Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth Press Kit, 1984

The following is the original text and photos from Blackheart Record's Press Kit for "Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth" sent to media outlets in 1984:

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Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

When Joan Jett and The Blackhearts decided to call their new album Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth, they could well have been describing their history. At 15, Jett had formed The Runaways and used all her considerable talent, energy and persistence to guide the group through four tumultuous years. When The Runaways -- first of the all-girl rock and roll bands -- called it a day, the feisty Jett bounced on to The Blackhearts and never looked back. Gary Ryan was a 12-year-old runaway scrambling on Sunset Strip until, at 15, he lied about his age to win the coveted spot as bass player for the Blackhearts. Both drummer Lee Crystal and guitarist Ricky Byrd were respected, well-known players in New York's underground rock scene before joining the band. Byrd with Rendezvous and Susan, Crystal with Johnny Thunders, Sylvain Sylvain and The Boyfriends.

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Even after they formed The Blackhearts, their troubles weren't over. When no record company wanted to sign them, Jett formed her own Blackheart label, and they put the album out themselves. The renegade album, Bad Reputation, sold an incredible 22,000 copies in four weeks as an import and that fact, combined with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts' non-stop touring, created a groundswell that has continued until today in its intensity. The concerts were characterized by mob scenes and miles of traffic jams that closed highways, as radio in the Northeast began to sense a street level movement of incredible proportions. The fan appeal and momentum that the band generated was still not enough to break into a cynical record industry until Neil Bogart and Irv Biegel signed them to their new Boardwalk Records. For the next couple of years, The Blackhearts worked incessantly, which resulted in several international smash hits, including "Bad Reputation," "Do You Wanna Touch Me," "I Love Rock 'N Roll," "Fake Friends," and "Crimson And Clover." Their tours not only took in East Germany (as the first American entertainers ever to play there), but also had them playing two gigs 1500 miles apart in one day. Says Jett, "We really wanted to play both shows and the fans were expecting us, so we figured instead of blowing one of them out and maybe disappointing a bunch of people, we'd just rent a plane. It worked out great, you really get pumped up under that kind of pressure." The years of hard work paid off for the band when their third LP, and first for MCA Album, went gold immediately upon its release.

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Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth is also a refection of what the fans think. "We get a lot of mail, and we try out best to read it all," explains Jett. "A lot of the inspiration for the songs on this record came out of reading what people had to say in their letters and how it made me feel."

Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth is Joan Jett and the Blackhearts at their best, a reflection of what they've learned in three years of non-stop touring, while still retaining the unmistakable Blackhearts sound. Says drummer Lee Crystal: "Every band expects to grow, but we have a particular way we like to see rock and roll played, and this album is the natural progression of The Blackhearts traditional rock and roll style."

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Indeed, upon listening to the record, one easily sees how this album ties together their cumulative experience. Jett's musical growth shows on the explosive "Cherry Bomb," a song originally done by Joan when she was still with The Runaways. This new version is a good measure of how years of experience can improve on talent. "I Need Someone" features a lead vocal propelled along by rhythmic vocal backup from the boys in the band, until the song builds to an exciting hard rock climax that has had audiences dancing in the aisles. Other songs such as "Frustrated," "Talking Bout My Baby," and the rock standard "New Orleans" (with originator Gary U.S. Bonds singing on choruses) contain that perfect blend of pop and hard rock which has become a Blackhearts trademark. This blend makes all their music as easily appealing for radio as for live concerts and is the reason the band is known for their ability to produce hit singles as well as to drive concert audiences into a frenzy.

While records will always remain an important aspect of their career, The Blackhearts' real goal as a band is to eventually try to play every country in the world -- an achievement they've already begun to attain by playing in some rather unlikely places. This year they've added Panama and Venezuela, as well as performing a special concert for the athletes at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

These are the glorious results of Joan Jett and The Blackhearts' misspent youth.

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