Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

September 2006 News

Page updated on September 30, 2006
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Merchandise Sale
from: David Snowden Promotions

For a short time, all in-stock, Jett Merchandise is on-sale. Quantities on some item are very limited. First-come, first-serve sale! No rainchecks, or backorders.

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  • Sale Merchandise is non-refundable.
  • Orders over $100 receive a special FREE Gift!
Visit the Merchandise site at

Rock is hard, chauvinistic work for Jett

Don’t judge pioneering rock artist JOAN JETT by her leather-clad rocker vixen exterior. The front artist of ‘80s rock act the BLACKHEARTS and ‘70s female proto-punk quartet The RUNAWAYS (Lita Ford on guitar) also has a less-aggro side. When she’s not running the first woman-owned independent record company or posing with automatic weapons with troops at Fort Bragg, you might find Jett reading Hindu philosophy or enjoying vegetarian dining.

You may have also found the Philadelphia native dodging or simply shutting down all inquiry of her sexual orientation in a spate of recent articles promoting her and the BLACKHEARTS’ new CD, "SINNER." To reiterate, such line of questioning is irrelevant and even tacky, Jett (who has been seen with a "Dykes Rule" sticker on her guitar) has said.

But fans needn’t have her orientation confirmed to enjoy Jett and her band’s 9 p.m. Oct. 12 show at the Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St. Eagles of Death Metal and Valient Thorr open.


The Armchair Critic


You can always count on JOAN JETT to rock hard. Turning 40 didn't slow her down, as her latest album SINNER features Joan blasting the electric guitar and shouting out what she loves and what she hates. JOAN JETT toys with the idea of her bisexuality, with songs like "A.C.D.C" and a great cover of the Replacements' "Androgynous." The love songs here are gender neutral, and she gladly sings "And I don't care if everybody knows." Beyond this possible message, Joan infuses all her songs with energy and enthusiasm. This isn't to say that SINNER is flawless. JOAN JETT's power chords are fun, but they're also very familiar to any of her fans. The opening track "Riddles" not only attacks George W. Bush and his administration with less subtlety than a sledgehammer, but then underscores this by playing audio snippets from GWB and Donald Rumsfeld. And it's odd that JOAN JETT took two songs from her previous album ("Fetish" and "Baby Blue") to include, unchanged, on this one. If you like JOAN JETT's sound, or you're looking for some simple, strong rock, go with JOAN JETT's SINNER. Overall Grade: B+

JOAN JETT Finds It Rewarding To Play for US Troops

Rocker JOAN JETT considered joining the military after she was left shaken by the split of her first band The RUNAWAYS. Jett regularly plays for soldiers in combat zones and insists she feels a very deep connection with U.S. troops.

She explains, "We've done several of those trips - we've been to Bosnia, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan - right after 9/11, too. It was so intense, they wouldn't really let the whole band in the first time, so I just went by myself. I think part of it is just recognizing that these are just people that love music, too.

"When my first band, The RUNAWAYS broke up, I was in a really bad place and for a very brief moment I thought about maybe joining one of the branches of the military just to maybe get myself together. (Playing for the troops is) really rewarding. It made me realize that all the people that serve are just regular people like us. I was just drawn to bring them a little piece of home."

Lee Crystal
Former Blackheart
Still Loves Rock ’N’ Roll


low resolution image Not Enlargeable Lee Crystal, drummer for JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS from 1981 to 1986, is just a regular guy from Brooklyn—except that he’s so much cooler than the rest of us. In 1977, three years out of high school, Crystal formed The Boyfriends, which developed cult status for its pure, New York sound. (The band can still be heard on independent, free-form radio.) That group opened for The Ramones at renowned underground New York haunts like CBGB’s and Max’s Kansas City; then came stints with glitzy Sylvain Sylvain and David Johansen.

But it was in 1981, when Crystal auditioned for and subsequently landed the seat as The BLACKHEARTS’ drummer, that his uninhibited, hard rock drumming was unleashed on the world. "JOAN JETT was what I needed," Crystal insists. "I wanted to play real rock ’n’ roll."

Jett’s music was honest and raw, and Crystal’s unrelenting beat on "I Love Rock ’N’ Roll" is legendary. The tune held the number-1single spot on the American Billboard chart for eight weeks, and the album sold ten million copies. After The BLACKHEARTS, Crystal played with Crash Conference and Secret Chiefs.

Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1993, Crystal now teaches out of his home in New Jersey and is planning a "rock ’n’ roll-flavored" book. The disease has slowed him a bit physically. His hands don’t always cooperate, which prevents him from pounding the drums like he used to. But Crystal compensates by verbally interpreting for his students what a drummer should hear when hitting that drumhead. "You need to feel the vibration of the drum in your chest," Crystal says. "You know, oompah, OOMPAH!" Crystal’s quick wit doesn’t miss a beat, either. "I tell students, get real familiar with your drums—because you’ll be hitting them."


Seagate's Pink Hard Drive Bundles Music For Charity

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Seagate has partnereed with a leading breast cancer foundation to provide a pink version of its Pocket Hard Drive, which also comes preloaded with songs and video from popular musicians.

Ten percent of the 6-Gbyte drive's price will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The drive, available for an estimated price of $109, will be sold through and, Seagate said Monday.

ADVERTISEMENT Featured artists whose music and/or videos are included on the drive include JOAN JETT, Stefy, Toby Lightman, Megan McCauley, Stephanie McKay, Alana Davis, Andrea Rosario and Annie Stela.

"Seagate is proud to join forces with the Komen Foundation in its mission to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease," said Jim Druckrey, general manager of Seagate Branded Solutions, in a statement. "Breast cancer touches all our lives and we hope that consumers will take this opportunity to support the Foundation's efforts by volunteering time, making a donation or purchasing a product that supports the cause."

Seagate also said that it sponsored the Komen Race For the Cure, a 5-kilometer run in San Francisco.

Hell hath no fury (like a punk woman scorned)

low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS are about to launch a tour across the U.S. in support of new CD, SINNER. They’ll stop at Dallas’ Gypsy Tea Room on Nov. 13. For the most part, the album adheres to their trademark style, though it sounds as fresh as ever.

Recently, HB caught up with Joan via phone to discuss her experiences playing the Warped Tour, the new songs, (and coincidentally) the State of the Union and life itself.

Most recently, Joan and the gang finished headlining this summer’s Vans Warped Tour, a/k/a "punk rock summer camp." Jett is no stranger to the road in general, but what did the Queen of Rock think of the loudest nomadic freak show on Earth?


She still loves it

JOAN JETT is a rock goddess, the godmother of punk rock, the patron saint of women rockers.

In the RUNAWAYS in the late '70s and later with her band the BLACKHEARTS, Jett awed generations with her leather-clad confidence, her gritty rock guitar, her smoky snarl and her nonchalant attitude.

"I don't think I was aware of it," she said of being a rare female rocker. "It probably saved me in the RUNAWAYS when I was super naïve. I just thought everyone's minds were going to be blown and I'd waltz right in there. And then there was a lot of resistance, so then I thought it was going to be a lot more work but it would still be doable."


JOAN JETT and Eagles of Death Metal Tour

Following the release of her 11th studio album, SINNER, JOAN JETT will embark on a fall tour, or as she describes it, "a punk rock circus." She'll share the ring with the Eagles of Death Metal. SO MUCH ROCK...can you handle it? The circus starts off in Philly and rolls westward across the U.S. and back in a rock 'n' roll caravan full of Eagles and BLACKHEARTS.

v Besides touring, Ringleader Jett is keeping herself busy by celebrating the 25th anniversary of her label, BLACKHEART RECORDS, putting together a re-release of much of the JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS catalog, performing on "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson" on September 25, as well as continuing her weekly radio broadcast, The Revolution with JOAN JETT, part of Little Steven's Underground Garage Network on Sirius Radio.

A SINNER's circus:
10-12 Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
10-13 Boston, MA - Avalon Ballroom
10-15 New York, NY - Irving Plaza
10-17 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
10-20 Cincinnati, OH - Bogarts
10-21 Cleveland, OH - Agora Theatre
10-26 Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
10-27 St. Louis, MO - Mississippi Nights
10-29 Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
11-01 Seattle, WA - Showbox
11-02 Portland, OR - Roseland Theatre
11-04 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
11-07 Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theatre
11-10 Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues
11-11 Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre
11-13 Dallas, TX - Gypsy Tea Room
11-14 Austin, TX - Stubb's BBQ
11-17 Orlando, FL - House of Blues
11-18 Atlanta, GA - Roxy Theatre
11-19 North Myrtle Beach, SC - House of Blues
11-25 Atlantic City, NJ - House of Blues



"Talking heads are talking/but listen to what they say/How they sit in judgment/and claim to know the way." So begins "Riddles," the lead-off track on JOAN JETT's first album of all new material in a decade. If you think she's talking about David Byrne, guess again. Plainly a political statement, yet with hooks to spare and a killer melodic guitar riff at its center, "Riddles" encapsulates everything great about Jett. Amazingly, SINNER's release marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of BLACKHEART RECORDS, and its no frills pop-rock sound and youthful exuberance bookends Bad Reputation, Joan's solo debut perfectly. For any other artist with such longevity, that might be something of a mixed bag, but Jett's career has always been about simplicity, and her perseverance and lack of pretense, as well as refusal to glom onto the latest trend elevates her consistently high quality work to another level. Lyrically, SINNER pulls no punches, whether lambasting the Bush administration, dissing the tabloids ("Five," with its cool sitar intro), or getting frank about sexuality ("A.C.D.C." and "Fetish"). When the volume drops for more introspective moments -- such as "Naked," or Jett's swinging take on the Replacements' prescient "Androgynous" -- the energy never flags. SINNER is a triumphant and welcome return.



Listening to a new album by an artist you love is like meeting someone you’ve been talking to on the Internet for the first time in real life: You’re so afraid of being disappointed that you’d almost rather not go through with it at all. But upon first listen of JOAN JETT's SINNER, it becomes obvious that she is still a hot, hot date.

SINNER's first track, "Riddles," is the only skipper out of the bunch. A political song featuring a sound clip of one of George W. Bush’s most infamous "Bush-isms," the down tempo tune’s trite subject matter serves as a brief boring intro, leaving 13 pure rock songs to follow. One lackluster song out of 14 is not too bad, leaving a near perfect album.

Blasting through politics, the second track, "A.C.D.C." (originally recorded by hair band Sweet) gives a playful nod to the gay community. Led by an energizing guitar, lyrics like "She's got girls, girls all over the world / She‘s got men, every now and then," prove that Jett is a modern woman not afraid of being looked at sideways by the "norms."


Little Steven Van Zandt
Hail! Hail! Rock'n'roll!


low resolution image Not Enlargeable The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame officially opened this week on Sept. 2, 1995. It is similar to the United Nations in that its existence is an extraordinary achievement, and everybody has a different opinion about how it should be run.

I personally believe the founding fathers (in both cases) have done a very good job under difficult circumstances and should be applauded.



low resolution image Not Enlargeable Over the years JOAN JETT has earned herself a Bad Reputation as the undisputed queen of punk rock. She's also become the true icon to so many girls growing up with dreams of being a rock n' roller and yet she still continually fights everyday to earn respect in the music industry. Throughout the years JOAN JETT has continually been judged and criticized by the media for her antics as a real wild child and for being an out of control punk, to her current sexual preference. But through it all she's made it in the rock world because of her stellar music and her fans appreciation for what she's accomplished. "I Love Rock N' Roll" thanks to people like JOAN JETT, because they've not only helped in creating the soundtrack to my life but at the same time have influenced me to go after my dreams and to not let anyone get in my way. I had the opportunity to interview JOAN JETT while she was performing on this year's Warped Tour and I got the same sort of vibe from her that I did when I interviewed Lemmy of Motorhead. It's the feeling of a very humble, passionate, and confident person who is proud of her accomplishments and is now content with enjoying the finer things in life like playing rock music to her thousands of fans without a worry in the world.

Big Wheel: How's Warped Tour been for you? Are you finding it hard to fit in with the Warped Tour crowd seeing as how most them weren't even born when "I Love Rock N' Roll" came out?
JOAN JETT: Warped Tour has been a blast! The kids seem to respond really well to it. You'd almost never know that some of them weren't even born back then. They've been really welcoming and accepting of the band and all the other bands on Warped have just been really awesome to us as well.


I Love Rock and Roll

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Since starting her own independent label in order to self-release her debut solo album in 1981, which went on to make her an international star with the 1982 hit "I Love Rock ’n’ Roll," JOAN JETT has sold millions of records worldwide and has toured relentlessly, all the while helming BLACKHEART RECORDS, now celebrating its 25th anniversary. She’s produced scores of bands, from 80s-era punk rockers the Germs to 90s riot grrls Bikini Kill to recent garage-punk discoveries the Eyeliners and the Vacancies. She’s collaborated with everyone from the Sex Pistols to Peaches; starred in numerous films and television shows; appeared on Broadway in The Rocky Horror Picture Show; and just recently became a radio DJ on Sirius Satellite Radio’s Little Steven’s Underground Garage Network. There’s not really much Jett hasn’t done.

Except, of course, talk openly about her sexuality. Even though she allegedly — or at least subtly — came out in a magazine article in the 1990s and is often referred to as "openly lesbian" in the press, Jett has as recently as this spring stated that she has never publicly issued a statement about her sexuality. She openly flirts with her lesbian fans at concerts, sports a "Dykes Rule" sticker on her guitar and even played an intimate gig at this year’s Dinah Shore Weekend, but she still refuses to field questions on the topic. On the day I called for our phone interview, her only interest was in talking about her new 15-track album, SINNER.

Jett does, however, have a history of speaking her mind via her lyrics, both subtly and overtly, and SINNER’s no different. Like her earliest hit "Bad Reputation" and many after it, several songs on SINNER reveal Jett’s thoughts on topics political, sexual and of the heart. And though much of SINNER is not technically "new" — the bulk of the album appeared on the 2004 Japanese-only CD Naked, which has since been remastered or re-recorded for this release — the vast majority of its material has never been widely released to her U.S. audience, making it new to the ears of all but the most diehard fans. As a body of work, it paints an intriguing picture of the notorious badass who’s still rocking just as steady and hard as she has for the last 25 years, but is also perhaps maturing a bit, taking some time to reflect on where and who she’s been and turning an eye to the future.


Joel to attend inaugural for Hall of Fame

Anyone who thought the Long Island Music Hall of Fame was just a pipe dream will be proved wrong when Billy Joel shows up for the hall's inaugural induction ceremony, Oct. 15 at the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts. Yes, really - Joel's publicist confirms it. Other artists scheduled to appear include JOAN JETT, Paul Shaffer and Dion.

Illusion of Equality
The legendary JOAN JETT reminds that there's still a glass ceiling in rock 'n' roll


After more than 30 years as a professional musician, JOAN JETT finds it hard to believe that there aren't more women playing rock 'n' roll.

Sure, there are your occasional role models--you've got your Slits, L7 and Sleater-Kinney--but they still constitute the minority. And a version of the corporate glass ceiling is responsible, Jett said in a recent telephone interview.

"I am actually shocked at this point. I thought what we did with the RUNAWAYS in the '70s, and what a couple of other girls did, that it would open up the music industry, but that energy has always been difficult to sustain.


Conan O'Brien

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS have been confirmed to perform on Conan O'Brien, Monday, December 4th.

The Tonight Show

Don't forget to watch JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS perform "Change the World on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, tomorrow Wednesday, September 20th.
Upcoming appearance on the Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, Monday, September 25th.

Only rock 'n' roll but she likes it

After 12 years of waiting, this summer fans finally got a new CD from JOAN JETT. Called "SINNER," fans will get a taste of the new CD Sunday at Key Club Morongo.

But it's not like Jett intended to see her recording career go on hold like that.

"If we had had our way, it would have been out much earlier," Jett said. "There were several things in the way of that."


JOAN JETT’s rock & roll revolt


JOAN JETT? The ultimate rock & roll badass, she's an archetypal, almost mythic figure, one assuredly on a cultural and artistic par with her boldest predecessors, and if there were a Mount Rushmore for female American musicians, she'd be right up there, the final link in a revolutionary chain that began with WWI-era Red Hot Mama Sophie Tucker, 1930s Queen of the Blues Bessie Smith, 1940s Jezebel of Jazz Anita O'Day, ‘50s rockabilly shouter Wanda Jackson and ‘60s acid blues belter Janis Joplin. Yet when the teenaged Jett jumped into the game during the mid-'70s, she hit it harder than all of her illustrious forebears combined, nailing rock & roll with a stinging, brilliant series of recordings that have all achieved a life of their own (even if she sometimes never saw a dime from them).

It hasn't often been very pretty for Jett; when she first made noise with all-female teenaged sensations the RUNAWAYS, she had to contend not only with elitist press put-downs deriding them as being a "fake rebel band," she also had to put up with Sunset Strip Svengali Kim Fowley, a fading sub-Spector control booth wonderboy whose primary modus operandi in his iron-fisted handling of the band was to ceaselessly tell the girls that whatever they were doing was "dogshit." Clearly the Jett psyche has suffered more than a few punishing blows, but her staunch refusal to take any of it seriously speaks volumes as to just what a tough chick she really is.

She's also tough to pin down for an interview, and, speaking recently over a static-blasting cell phone connection, Jett seemed equal parts guarded big-head, untamed wild child, shrewd business schemer and, of course, all-around rock goddess. Asked about her earliest start, she says "I was really big on the movie Cabaret . I did a lot with that, and it was the thing that really inspired me to get into show business. I liked acting before I was even into rock & roll. I started playing guitar when I was about 13. I'd say probably really early on, I was listening to T. Rex, David Bowie, stuff like that, but I also liked things like "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple, because it was easy to learn how to play the chords, or Black Sabbath's "Iron Man"—songs like that with the big, fat, slow chords."


JOAN JETT fuels up for another ride with provocative 'SINNER'

Everyone seems to love JOAN JETT's brand of rock 'n' roll these days. When Jett headlined Vans Warped Tour this past summer, punk bands gave their props during interviews; others did so from the stage. Critical praise was effusive. Concertgoers talked about her more than the hyped acts. At Fairplex, Jett and the BLACKHEARTS blitzed through a killer Warped set, where new school punks pumped their leather-studded arms in appreciation. New tunes 'Change the World" and 'Riddles" fit well alongside crunchy guitar-led stomps 'Bad Reputation" and 'Cherry Bomb."

"We had a real blast," admitted Jett, in a phone interview from her home in Long Island, N.Y. 'The camaraderie was amazing. It was fun to be a fan and play (music) at the same time."

Jett, who turns 48 next week, said the experience surpassed her expectations.


The Tonight Show on September 20th

low resolution image Not Enlargeable CLICK HERE to obtain audience tickets for JOAN JETT’s and the BLACKHEARTS’ live appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

CLICK HERE Click here for advice on how to get into the show the same day without a ticket!


As the sole pioneering musician that led to the riot girl trend, Jett continues to stay the course with her newest opus SINNER. The disc comes at a time that finds Jett upgrading her profile with the headline slot for the Warped tour, a highly praised SXSW showing and a couple benefit shows with Bruce Springsteen. SINNER is a mixed bag. Compiled from nearly a dozen recording sessions over a ten-year gap, the disc is Jett’s first full-length release since 1994’s Pure and Simple. The cut and paste process from so many sessions over such a long period of time is evident as the 14-tracks range in quality and production.

Whether it’s politics, sexual orientation or personal introspection, Jett has decided to come out swinging. Lucky for us she still likes to rock and packages her musical journey into tight little power punk pop songs. Ten of the tracks featured here hail from the Japanese release Naked (2004), her most personal and open record to date. Only four off SINNER would be considered "new" songs. Two huddle right up front starting with "Riddles" a political left-hook complete with Bush vocal samples. Sticking with her old school delivery, Jett’s pensive voice packs a wallop and the catchy riff makes the song linger long after it’s over. Sweet’s bubble gum glam hit "A.C.D.C." follows with Jett and co. grinding it into a full on rock anthem. Her inflection with the lyric, "Lesbian in it together" keeps her innuendos light and humorous.

The disc then runs through her Naked set with an alternate track listing. Her introspection and self-analysis shows up in "Five," "Naked," "Androgynous" and "Fetish" all playful, earnest and hard rockin’. "Everyone Knows" turns personal with a stain of life experience then it’s on to her CBGB days in "Change the World." Punch, gritty guitars keep it more punk than rock. The perky "Tube Talkin" has a distant RUNAWAYS vibe – simple song structure, digestible, a bit more playful. Contrast that to the drum crashing, metal surge of "Turn it Around" – which fits more along the lines of classic Jett. Two lighter moments come into play with the quivering love letter "Watersign" and the narrative "Baby Blue" which sings, "switch hitter, plays the filed, she ain’t concerned – as long as it real"-thoughts to ponder. It’s never been about what Jett says; it’s how she says it. Attitude and a guitar will always be her stalk and trade and this disc is full of both.

Stamp of Approval - SINNER

She’s been known for her "Bad Reputation" and for her love of rock and roll now the prolific rocker is back with her latest and possibly greatest album to date. "SINNER" opens up with "Riddles," a politically charged anthem that asks "what can I do? When they just speak to us in riddles." They being the Bush Administration. She sings "big brother is watching you/they’re taking all your rights away/Don’t claim that you represent me/Cause I don’t believe a word that you say." It’s the type of song you can bop your head and tap your feet to; just enjoying the beat it isn’t until you give the track a closer listen you realize it runs a little deeper. "Everyone Knows" is another gem, the track is more of a ballad and may or may not put certain rumors to rest. She sings, "Nobody understands cause we don’t play by the rules/I can’t imagine why they care about what we do/when all that’s real is how we feel/and I don’t care if everyone knows." The entire album rocks, it’s great to have her back!

KENNY LAGUNA's Life of Music - JOAN JETT's Producer and Partner Speaks

Click to enlarge The phrase ‘behind every good man, there’s good woman’ should be rephrased to best describe the relationship between JOAN JETT & KENNY LAGUNA. In this case, the pioneering punk rock goddess, JOAN JETT is the spotlight magnet. But in the wings, beside her more often than not, stands her long term business partner, producer, and friend, KENNY LAGUNA. Together, the Jett & Laguna team made rock & roll history by producing "I Love Rock 'N Roll," one of the greatest rock & roll anthems of all time. The duo also formed BLACKHEART RECORDS, the first record label to have ‘a girl on top’ out of necessity because 20+ labels had turned them down. But before Laguna hooked up with Jett, he was already considered a veteran in the business for blowing-up bubble gum hits with Bill Medley and later for his work with Tommy James & The Shondells. In the 70’s, he began producing new wave punk hits for Beserkley Records’ artist Greg Kihn and then went on to produce the hit, "I Want Candy" with Bow Wow Wow. But it was a talented, determined, and creative 17 year old punk rocker who caught Kenny’s eye & ears. From the onset of JOAN JETT’s career, songwriter/producer KENNY LAGUNA has been beside her every step of the way.

It’s 10 pm a couple of nights before the VMA’s and Kenny talked to Musicpix for almost an hour about his partnership with Joan, their new record "SINNER," and a topic that Joan would prefer to not talk about.

Listen in…


JOAN JETT: No Labels
from: Blade Magazine

low resolution image Not Enlargeable What do you call a woman whose shoes look more comfortable than those worn by her all-male backup band? What if she likes to wear leather, is an avid sports fan, enjoys relaxing at home with her four cats, eats a vegetarian diet and has a deep voice and a tough attitude? What if she croons graphic lust songs that soon seem more conspicuously directed at women, muscles her way into major league music to become an all-star in the previously "boys only" sport of rock ’n’ roll and captures the hearts of three decades’ worth of fledging- and full-grown dykes?

By definition, you’d call that person JOAN JETT. But what’s in a name—or a label, for that matter? Some dirty deeds have been done with labels, but labels are nonetheless needed by everyday people.

Dictionaries define a "label" as a short word or phrase descriptive of a person or group. A label indicates that what it refers to belongs in a particular category or classification. While some find this function of labels constraining, it is fair to say that if someone has certain characteristics, a label may help others understand who they are.


NFL TV Music: Cover Two

There must be something about an NFL night game that cries out for taking a popular jukebox song and producing a cover version with awkward-fitting football lyrics.
v Among the Monday Night Football traditions ESPN inherited from ABC is the rollicking opener by Hank Williams Jr., a remake of his own hit "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight" called "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Monday Night."

In its delicate attempt to assure viewers that it's the same old Monday Night Football but a whole new era, ESPN will keep Hank Jr. in the rundown, now performing with an "all-star jam band" including Funkadelic bassist Bootsy Collins, Roots drummer ?uestlove, fiddler Charlie Daniels, pianist Little Richard, and guitarists Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick) and Chris Burney (Bowling for Soup).
This year's lyrics try to remind everybody that Monday night is still Monday night:

v Crank up the volume, cue my rowdy friends,


Rock Icon JOAN JETT Films Video In City of Long Beach

Click to enlarge Rock ‘n Roll recording artist, JOAN JETT, filmed a video on the Long Beach boardwalk on Thursday, August 24th.

Cameras rolled as Joan and her band, the BLACKHEARTS, unloaded their instruments at the boardwalk ramp in front of 20 Franklin Boulevard. Later, the group sang "Change the World" from their BLACKHEARTS Records album, "SINNER." The performance took place on the boardwalk, with residents of 25 Neptune getting "front row seats" as they watched from the pool deck.
low resolution image Not Enlargeable



Front and center at a RUNAWAYS show back in the late ’70s, I was gobsmacked by frontwoman JOAN JETT’s sheer, visceral rawk presence. SINNER revives that feeling. The album’s got rebel-yell anger ("Riddles," about pundits’ and pols’ verbal chicanery) and it’s got lust (garagey "A.C.D.C." chronicles a switch-hitting femme fatale). It swings (tuneful waltz "Everyone Knows") and it thrashes (the Clash-like "Change the World"). One moment it’s channeling Jett’s seventies-rock glam roots (the anthemic "Turn It Around") and the next it’s tapping a vintage Replacements tune (a swaggering, saucy "Androgynous")—just because the gal can. A quarter-century after that RUNAWAYS show, memories of solo Jett’s iconoclastic "I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll" video from ’82 also dancing in my head alongside these brash new tunes, I remain in awe. Even when Jett purrs, she roars. It’s utterly inspiring. Some of us men do know, and the little girls, of course, definitely understand.

"Little" Steven Van Zant, Underground Garage
Primal Scream therapy.


low resolution image Not Enlargeable The new Primal Scream album, "Riot City Blues," is finally released stateside, and the band scores a very rare second "coolest song" nod with "Dolls." It may be even better than "Country Girl," but all I know is we're getting a lot of fabulous exactas from the veterans lately: "If It Takes a Life Time" and "Dream the Night Away" from Cheap Trick's "Rockford"; "Everyone Knows" and "Turn It Around" from JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS' "SINNER"; and "World Wide Suicide" and "Life Wasted" from Pearl Jam's "Pearl Jam." Some of their best work ever.

If you dug Primal Scream's fourth album "Give Out But Don't Give Up" from 1994, you're going to love this.

In addition to the two already classic tracks "Country Girl" and "Dolls," check out "Nitty Gritty," "99th Floor," "Hell's Comin' Down" and "Suicide Sally and Johnny Guitar."

This Week:

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