Joan Jett used to make frozen urine 'Pissicles' to stop sleazy guys hitting on her and her friends

Joan Jett in 1977
(Image credit: Brad Elterman/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)

Joan Jett is one of the world's true punk rock icons, a trailblazing musician who first attracted global attention with The Runaways, and later racked up a series of classic rock n' roll singles - Bad Reputation, I Hate Myself For Loving You, a Billboard chart-topping cover of The Arrows' I Love Rock 'n' Roll - with her band The Blackhearts, who were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2015. And that's before we get to her production work with Bikini Kill, Circus Lupus and The Germs.

In the superb Darby Crash/The Germs biography Lexicon Devil - the book Anthony Kiedis is holding when he flags down a taxi in Red Hot Chili Peppers' video for By The Way, which later reappears in the video for Universally Speaking - we learn something else about the artist born Joan Marie Larkin: namely that she used to freeze her urine to make 'special' Popsicles as 'gifts' for sex pest men who bothered her and her friends.

"Oh God, the Pissicles!" Jett told author Brendan Mullen, who co-wrote Lexicon Devil with former Germs drummer Don Bolles and Adam Parfrey. "That was a thing that me and my friends did as a defense against assholes; I don't know if we ever actually utilized them, but we always had them at the ready."

Los Angeles artist Jena Cardwell, a long-time friend of former Germs guitarist Pat Smear, now in Foo Fighters, told Mullen: "Joan was sicking of guys coming over to her  house and disrespecting her by brazenly hitting on her girlfriends. She had used them to hilarious effect on at least one occasion."

The subject is touched upon in Dave Thompson's Bad Reputation: The Unauthorized Biography of Joan Jett, as reported in LA Weekly. The story goes that a guy who was proving to be a nuisance in Jett's apartment was handed a popsicle that was 10% lemonade and 90% pee. Upon licking it, he screwed up his face and moaned, "This tastes like shit". According to Thompson, Jett responded, "You're getting close."

Joan Jett will play headline shows in the US in April, before supporting Bryan Adams in arenas across North America in June, July and August.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.