Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation NationJoan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation
Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

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Page updated on August 20, 2016
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JOAN JETT - Run DMC Darryl McDaniels "Reality Mentality"

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, Run DMC Darryl DMC McDaniels at Gexa Energy Pavilion In Dallas, Texas - "Reality Mentality" Live 08/18/16

Fans Flock to Watch Heart Headline a Night for The Aged, We Mean Ages, in Dallas

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Heart with JOAN JETT and the Black Hearts and Cheap Trick
Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas
Thursday, August 18, 2016

Everyone and their mom was at Gexa Energy Pavillon on Thursday night. That's not just a bad joke. (OK, it is a bad joke, but it's not only a bad joke.) It was a night for the ages, rocking out with Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Heart, JOAN JETT and the Black Hearts and Cheap Trick.

Although most of the audience was there to relive the glory days, there was no shortage of young people there as well. Many families attended, including 19-year-old Natalie Rowland and her mom, Mindy Poteet. "This is our thing, going to rock concerts," Poteet said. "We usually go see the bands I used to listen to as a kid. If you get in my car, I have [Sirius XM's] Hair Nation on and that's it."

It was the younger Rowland's first time to see any of the three bands. "I grew up listening to them," she said. "My friends make fun of me for being into this kind of music. They call me the '80s queen. Seeing JOAN JETT is on my bucket list, so this is absolutely fantastic, especially getting to see her and Cheap Trick."

Rowland wasn't the only one checking off a bucket list item. Merisa Trevino was there with her friends, Chelley Johnson and Yvonne Coan, to see Heart, and this concert was 20 years in the making for her.

"I might cry," Trevino said, with a laugh. "I'm telling you this is my childhood, and every time I've tried to see them something has happened or I was too young and my parents wouldn't let me go. I've just never had the opportunity."

Cheap Trick kicked things off while the crowd poured in. Even though it started raining halfway through their 13-song set, that didn't stop people from packing out the lawn. On their way in, Terri and Rick Howett stopped to snap a photo to send to their son. "My son bought me these tickets for my 50th birthday," Terri explains, saying she was most excited to see Heart. Although the night was for Terri, Rick wasn't exactly disappointed about getting to see Cheap Trick.

Heart, JOAN JETT, Cheap Trick give a Hall of Fame show at sold-out Starlight

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Monday's show at a sold-out Starlight Theatre was a celebration of recognition: All three bands on the bill for the Three for All Tour are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Cheap Trick, inducted this year; JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, in 2015; and the headliner, Heart, in 2013.

All three delivered sets stocked with hits, favorites and covers. And two tossed in songs from albums released this year. All three sets were pretty nuts-and-bolts, filled with the classic rock songs that led to their enshrinements.

Most of the crowd of nearly 8,000 was in place and the sun was still well above the western horizon when Cheap Trick opened the show with an old favorite, "Hello There," the perfect salutatory song: "Hello there, ladies and gents / Are you ready to rock?" They remain a four-piece fronted by three founding members, including Robin Zander, who can still muster a hefty howl.

The set list included one new song, "When I Wake Up Tomorrow," from "Bang, Zoom, Crazy … Hello," their 17th studio album, released in April. There were covers like "California Man," a Move song, and the Velvet Underground's "I'm Waiting for the Man," performed by Tom Petersson, who also played the 12-string bass. Classics and favorites included the classic power ballad "The Flame," then "I Want You to Want Me" and "Surrender."

Jett followed Cheap Trick, which is no enviable task. But she inflamed the mood right away, storming into "Bad Reputation," the RUNAWAYS classic "Cherry Bomb" and then Gary Glitter's "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)." Her cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Light of Day," the title track to the 1987 movie she starred in with Michael J. Fox, was another highlight.

She tossed in some material from her most recent album, "Unvarnished," released in 2013, including "Any Weather," a song she co-wrote with Dave Grohl, and "TMI."

She closed with a flurry of favorites: "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," her signature song; her cover of "Crimson and Clover"; "I Hate Myself for Loving You"; and then a splendid cover of Sly and the Family Stone's "Everyday People," which closed her set.

The Time Rocker JOAN JETT Helped Apprehend a Killer

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Any '90s punk kid worth their weight in black leather likely knows all about the short-lived punk band The Gits. To offer a brief introduction for the unfamiliar, The Gits were formed in Ohio in the mid-1980s, and eventually relocated to Seattle to take advantage of the then-burgeoning early-'90s music scene.

This was a time when ultra-produced '80s pop and idiotic hair metal was giving way to dark, introspective, messier punk-inspired grunge. Spandex was burning and flannel was rising. The Gits never became huge -- they only released two proper albums in their career -- but they were often seen performing alongside then-emerging grunge acts like Pearl Jam and Nirvana.

The Gits' lead singer, Mia Zapata, was an anomaly in the '90s grunge scene by dint of her gender alone. Most grunge acts consisted of moody white males writing about heartbreak, depression, and inner violence. Zapata, backed by a talented band of men, was more spirited, bringing a puckish Riot Grrrl attitude to the scene.

Zapata is often compared to other giants of the genre like JOAN JETT, Kathleen Hanna, Lydia Lunch, and Poly Styrene. Zapata differed from a lot of her peers and admirers, however, in that she was a woman in a male-dominated art who refused to be seen as a political object. Kathleen Hanna made a feminist point with Bikini Kill. Zapata wanted to just be heard as a musician.

Zapata was also, it is well-known, horribly murdered in the streets of Seattle in in the wee hours of July 7, 1993. Zapata was walking home from a bar after last call, and was found a few hours later beaten and strangled by an unknown assailant. There was no known motivation for the murder. Zapata, it seemed, just ran into someone with too much darkness in their soul. Zapata's body was discovered at 3:30 a.m., and no evidence as to the identity of the killer was immediately available. She likely didn't see her attacker coming, as she was wearing headphones. Enjoying music to the end.

The Gits weren't the only ones crushed by Zapata's death. The whole Seattle music scene had already latched onto Zapata as an important voice emerging into the mainstream punk universe, and she had attracted fans from other local bands -- many of which had already "made it big," as it were. Police began investigating, but they could find no clues. It was a sad and frustrating case for everyone, as it looked like the killer was going to get away with it. Eventually, the police had to stop investigating, as the trail was too cold. Zapata's killer was gone.

Of course, this didn't sit well with the angry scene of punkers and grunge musicians. Among Zapata's fans were members of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Heart, Bikini Kill, The Presidents of the United States of America, and punk goddess herself, JOAN JETT. These people weren't going to let Zapata's murderer go free, and rallied to hold several benefit concerts to raise money for a continued investigation. A woman named Leigh Hearon was hired as a private investigator, and was paid out of the earnings from these concerts.

JOAN JETT takes over New York and transforms venue into 'Joan's Beach'

low resolution image Not Enlargeable On July 28, veteran rock star JOAN JETT played at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in New York with the BLACKHEARTS, as part of The Rock Hall Three For All Tour.

Fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Cheap Trick and Heart (comprised of sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson) had opened for the rock queen before she played an impressive set for her hometown crowd.

JOAN JETT's set-list
They began their set with the up-tempo "Bad Reputation," where everybody was rocking along.

She took her fans back to her days with The RUNAWAYS as she belted out Cherry Bomb, with its infectious "ch ch ch ch ch cherry bomb" hooks.

She inquired as to how her audience was doing tonight and noted that it is great to be back on Long Island.

Do You Wanna Touch Me was a sassy and sexy performance, which she incorporate as a crowd sing-along. Jett and the BLACKHEARTS went on to perform several tunes from her Unvarnished studio album, such as TMI and the power-ballad Soulmates to Strangers, which was perhaps one of the highlight songs of the evening.

JOAN JETT "You Don't Know What You've Got" 1980

JOAN JETT "You Don't Know What You've Got" 1980

JOAN JETT's first post RUNAWAYS LP, Originally titled "JOAN JETT" was initially released on the German Label Ariola, and in the US on BLACKHEART RECORDS in 1980. In 1981 the album was retitled "BAD REPUTATION" and released on Boardwalk Records.

Recording for this LP began in March of 1979 at Chappell Studios in England. Former Sex Pistols, Steve Jones and Paul Cook produced the sessions. Of the three songs that were recorded, "You Don't Own Me" and "Don't Abuse Me" were included on the album. An early version of "I Love Rock and Roll" was also recorded and appeared as the B-side of the "You Don't Own Me" single released in Holland in 1979. "I Love Rock and Roll" would later be re-recorded with Jett's band THE BLACKHEARTS in June of 1981, and would spend eight weeks at #1 on the Billboard Charts!

The next sessions were recorded at Fidelity Recorders in Studio City, CA in August of 1979, this is the same studio where Jett had recorded the first RUNAWAYS Album. Seven songs were recorded and produced by KENNY LAGUNA and Ritchie Cordell. Of the seven songs, only "You Don't Know what You've Got" made it on to the LP. "What Can I Do for You" was also recorded, These tracks were to have been used in The RUNAWAYS Movie "Were Alll Crazy Now" which never finished Production (all seven songs later appeared on the JOAN JETT Compilation CD "1979").

Later that year, in December of 1979 Jett, Laguna and Cordell were recording again at The Who's Ramport Studios in England. Seven more songs were cut ranging from Gary Glitter's "Doing Alright with the Boys" and "Do You Wanna Touch Me", "Sam the Sham" and The Pharaoh's "Wooly Bully" to the Jett/Laguna original "Jezebel", all of which made the LP, as well as Tommy James and the Shondells "Hanky Panky", which was only on European pressings of the LP, and The Who's "Call me Lightning" which was the non-LP B-side of the Single "Make Believe". Some additional recoding was also done on "You Don't Know What You've Got" from Fidelity's August 1979 session.

In January 1980, recording continued with the Jett/Laguna/Cordell original "Let Me Go", Wind's "Make Believe" and "Too Bad on Your Birthday". The Lp was completed in March of 1980 with the recording of the Laguna/Cordell/Jett Composition "Bad Reputation", which would eventually become the title for the LP.

JOAN JETT brings 'Bad Reputation' to Chukchansi

low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT is best known for loving rock 'n' roll, both in the specific sense that her biggest hit is "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" and in the general sense.

Jett and her band, the BLACKHEARTS, will perform at the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5. It will be a safe bet, even by casino standards that Jett will perform all of her hits including "Crimson and Clover," "Bad Reputation" "I Hate Myself for Loving You," and "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)."

Top-20 hits on the Billboard charts aside, Jett has also played an important role in music in ways that don't show up on the stat sheets. She's like the rocker equivalent to Shane Battier that way.

Jett was a founding member of the all-female band The RUNAWAYS who torched their way in a male-dominated rock scene. After the group's breakup, Jett went solo, forming The BLACKHEARTS, and released a slew of hits and albums that went Gold or Platinum.

Jett has become, or probably always was, a feminist icon who blazed a path for bands like The Donnas and L7, among countless others.

DETAILS: JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS perform at the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, 711 Lucky Lane in Coarsegold, Friday, Aug. 5. Tickets range from $45-$55. Attendees must be 21 or older. For more information, visit or call 1-866-794-6946.
This Week:

August 24,2016
Shoreline Amphitheatre
Mountain View, CA
August 26,2016
Auburn, WA
White River Amphitheatre
August 27,2016
Ridgefield, WA
Sunlight Supply Amphitheatre
August 29,2016
Salt Lake City, UT
USANA Amphitheatre

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