Joan Jett's producer Kenny Laguna told us that Joan came up with the guitar riff for this song and wrote it as "I Hate Myself Because I Can't Get Laid." She took it to the writer/producer Desmond Child
, who thought the title would never fly and convinced Joan to change it to something with "Love" in the title. Child, who got a co-writing credit on the song, knows something about the hit potential of love: he also co-wrote "I Was Made For Lovin' You
" for Kiss and "You Give Love A Bad Name
" for Bon Jovi. He has a knack for finding the right hook and making a song sound larger than life.
Desmond Child is a prolific songwriter and producer who has gone on to work with Ricky Martin, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Cher, and many others. Kenny Laguna, who has worked with Joan Jett since she started her solo career, explains how they got Child to work with them: "There was a friend of ours at Epic Records who was friends with Desmond, and before the Bon Jovi record came out, he played me the song 'Livin On A Prayer.' I said, 'Whoa, I want to meet this guy,' so I started chasing Desmond around. He didn't want any part of it because he was busy looking for really important acts like Michael Bolton. I just chased him around until he couldn't take it anymore. There was something about his style I liked, it reminded me of The Four Seasons. Sure enough, he had worked with Bob Crewe."
When we spoke with Desmond, he said, "I had really strong mentors, like Bob Crewe, who taught me how to analyze the structure of songs so that even though you're emotionally invested in it, you also have to have a detachment - there can be no ego."
Mick Taylor, who was the lead guitarist in The Rolling Stones in the early '70s, played guitar on this track, including the solo.
Pink recorded a version of this song for use on NBC's Sunday Night Football in 2006. In her version, the lyrics are changed to "Waiting all day for Sunday night." The next year, Faith Hill took over from Pink. In 2013, she was replaced by Carrie Underwood.
In Steven Tyler's 2011 book Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?, the Aerosmith frontman tells the story about showing up naked at Joan Jett's hotel room door while they were touring together. When she opened, he said, "I hate myself for loving you," and was soundly rejected.
This was featured in the movies Striptease (1996), Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009) and Ready Player One (2018). It also appeared in a 2002 episode of Dawson's Creek.