Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

August 2004 News

Page updated on August 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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Great weather Sunday saves Fest revenue
By Renee Messacar - Staff Writer

DeKALB - Sunshine and JOAN JETT's performance Sunday were the saving grace for Corn Fest, which suffered from bad weather and low attendance Saturday.

Good weather and JOAN JETT's performance improved Sunday's attendance, Emanuelson said.

She performed at the Soundstage in front of an audience of thousands, helping create the best Sunday crowd the festival has ever seen, Emanuelson said.

Uptown Mix Street Festival

Wednesday, September 01,2004
Uptown Mix Street Festival, Nashville, TN

Uptown Mix, this week features JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS and The Shazam, gates at 6 p.m. adjacent to South Street, 20th and Division St., $10

Festival draws decent crowd
from: Metro News (
Article by: Lajeana Davis - Staff Reporter

Rain keeps some away from Corn Fest; dedicated make it out.
Thousands of people crowded the streets of downtown DeKalb streets at this year's Corn Fest.

"The most attractive performance was JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS," Kubiak said.

Corn fans packed the streets of downtown DeKalb for their chance to eat butter-drenched ears at the city's 26th annual Corn Fest.

concerts and gigs

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS: JOAN JETT takes the stage to rock her hits "I Hate Myself for Loving You," "I Love Rock & Roll," and "Bad Reputation." 7 p.m. Fri. L.B. Day Amphitheater inside the Oregon State Fairgrounds, 2330 N.E. 17th St., Salem; $17.50 reserved seats in advance, $1 day of the show (required fair admission $2-$8).
August 27,2004
Oregon State Fair
Salem, OR

Road Trip

ROAD TRIP: Drive just 65 miles from the Loop and help yourself to the free sounds of JOAN JETT, carnival rides, plus ears and ears of sweet Illinois corn at the DEKALB CORN FEST. Yes, even the corn is free from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturday, or until the luscious summer treat runs out. The fun runs Aug. 27 to Aug. 29. Route 38, between 1st and 4th streets, DeKalb, 815-748-2676;
Sunday, August 29,2004
Dekalb Corn Fest
Dekalb, IL

KENNY LAGUNA: The Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth
by Phil Rainone

KENNY LAGUNA is the manager/co-producer/ co-writer for JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS. He's pretty much the fifth member of the band, who also plays on stage with them from time to time. In our interview I also found out that Kenny's musical and political roots, run very deep. His passion and fascination for music goes back to the 60's bubblegum era of pop rock, and he bridges the gap between 60's pop, the 70's original punk bands, and today's punk. Kenny was very articulate, and at the same time funny throughout the interview.

Q: I listened to your CD from a few years back, Laguna Tunes. It goes from 60's pop rock (Tony Orlando, Darlene Love), through current bands like Bad Religion, and JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, almost like a Who's Who of cool music. What was it that first got you into music?
"Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis. I grew up in an "art family." My mother was a pretty well known painter. I liked music as a kid, starting around five years old. I had an aunt, Lucy Brown, and she would be the one to decide if the family was wasting their money on piano lessons (for me). I tried almost every instrument, and Lucy liked (what I played), and she arranged for me to go to Julliard (music school). But I rebelled, I didn't want to go to Julliard, I wanted to hang out on the streets and steal hub caps (laughing), so I had a problem with Julliard. But when I heard "Jailhouse Rock," I went "wow"! I really wanted to learn how to play that! I was escaping from having to do classical music. I really loved Bach and Mozart, and it really helped me a lot with rock & roll!

Q: We saw the BLACKHEARTS play the Stone Pony a few months ago, and the intensity is still there, so much!
She's totally right there... when it comes to punk rock, and the bands that are coming up, she just knows what's going on, she just lives it!

Jett Rock
Review by Tim Sendra

Jett Rock: Greatest Hits of JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS is the strongest collection of Jett's work to date. The fact that it was released only in Japan is a real shame. Jett recorded some of the best hard rock of the '80s, and people should be able to get a hold of it easily. If you want to pay the money, there is (almost) nothing but excellent rock & roll on Jett Rock.

(Click here to order Jett Rock)

The collection draws on her entire career starting with two tracks from the rare fan club-only release 1979 ("You Can't Get Me [Acoustic Version]") and ending with 1999's Fetish. In between it takes the best tracks from each of her albums (oddly only picking two from her best record, I Love Rock n' Roll, while picking three from the still good Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth) and throws in a couple of rarities like her rollicking cover of the Mary Tyler Moore theme "Love Is All Around," the previously unreleased "Watersign" (from an album she recorded in 1999 and is still on the shelf), a duet with Greg Graffin of Bad Religion on Cole Porter's "Let's Do It" from the Tank Girl soundtrack, and 2001's tribute to science fiction movies called "Science Fiction," which is easily the worst song on the record and should have been replaced by Jett Rock's most glaring omission: "Victim of Circumstance" from I Love Rock n' Roll. The rest of the disc rounds up all the hits ("I Love Rock n' Roll,"

"Bad Reputation," "Light of Day," "This Means War," "I Hate Myself for Loving You") as well as solid album cuts like her collaboration with Paul Westerberg ("Backlash"), her cover of CCR's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" from her otherwise ill-advised covers album, the stomping "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)" from Bad Reputation, and the tough "Spinster," which was co-written by Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna. Unlike most of the other Jett collections, all the songs are taken from the original albums. In other words, no live versions. The main problem with the disc is the track sequence, which seems to be entirely random and causes some unfortunate moments of whiplash like when the modern hostile sounding tracks "Fetish" and "Spinster" segue into her innocent cover of "Crimson and Clover." A simple chronological progression would have been much more logical and enjoyable. Despite this flaw, Jett Rock is a good document of a true rock & roller and is chock-full of classic rock & roll.

The special talk of Joan Jet and Seiji
by Seiji

1. The shows in Japan were just amazing. I was watching the show in the front row of the crowd and I was so excited. And I was very happy to support you, and I thought Guitar Wolf and the BLACKHEARTS was a good match. How did you think of the show with Guitar Wolf?
I thought it was great. I have rushed. I thought Guitar Wolf was a great band and a lot of fun. I was very honored that you guys have my name on all the songs. Well, actually I saw you guys recently about 2 months ago at CBGB's in NY and we went down and say hello. It was great to see you again and I thought the show was really fantastic and real high energy and I was watching in the crowd when Guitar Wolf was on and you guys were so into it singing along. So, I think everyone had a great time. That's what it's all about, we supposed to.

2. Thanks for coming to the show at CBGB's and I was really encouraged when you met me just before the show. When I saw the BLACKHEARTS 10 yeas ago, I remember you were playing Ramones before the show and I thought of call on to that and Guitar Wolf play the Ramones before the show now. Are you sort of particular about playing the Ramones before the show?
Cool!! We had a couple of different songs that we use. We sometimes play the Ramones and the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again", which we are using nearly 20 years since "Bad Reputation" era in early 80s. I think just depends on the show and what's going on. There are a few different ones.

3. It's known that you are a big fan of Suzy Quattro, you even have attended her wedding in Japan. Are you still touching with her?
I haven't spoken to her for quite a while but I think she's fantastic and she really contributed to me believing that I could play rock n' roll was OK for girls to do that. I really enjoyed listening to her record as a teenager and even since then. She's always been great and I have been very inspired by her. But I haven't touched with her for years actually.

No Girls Allowed?
In the World of Guitar Boasts, Few Women Let Their Fingers Do the Talking

by David Segal, Washington Post Staff Writer

Where are all the guitar heroines?

Where are all the female guitarists who can light it up in some original, groundbreaking and influential way? Can you name any? Come to think of it, have you ever heard the phrase "guitar heroine"?

Probably not, and for good reason. This won't win you friends and maybe it can't be said out loud, but here's the hard and horrible truth: Fifty years after Elvis Presley recorded "That's All Right Mama," the grand total of pantheon-worthy female rock guitarists is zero.

Jett wows crowd with rock 'n' roll
by Mike Corpos, American News Writer

Artist sounded as good if not better than in the '80s

The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" blasts over the PA system and the crowd begins to stir.

Out walks the pint-sized powerhouse of '80s rock known as JOAN JETT and her band, the BLACKHEARTS.

Q104.3 - New York's Only Classic Rock Station!

10. Eagles - Already Gone
09. Grand Funk Railroad - Bad Time
08. JOAN JETT - I Hate Myself For Loving You
07. Meatloaf - Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad
06. Vanilla Fudge - You Keep Me Hanging On
05. Jimi Hendrix - Hey Joe
04. J. Geils Band - Love Stinks
03. Led Zeppelin - Babe - I'm Gonna Leave You
02. Greg Kihn Band - Break Up Song
01. Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way

State Fair ready to unleash fun in Oregon

Salem, Oregon State Fair
7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27

Freaks and Geeks Soundtrack
from: Shout Factory

Freaks and Geeks is one of the most lavishly praised TV shows of all time. One essential ingredient to its success was the ingenious use of music. The Freaks And Geeks Original Soundtrack and Score CD includes some of the best anthems of the day by The Who, JOAN JETT, Styx, and Rush and ties them together with the most memorable portions of Michael Andrews' score. As a special treat to fans, it also includes performances by cast members, including Nick’s cringe-worthy but hilarious ode to Lindsay, "Lady L." This is one CD no Freaks And Geeks fan should be without.

Brown County Fairgrounds will be
rockin' with band's music tonight

by Jeff Bahr, American News Writer

Ken Laguna, who is JOAN JETT's longtime musical partner, has been around long enough that he assisted Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1968.

He later helped in the presidential campaign of Ted Kennedy, though he didn't really have a position. "With Bobby Kennedy, I was a hot young songwriter," he says. "I was writing his campaign song when he got assassinated."

Laguna has been in the music business since he was 12 years old. He has been a songwriter, producer and musician dating back to the mid-1960s.

from: Rock Against Romance
by Johnny Lockheart

Well, after it's all over, I can now state that the past two nights have without question been the best two consecutive nights - musically speaking - of my life.

It's one thing to appreciate the work of a musician from afar, but it's something altogether different to have your belief in someone tested by reality. I've admired JOAN JETT and John Fogerty for a long time, but having never seen either of them play live, I couldn't claim to know in advance how good (or bad) an experience it would be. You've already heard me rave about John - I can now testify that The BLACKHEARTS were also just as enthusiastic, passionate and talented in person as I had hoped they would be. The band sounded crisp and altogether fantastic - Joan seemed to be in a playful, high-spirited mood and her voice in particular sounded really great - she's lost nothing whatsoever, on that score or any other, as far as I can tell. The crowd was fairly large for the venue and overall they were quite appreciative. The band played quite a few new songs in the middle of the set, and some of them sounded really good. Looking forward to getting Joan's new CD, as well as John's, when they're released.

I've always done my best to separate the art from the artist, both because it's impossible to really know what's going on with someone you don't actually know, and to avoid allowing an artist's human failings or imperfections that do become visible to color my enjoyment of his/her music. However, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I've also always believed JOAN JETT and John Fogerty to be thoroughly genuine, inherently gracious and decent people in an industry that doesn't seem to attract a lot of folks with those qualities. I saw absolutely nothing in the past two nights to contradict that assessment. I don't believe that anyone who was insincere could have possibly faked the energy, enthusiasm and love for their musical form that I just witnessed.

New Olympic ideals bare a coarse nature
by Stephen Brunt

ATHENS — Well, there's one more thing to knock off the list of stuff you didn't expect to live long enough to witness: watching one of People magazine's 50 most beautiful people pitch a nearly perfect softball game at the Olympics in Greece.

Who really thought the Athens organizers would get their act together in time for 2004, anyway?

The rest of it actually makes a whole lot more sense than pigs flying, in a world where lines are constantly blurring, where celebrity and sport and entertainment are all part of one big, noisy neon flash.

Jett to land in Aberdeen Friday
by Jeff Bahr, American News Writer

JOAN JETT was born Joan Marie Larkin in Philadelphia. After spending much of her childhood in Baltimore, her family moved to Southern California, where the 15-year-old became a fixture at L.A. rock clubs.

At 8 p.m. Friday, Jett will perform at the Brown County Fair grandstand. Her early influences included Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Suzi Quatro.

In 1976, when Jett was 15, she and drummer Sandy West created The RUNAWAYS, a Los Angeles band comprised of teen-age girls. The other members included guitarist Lita Ford and lead vocalist Cherie Currie.

Seattle Times Arts & Entertainment Music

The Seattle Times Arts & Entertainment Music festival is a classic-rock revival Montrose will be part of a classic-rock revival at the White Horse Mountain Rock Festival outside Darrington this weekend. JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, Bachman Turner Overdrive founder Randy Bachman, Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels and Bad Company's Paul Rodgers are among the acts scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

A classic-rock festival brings with it the cachet of some of rock's legends. Paul Rodgers was part of the British blues revival as a member of Free and in 1973 founded Bad Company. Mitch Ryder, the grandfather of Detroit rock, recorded everything from "Good Golly Miss Molly" to "Devil With a Blue Dress On." JOAN JETT has had more than a dozen top-40 hits, including "Crimson and Clover," "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," "Bad Reputation" and "Little Liar."  

In the past few years, apart from touring with the BLACKHEARTS, she has acted in film and on Broadway.  

JOAN JETT Live In Oklahoma City
from: Classic Rock Revisited
by Jeb Wright

Over the last quarter century, JOAN JETT has gone from a bashful, guitar slinging teenager to a rock icon.  She has influenced countless women to follow their musical dreams. She might be all of 5'5 in heels but don't be fooled, JOAN JETT is huge person. She has strong beliefs, infectious energy, a brawny persona and a focus that has led her to overcome countless obstacles and challenges. Joan has proven her talent as a performer with a string of Top 40 albums and singles. She remains on the road, year in and year out, giving spirited performances that prove you can have punk rock attitude into your 40's -- even if you are a woman!

Joan had the look and talent to be a star but being just a teenager she did not have the business savvy needed to survive the music business. Onstage, she worked a crowd but she was vulnerable to being worked over by music lawyers and agents. Perhaps it was divine intervention that KENNY LAGUNA was placed in her life. Originally Laguna, a former member of Tommy James & The Shondells, was going to produce the next RUNAWAYS album but fate intervened and the band split up. Laguna knew Joan could be a star. "Sometimes you are wrong about these visions and these feelings, in fact you are usually wrong. But I felt Joan was unique. She could be poppy and still be angry and have menace. She had the angst that you need." Laguna felt so strongly about Joan he invested his life savings into her career; an investment that continues to pay high dividends to this day. After 23 major label rejections, Laguna and Jett founded BLACKHEART RECORDS and continue to release albums to this day. In addition to producing Jett, Laguna has taken on the role of manager, keyboard player, protector and all around big brother to Joan.

Fast forward the clock 25+ years to Frontier City amusement park in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and KENNY LAGUNA is still on the road with Joan, keeping a close eye on every aspect of her career. Laguna kept a close watch on the radio station meet and greet people and you could feel that he was not going to let anyone near his star that did not deserve to be there. Laguna can play the role of protector all the while making everyone feel like they are hanging out with him in their living room. Joan appeared from her trailer and we discussed politics, music and life in general. She is the victim of a bad reputation as underneath the tattoos, the black hair and the leather is a sweet, kindhearted person. She made sure to introduce herself to my daughter and made everyone around feel welcome. Watching her go through a meet and greet with fans was interesting. Joan greeted everyone, posing for pictures, personally autographing everything thrust in front of her and taking time to actually speak to her fans. Joan feels passionately about her political views and is not afraid to tell you she is a democrat and that she wants change now! However, she does not impose herself upon people. Instead, she is very pleasant and you literally want to reach out and hug her. While she opposes the war, she has played to the troops many times and will always support the men and women in uniform.

Infinity Broadcasting Listener Appreciation Party

Date: September 9
Location: Lone Star Park
Address: 1000 Lone Star Parkway
Grand Prarie, TX
Blackheart Recording Artists the Eyeliners are also on the bill.

Interview with KENNY LAGUNA

CCTeens: Kenny, Welcome back to the Mid State Fair. What are the highlights for you and Joan since you were here last year?
Well, we rode the Howard Dean campaign from oblivion to the top of the heap, back to oblivion. That's one of the things we did. We went and did some stuff with the troops which we always do and we were at the Democratic Convention, we do what we can to save America. Either we go to the troops and cheer them up or we try to get rid of the guys who keep sending them everywhere.

CCTeens: Do you think the media treated Howard Dean fairly?
No. We were on stage with him when he gave that speech, and the crowd was so animated, and screaming and hysterical, chanting "DEAN, DEAN, DEAN". In that context the speech was totally appropriate. When you strip away the crowd noise, it makes him look like an idiot, and now, people like Chris Mathews, and others who are apologizing and feeling that they killed a good candidate with their nonsense. I think that all the candidates can look very foolish when they try to make them look foolish.

CCTeens: What are your thoughts on John Kerry?
He's a good man. I think his hearts in the right place, I don't think he's smooth, I think America's looking for a Game Show Host. We used to want Presidents, then we wanted Newscasters, then we wanted Talk Show Hosts, and now we're down to Game Show Hosts, and he's not a good game show host. I think John Kerry is a true Patriot, I think that it's outrageous that they try to demean his service, anybody that can spend a weekend in a war zone has done a lot, he did a lot, and he did two tours of duty there. The man's just a superhero. He's privileged, he didn't have to go. Being in combat is a true test of your mettle, that's just one thing. I know that these other things that he wants are really good to, he'll take care of the little people a lot more. I don't really understand why they use being a Liberal as a way to criticize somebody, cause if Liberal means taking care of people and worrying about rights and not picking on people just because they're gay, or because they're black, then I wanna be a Liberal. I'm always in war zones, but I don't see anything wrong with being a Liberal. I think Kerry's not only a good man, he's a great man, and he's really smart, he's been a winner his whole life, and the other guy's been a loser his whole life. So when you have to make a choice, they complain about Kerry's Senate Record, George Bush has the nerve to complain about Senate records? George Bush failed in every business and he traded Sammy Sosa. George Bush was a drunk. George Bush took cocaine, and he's criticizing John Kerry? Such hypocrisy. It's outrageous, they criticize John Kerry's career, all the right wingers say he hasn't done anything since Vietnam; well George Bush never did anything. With his experience they wouldn't let him run a food store if his father didn't own it.


Love was all around as Everyday People of all ages, color and race packed the California Mid State Fair for the thunderous return of JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS. Armed with new songs from the soon to be released CD "Naked", new life was added to an already blistering live show. "I don't know how Joan and I do it, but it's always fresh, we love it, we love our hits, we love the new songs, we get off on it, and that hour is really a rush every single night, and I couldn't tell you what makes it happen, except that I think we have pretty cool songs.", KENNY LAGUNA told us before the first of two jam packed shows. Kenny, whose first meeting with Jett was 25 years ago, was smitten at first sight and the two have been musical partners ever since. "I thought she was pretty cool, she wore a black leather jacket, she had attitude, she knew what she wanted, and she didn't let me push her around, really talented. I was in love with her the first day, I thought she was unbelievable" Laguna has spent four years in the music business and is a virtual walking, talking Rock icon.

The bulk of the Blackheart's set concentrated on classics such as "Crimson And Clover", "French Song", "Bad Reputation", and of course, "I Love Rock N Roll", but at first listen the new songs more than held up to the old standards, which is refreshing in this day of bands whose new material simply cannot hold a candle to their past work. It looks as though Jett & company are poised to once again light the charts on fire.

Looking out from stage left as the closing notes of "Bad Reputation" rang out; it is no surprise as to why JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS still thrive to this day. One look into the faces of the crowd and band explains it, as it is evident a great time is had by all, as the connection between musician and fan become almost surreal.

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.

Editor's Note
Blessed Are the Rockers

by Tim Whitaker

To rock is to live.
Those who know how have a special gift. JOAN JETT, the Philly native who graces our cover this week, kicked rock's ass through the '80s with the BLACKHEARTS.

When you rock like Jett, age is just another punk you blow away handily. Hardly surprising, Jett's still kicking butt.

The women Jonathan Valania profiles this week work behind the scenes in the Philly rock world. In the interviews, they talk about what it takes to succeed in a man's world. As you'll learn from the words of these women, you don't need a guitar to succeed in the rock world. But you do need grit and heart and a special kind of fearlessness.

Women Who Rock
by Jonathan Valania

These days the ladies aren't just performing. They're also running the show.

It's been said that while most girls wanted to sleep with Brian Jones, punk poetess Patti Smith wanted to be Brian Jones. It's this sort of boundary-smashing switch from adoration to emulation that knocked the door off the boys' club of rock 'n' roll. Suddenly there were chicks in the tree house, and soon enough there was a riot goin' on.

The spiritual den mother of women in rock in Philadelphia is JOAN JETT, who was born right here in the City of, ahem, Brotherly Love.
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