Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

Ron Akiyama Gallery

Click to enlarge 1981
Creations - West Orange, NJ

This is the first time I photographed Joan. I heard the buzz about her going solo. Since I never photographed The Runaways, I wanted to see what the excitement was about. This is the only time I photographed her with Eric Amble on guitar. This line-up also included a very young 16-17 year old Gary Ryan.
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge August 14, 1981
Pier 84 - New York City

The buzz catches on. Still not knowing her personally, my then photo partner and I try to shoot her from the audience. This was the first time we were told "no cameras." We snuck our cameras in and shoot anyway; guerilla style.
December 26, 1981
Calderone - Long Island, NY

My then partner and I used to sell photos at a Rock-n-Roll flea market in Philadelphia, PA. The irony is that Joan was doing an autograph session at the same time. When Kenny saw Joan's shots on our table he asked how we got them and reprimanded us. He did, however ask if Joan could see them. Luckily, Joan liked the shots and asked if we would stop by the Blackheart office to discuss some possibilities. We struck our first deal and this is the first shot from a show in Long Island with her permission. This photo along with others taken at the Pier that night became her first live press shots.
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge January 8, 1982
Ripley's - PA

I continued shooting Joan in different clubs, including Ripley's in Pennsylvania. My photo partner exits and becomes a successful NYC bar owner. Ricky Byrd had just joined the band replacing Eric Amble who later went solo and played with the Del Lords.
February, 1982
Capitol Theatre - Passiac, NJ

This show plus the Philadelphia show produced some of Joan's most used and most seen shots worldwide. "Crimson & Clover" had already become the second hit single from "I Love Rock N' Roll."
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