocal booth and stares at me while I record.
This particular song, Bad Reputation, is one of my personal punk favorites. In High School, I did have a bad reputation there for a minute…and I didn’t give a damn. I knew the things people said about me weren’t true and I doubled down. I dressed like Apollonia (Prince was my everything!) and the older boys would call me slut because that’s what they thought I looked like. I had my small group of friends and that was good enough for me.
And I don’t really care if you think I’m strange, cause I ain’t gonna change. And I don’t give a damn about my bad reputation, anyway…
I loved channeling those words and feeling that righteous energy again. Thank you, Joan!!! Our rendition comprises me on vox, Todd Smailes (Gentlemen Prefer Blood) on guitar and bass and my husband Joe (who also mixed/produced the track) on drums.
Give it a listen here! (…and make sure you turn it up!!)