The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s announcement that Miley Cyrus would be inducting Joan Jett at this year’s ceremonies provoked a wrecking ball-sized outpouring of Internet outrage. But on Saturday night at Cleveland’s Public Hall, Cyrus demonstrated that, even if she didn’t give a damn about her own bad reputation, she cared plenty about Jett’s.
Those who questioned the decision to have the former Hannah Montana star sing the praises of the former Runaway clearly haven’t been paying attention: Cyrus has been including Jett’s songs in her concerts for years, and the two even duetted on several songs during a raucous 2011 taping of Oprah Live!
“I like that I’m associated with sexuality and the kind of punk-rock shit where we just don’t care,” Cyrus told W last year. “Like Madonna or Blondie or Joan Jett – Jett’s the one that I still get a little shaky around. She did what I did in such a crazier way. I mean, girls then weren’t supposed to wear leather pants and, like, fucking rock out. And she did.”
Jett, for her part, has expressed support and admiration in the past for her tongue-waggling disciple. “I think [what Miley is doing is] absolutely valid,” she told New York last year. “You go this way and you go that way and you try to find a center. She’s being bold about it, and I admire that sort of bravery.”
One of the most influential women in rock history, Jett joined the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside Lou Reed, Bill Withers, Green Day, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. The “5” Royales were inducted in the Early Influence category, while Ringo Starr was given the Hall’s Award for Musical Excellence.
Thank you guys so much. I’m going to start off this induction with the first time I wanted to have sex with Joan Jett. We were doing Oprah together, and I go up to Joan’s hotel room. Joan opens the door, and I come in, and Kenny Laguna is laying in bed. I don’t know what the fuck is going on. There’s towels shoved underneath all the door cracks, shower caps around all the smoke detectors. Joan is running around spraying orange-smelling cleaner to mask the smell of “the pot” (that’s what you guys call it), and we go into her bathroom.
The show was where new artists got to perform with their idols, and I wanted to perform with Joan, of course. And we were in her bathroom, and we were smoking and just talking, and this was one of the moments in my life where I wanted to be as present and absorb everything that she said to me. I listened to her talk about her days with the Runaways. She talked about music. She talked about why she loves animals and she doesn’t want to eat them. I was getting to have this moment with someone that, to me, is Superwoman; what Superwoman really should be.