Joan Jett hails politics of rock

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Joan Jett last night hailed the political nature of rock music as she and her Blackhearts were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

The former Runaways guitarist opened the show in Cleveland, Ohio, with a set that included guest appearances by Dave Grohl and her ex-Blackhearts bassist Gary Ryan. She was inducted by pop star Miley Cyrus.

Jett said: “Rock’n’roll means more than music, more than fashion, more than a good pose. It’s the language of a subculture that’s made eternal teenagers out of all who follow it.

“It’s a subculture of integrity, rebellion, frustration, alienation – and the glue that set generations free of unnatural suppression. Rock’n’roll is political. It’s a meaningful way to express dissent, stir up revolution and fight for human rights.”

She accepted that some people might claim she was making rock music out to be “more important and more serious than it is” but countered: “It’s an idea, and an ideal.

“Sometimes we forget the political impact it has on people around the world. There are Pussy Riots wherever there is political agitation.”

And she added: “We’ve become so conditioned in measuring our music’s impact in dollar signs only that we can forget what it is really about – music, emotion, expression.”

Jett was inducted during the Rock Hall’s 30th annual ceremony alongside Green Day, Lou Reed, Ringo Starr, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Bill Withers.