Joan Marie Larkin was born on September 22, 1958, to James and Dorothy Larkin, at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia (although some sources list her birth date as September 22, 1960, which is incorrect ). She is the eldest of three children. Her father was an insurance salesman and her mother was a secretary. Her family was Protestant, attended church, and went to Sunday school, but were not strict in their religious beliefs. In 1967, her family moved to Rockville, Maryland, where she attended Randolph Junior High and Wheaton High School. Jett got her first guitar at the age of 13. She took some guitar lessons, but soon quit because the instructor kept trying to teach her folk songs. Her family then moved to West Covina, California, in Los Angeles County, providing Jett the opportunity to pursue her musical interests. Shortly after the move, her parents divorced and she changed her name to Joan Jett, because she thought it had more of a rock star sound than her birth name (she has admitted in recent years that "Jett" was not actually her mother's maiden name, even though that's what she used to tell people).