Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

July 2004 News

Page updated on July 31, 2004
All news is attributed to the source from which it was received so that readers may judge the validity of the statements for themselves.

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The 50 Greatest Rock Frontmen of All Time
from: Spin Magazine

The August 2004 issue of Spin Magazine (Cover: The Hives) lists "The 50 Greatest Frontmen of All Time" on page 74. JOAN JETT made the list at #33, stating "From the RUNAWAYS to the BLACKHEARTS, she's spent a lifetime proving that women can rock-hard."

Other females on the list include: Courtney Love #18, Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) #20, Deborah Harry #38, Patti Smith #41, Chrissie Hynde #44 and Gwen Stefani #46. Prince tops the list at #1.

'All-news' channels get silly at convention
by: Tim Cuprisin

While network TV viewers didn't get to see Al Gore in one of his better political speeches Monday night at the opening session of the Democratic convention, they were also spared some of the sillier coverage that ended up on the "all-news" channels.

There was rocker JOAN JETT telling Bill O'Reilly on the Fox News Channel why she's backing John Kerry.

"He walks it like he talks it," she said.


JOAN JETT will be on Air America's Unfiltered with hosts Lizz Winstead, Chuck D and Rachel Maddow tomorrow, July 27th at 11:30 am. To see where you can hear Air America Radio go to their website: to find a station in your area or a listen to a live stream of the broadcast. 

The O'Reilly Factor

Joan will be a guest on The O'Reilly Factor with Bill O'Reilly, tonight, July 26, 2004. It's airs on Fox News from 8-9 pm eastern.

by Dave Tianen, Journal Sentinel staff
Photo by Maggie St. Thomas (

Dave Marsh calls JOAN JETT the female Chuck Berry, which has a generalized validity but gets most of the specifics wrong.

Berry was a rock 'n' roll outsider because he was black and a street hustler. Jett's outsider status is mined from white chick delinquency. Where Chuck was sly, Jett is defiant.

As Jett and her BLACKHEARTS showed she's keeping her punk credentials in good form for a woman of 43. She still spits and snarls, and she can still pull off the tight leather pants and halter. Butch hair, eyeliner and lots of attitude do the rest.

Review: Del Mar, CA San Diego County Fair
by LL Richards

San Diego coastal zone dwellers suffer through June Gloom all month long socked in by heavy marine layer, day in and day out, just like the Pacific NW nine months out of the year. Right on schedule, the skies broke open on July 1. Add a slight coastal breeze and the sweet smell of salty air, and life is good in this laid-back Southern California beach town - especially, if you have a ticket to take in a rare west coast appearance by JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS at an outdoors venue.

When I finally rolled into the Del Mar race track stadium, the Jettheads had already taken up the front rows, and thanks to some special friends who saved me a seat, we were positioned front row, stage right. Perfect. Originally billed with Melissa Etheridge and Beth Hart as part of a "Women Rock Fest," I thought it would be great fun to see how the different crowds meshed, but then again, this seat would have cost over $70 and require membership to the Etheridge fan club. It all worked out for the best and with no sharing of the bill, the BLACKHEARTS were able to push their equipment close enough to the edge of the very wide and tall stage so down in front we could see and feel the energy coming from Thommy and his drum set.

Now, these special friends who traveled out from Arizona, had a treat of a lifetime - a pass to go backstage before the show and meet a true rock-and-roll legend, Ms. JOAN JETT herself. Their young daughter was also experiencing a "first" with meeting Joan and seeing her in concert.  What a thrill! Joan was very nice and I enjoyed meeting her and shaking her hand. As onstage, Joan doesn't shy away from making eye contact nor does she hold any air of snobbery that I could detect. I am not big on asking for autographs and admittedly, feel a little silly and too "fan-like" to ask but this was Joan Jett! An icon and inspiration for young guitar players like me growing up.

He Loves Rock N’ Roll:
KENNY LAGUNA Talks About His Life With JOAN JETT

by Jeb Wright

KENNY LAGUNA was already a veteran of the rock n' roll business when he met a teenage guitar player named JOAN JETT. Kenny had played and recorded with many bands, most notably Tommy James & The Shondells during their heyday. In the 70's, Kenny took to producing and writing music. It was during this time that Kenny met Joan and they began a lifelong relationship. Jett was fresh out of the girl band The RUNAWAYS and was just beginning to find her sound and true identity. Under Laguna's tutelage, Jett began to blossom. Their first effort, Bad Reputation, saw them forging ahead and mixing modern day punk attitude with pop rock sensibility. No major hits surfaced but Joan's star was beginning to shine.

"I Love Rock N' Roll" was the title track of the next record and America took notice. Suddenly, Joan was thrust into the media spotlight. The song has become as American as apple pie. Kenny and Joan took advantage of the opportunity and Joan became famous and is now considered a major musical influence by today's punk bands. She is also an icon for women rockers. The band made it by touring, investing their own money and by hard work. Read on to learn more about JOAN JETT through the eyes of her songwriting partner, producer, band mate and friend KENNY LAGUNA. - Jeb Wright, July 2004

Jeb: You will be headlining the Wheatland Jam on Friday night in Kansas.

JOAN JETT will have them dancing in the streets at the LoDo Music Festival
from: Boulder Weekly Buzz UnCharted
by Andy Stonehouse

While the rock 'n' roll world prides itself on stories of how high-minded individuals make their break based on hard work and artistic purity, the fact of the matter is that the music industry is rarely that kind.

Dig into the "business" portion of the music business and you quickly uncover a world that's just as inclusive and dependent on meeting and working with the right people—and greasing the occasional palm—as any high-rolling real estate transaction. It really is all about who you know.

For hard-rocking grrl and feminist icon JOAN JETT—who plays this weekend at the LoDo Music Festival—the benevolent and powerful figure lurking in the shadows (or, as the case may be, playing keyboards or singing back-up vocals on stage) is her longtime songwriting and business partner KENNY LAGUNA. Laguna's colorful musical backstory fills up eight pages of unapologetically name-dropping tales of music business insiderism. But it's his 25-year run with Jett that's produced the most interesting tales.

from: Denise Sowers

Click on the photo to see more pictures from Denise.

Tourdates Cancelled

The Comstock, NE July 16, 2004 and Apple Valley, MN July 17, 2004 performances by JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS have been cancelled.

Creature from the Black Laguna
from: EagleHerald Marinette

For every famous musician there are thousands who work behind the scenes. Most, while they make a decent living, never really become household names, but some become legends in the business.

KENNY LAGUNA is one of the legends.

In a career that dates back to before he was a teen, Laguna has worked on some on music's most famous pop songs, like "Candida" from Tony Orlando and "Yummy Yummy" from the Ohio Express.

JOAN JETT Naked (Review)

The "I Love Rock 'N' Roll" girl is back with a brand new CD called Naked, which contains sixteen hard-driven, punk rock songs.

This is one of the best collections of new material that The BLACKHEARTS have come out with in a long time.

On this stellar set, they collaborated with a few well-known names like Kathleen Hanna (Le Tigre/Bikini Kill) and red hot, chart-topping songwriter/producer Linda Perry (4 Non-Blondes/Pink).

from: Niva Bringas

Click on the photo to see more pictures from Niva.
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