Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

Novemember 2006 News

Page updated on Novemember 30, 2006
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JOAN JETT still loves rock 'n' roll

As a rock n’ roll trailblazer and inspiration to punk rockers, riot grrrls and female rockers alike, JOAN JETT’s aggressively tuneful brand of pop-punk has proven defiantly resistant to trends. Her new album, the critically acclaimed SINNER, is her first collection of new songs in 12 years (delayed by management shuffles at Warner Bros., some of the tracks were previously released on the 2004 Japanese import Naked).

Produced by longtime creative partner KENNY LAGUNA, ex-keyboardist with Tommy James And The Shondells, whose production credits include The Ohio Express, Dave Edmunds, Bill Medley, Jonathan Richman, and Bow Wow Wow, SINNER reveals the enduring magic of a partnership that began during the breakup of The RUNAWAYS, the hard-rocking all-girl band Jett formed at 15. As Laguna told Goldmine, audiences at the time weren’t exactly receptive to the concept.

"She was surprised by the resistance and the ridicule. There were people that were offended by what they were trying to do, to take territory that was really reserved for the boys." Laguna met Jett to compose songs for a film project The RUNAWAYS had been slated to do. When the other group members bowed out, Jett fulfilled the commitment.


I'm Your Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch Cherry Bomb.

Click to enlarge
In the interest of full disclosure, we admit that when we were offered the chance to see JOAN JETT's show Saturday night at Atlantic City's House of Blues, we clapped our hands, jumped up and down, and made noises similar to those a thirteen-year-old girl might make when stumbling upon a treasure trove of shirtless Orlando Bloom pictures. In short, we may have been instantaneously transformed from a serious and rational person into a squealing fangirl. We are not ashamed to admit this, because we admit this about JOAN JETT, and JOAN JETT is roughly sixteen different kinds of awesome. (We say roughly because we are unsure what your individual kinds of awesome might be. JOAN JETT averages between twelve and thirty different kinds of awesome, depending on the sliding scale currently in use in your neck of the woods.)

We were not disappointed in her show.

From the opening notes of 'Bad Reputation' to the closing chords of Sly and the Family Stone's 'Everyday People', Joan put on a fantastic show. A significant portion of the set was devoted, as should be expected, to songs off of her new album SINNER (her first all-new material album in almost a decade).


The Roxy - 11/18/2006


Click to enlarge Rock critic Dave Marsh has referred to JOAN JETT as "the female Chuck Berry," and I suppose that description is as apt as any. Having broken down barriers both musically and sexually, she's a pioneer, innovator, and bona fide rock legend. And, like Berry, is sadly thought by many to be an oldies act. More respected than commercially viable, she fights to remain relevant to a crowd who may just want to hear "I Love Rock 'N' Roll." But one thing she's got on Chuck (besides thirty years) is a compelling and fierce live show that should shut the mouths of any doubters in attendance. Joan and her band, drummer THOMMY PRICE, guitarist DOUGIE NEEDLES, and bassist Enzo Penizzotto, stood in classic rock poses as a curtain opened to the familiar chords of "Bad Reputation." Dressed in a tight, shiny black vest, covered in tattoos and with short, choppy black hair, Jett is the picture of cool and rebellion. She's lean and muscular, and looks better at 46 than you do at, well, whatever age you are.

What I love about a JOAN JETT show is how all-inclusive it is. It's one big punk 'n' glam hootenanny. Joan may be the living, breathing embodiment of the grand idea that is rock 'n' roll, but hey, she's no snob. Everyone is welcome, and she seems to appeal to all types. Look around and you'll see parents with small children on their shoulders, gay and lesbian couples, old rock dudes, rednecks and informed Bitch readers. And just look at her repertoire. While I am certainly not downplaying her originals, she has had big hits with cover songs by artists as diverse as Gary Glitter ("Do You Wanna Touch Me? (Oh Yeah!)"), Sly and The Family Stone ("Everyday People"), and Tommy James and The Shondells ("Crimson and Clover"), all of which she performed. She even does a revved-up version of "Love Is All Around," the theme song to Mary Tyler Moore. Seeing her live is a pop culture refresher course.

All of her big hits were represented. If you came to the show wanting to hear a specific song, there's a good chance she played it. Along with the solid winners mentioned above, there was "Light of Day," "I Hate Myself for Loving You," the RUNAWAYS classic "Cherry Bomb," and, of course, "I Love Rock 'N' Roll" (which, I suppose it should be noted, is a song by the British band The Arrows). She didn't play "Fake Friends," but why quibble?


JOAN JETT concert last night. When punk goes mainstream

I attended a JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS concert last night at the Orange Peel. A friend of mine got a pair of tickets as a gift from the Asheville Citizen-Times since she purchases print advertising for her company, and the AC-T wanted to make a good impression as they rolled out their new tabloid "Take 5".

JOAN JETT is a woman who dresses in fetish leather, wears porn-star eyeliner, spits on stage and belts out lyrics like: "A.C. D.C. She's got some other lover as well as me."

Yet she still has cross-over appeal to conservative business-types, frat puds and middle-aged moms who think they are still cool.



Before I get to the good part, let me tell you how I found out about the concert.

A few weeks ago at school, my friends and I were sitting in the cafeteria, packing up for the end of the lunch period. Lauren waited until the others had left, then she asked me what I was doing the day after Thanksgiving. I said that I didn't have plans, and she tells me, "You're going to a JOAN JETT concert." I kissed her, I really did. I absolutely could not believe it. JOAN JETT is only the greatest chick rocker who ever lived.

The only problem was that the concert was at Northern Lights, a 21 and over club. We had to find someone to take us. But being ecstatic teenage girls, we took it for granted that we would be able to go. Pretty soon it's the day before Thanksgiving and Lauren tells me that we can't go. Her parents wouldn't take us, our friend Sam's parents wouldn't take us, my dad DEFINITELY wouldn't take us, and my mom was going out of town. "If I was going to be in town, it wouldn't be a problem," my mom said. Way to make it all better.


First lady of punk can still rock with the best....As hot and sexy as ever

It's hard to believe but it has been over thirty years since JOAN JETT first hit the music scene with The RUNAWAYS in 1975. At 46 Joan is every bit as hot and sexy as the young girl who stole the hearts of many a teenage boy including myself, in the late seventies and early eighties. If you don't believe me be sure to check out her website and watch a couple of her latest videos. I'll take Joan over Britney and Jessica any day.

The trademark voice is still in tact as well as for the most part, her longtime band The BLACKHEARTS. Veteran BLACKHEARTS KENNY LAGUNA Enzo Penizziotto and THOMMY PRICE return for this album. Joining them on lead guitar is DOUGIE NEEDLES of the New York punk band Public Offenders.

For the most part, 'SINNER' is vintage Joan. She manages to stay true to her roots with an album of pop punk ballads that do a good job at staying current and fresh while maintaining her trademark style. A good example of this is the opening track, "Riddles" where Joan takes a stab at George W Bush and Donanld Rumsfeld complete with sound bytes. Other stand out tracks on the album with a modern feel include 'ACDC' and 'Fetish'. Songs that remind us the most of early Joan are 'Naked' and 'everyone Knows'.


Sound and the Fury

Former San Antonio filmmaker Jim Mendiola has always been preoccupied with punk rock and South Texas culture, and he puts both of those obsessions to use on the pilot episode of Jammin, a planned music-documentary series on Sí TV, an English-language, Latino-oriented cable network.

Mendiola, who now lives in Los Angeles, devotes the pilot to San Antonio trio Girl in a Coma, and he does a masterful job of finding the compelling personal dramas that inform the band's work. The documentary tells the story of Phanie Diaz and Jenn Avala, junior-high classmates who bonded over their love of Nirvana and became determined to form a band. After a few years of struggling, both were stunned when Phanie's younger sister Nina, only 12 at the time, played them one of her original compositions and revealed herself to have a gorgeous voice and a distinctive writing style.

Mendiola's film explores the deep but tempestuous bond between Phanie (drums) and Jenn (bass). They seem to get on each other's nerves constantly, but remain resolute in their shared goal and loyalty to each other. Nina emerges as the group's detached, introspective visionary, the center of the band's creativity, but the most elusive personality. The Jammin pilot also features some hilarious moments with Ricky Valdez, the band members' roommate, who demonstrates some of his esoteric fighting techniques.


A blistering set from JOAN JETT

CLIFTON PARK -- JOAN JETT started rocking when she was a teenager back in the '70s. And she hasn't stopped.

At 47, Jett continues to grind out the same kind of blistering, gritty, distortion-ripped rock 'n' roll that she's been kicking out since she recorded "Cherry Bomb" as co-founder of seminal '70s female act The RUNAWAYS.

Even though she hasn't had a hit in years (she scored back in 1990), Jett's bad reputation still precedes her, as it did on Friday night at Northern Lights. About 1,000 rabid JOAN JETT fans, many of them female and some of them sporting jet black hair and really red lipstick, sang along to the hits and impressed Jett with their spunk because they didn't wait for her to invite them to join in.


JOAN JETT brings new songs and a few classics to the House of Blues

JOAN JETT began her career in the mid 1970s in the all-girl rock band, the RUNAWAYS. In the 1980s she had a string of hits including "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," "I Hate Myself for Loving You" and "Bad Reputation" with JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS. She is a businesswoman who started her own record label, BLACKHEART RECORDS, and she is a rock 'n' roll icon who has influenced and opened the doors for countless musicians, male and female. With her new album, SINNER, Jett remains true to her original rock style. She recently spoke to AC Weekly about the album and what we can expect at her House of Blues show on Saturday, Nov. 25. There is no doubt that JOAN JETT still loves rock 'n' roll.

AC Weekly: Do you still love being on the road?
Well, let's just say it's interesting. It's intense and it beats you up a lot. After a while, the novelty of traveling in a bus kind of wears off. You just have to enjoy what you're doing.

ACW: You have a fantastic new album. Why did you call it SINNER?
A couple of reasons. The climate of our country … made me start thinking about sinners and morality. One person's morality and another person's might be drastically different. I started thinking about judgment and how a lot of people might judge me by the way I look and the way I act. Also, a lot of religions, the way they define the word sinner — it's a lot of human traits. To be a sinner is to embrace being human. And I just think it's a strong word. I don't mind being called a sinner.



I remember when the original Rock 105 hit the air years and years ago. They went from an easy-listening station to a rock station, much in the vein of WKRP in Cincinnati. When they changed formats, they played I Love Rock N Roll" by JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS for 24 hours straight. I used to love that song – until then.

The former singer for the RUNAWAYS Jett split form her bandmates to go in a more "punk" direction with the BLACKHEARTS. During the ‘80s she cluttered the rock charts with a number of songs such as the one mentioned above as well as "I Hate Myself For Loving You", and "Do You Wanna Touch Me", just to name a few.

The somewhat butch rocker fell off the planet in the ‘90s and remained a footnote or trivia answer for many… until now.


Long live the Queen
With a new album, Jett expresses her enduring love for rock 'n' roll


"I love rock 'n' roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock 'n' roll
So come and take your time and dance with me"

She has played "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" at every concert she's performed since the song became a No. 1 hit (and bona fide rock anthem classic) in 1981, and JOAN JETT still loves rock 'n' roll.

This year, the veteran rocker who helped break down the rock 'n' roll gender barriers pumped out a new CD, "SINNER" (her first in seven years), and hit the road for the summer as the headlining act on the annual Warped Tour, sharing the stage with musicians less than half her age. And the Queen of Punk and Rock is still out on the road, rumbling into Northern Lights in Clifton Park on Friday night with her longtime band, the BLACKHEARTS.

"I had so much fun on the Warped Tour," Jett exclaims. "I mean, I knew I was going to have fun, but it was even better than I imagined. It was everything that I thought it was going to be -- and more.


The Longest Running Event In Philadelphia Radio History

Click to enlarge Johnny O and the Classic Dogs of Love

Plus Special Musical Guest

To Get Free Tickets Send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope now to:
DeBella DeBall
One Bala Plaza
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

- Tickets are on a first come, first serve basis.
- Attendees must be 21 or older.

Frequently Asked DeBall Questions:
Do men HAVE to wear a tuxedo?
A tux is not required. But most guys do wear them. Others just wear suits.


Sandy West Memorial Tribute Concert

Click to enlarge Location:: The Knitting Factory, Hollywood, CA
7021 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90028
Date:: December 9th, 2006
Cost: $10.00 and all proceeds go to The Sandy West Foundation
Buy Tickets Online or see about other purchase options.

Join us at The Knitting Factory in Los Angeles for a rockin' Tribute to Sandy West, for being the best female drummer in rock 'n' roll history. We love you and we miss you!

Also Performing: Cherie Currie (The RUNAWAYS) with Jake Hays, The Donnas, Ian Mitchell (Bay City Rollers), Athens, The Street Walkin' Cheetahs, D.H. Peligro (Dead Kennedys) and Craig Else, Michael Des Barres, Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot), Vinnie and Carmine Appice, Rhino Bucket, The Adolescents, The Start, Diane Katz, and many more!

Bad reputation: JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS bring it to The Orange Peel

JOAN JETT has earned her hard-won reputation as a trailblazing pioneer in the world of rock ‘n’ roll. She penned her first song, "Cherry Bomb," at the tender age of 15. She was the first woman to start her own record label, BLACKHEART RECORDS. Her unapologetic sneer, throaty roar and tough-as-nails presence have inspired legions of punk-rock girls to take up the guitar and play it loud. She’s also one of the few women in rock who have enjoyed career longevity in a music industry that emphasizes youth over experience.

With the release of her newest recording, "SINNER," Jett is back, and she’s as much a rebel as ever. The Citizen-Times caught up with JOAN JETT by phone from the road recently to talk about "SINNER" and about Jett’s upcoming show at The Orange Peel with her band the BLACKHEARTS.

Laura Blackley: What’s the inspiration behind the material on your newest recording, "SINNER?"
I just wanted to get my songs out there — that’s what I do, I make music. I’m really proud of the material on "SINNER." It’s representative of what I do, what the fans expect. It’s straight-up rock ‘n’ roll that touches on a lot of relationship stuff — love, sex, politics, spirituality ... those are difficult subjects.


I love rock n' roll, JOAN JETT style
Legend comes to the Gypsy Tea Room


JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS took the stage with a loud roar Monday night at Dallas' Gypsy Tea Room.

Two bands opened for Jett, The Riverboat Gamblers and Eagles of Death Metal.

But even in between sets the crowd was going wild for Jett before they were even on stage. When they stepped out to perform the fans pushed and shoved to make their way to the front.


Steady as she goes.... JOAN JETT has always loved rock 'n' roll -- and always will

JOAN JETT is rockin' and rollin', at least it sounds that way over her crackly cell phone. It sounds like she's rockin' and rollin' all over the back of a car, as she's headed out of Manhattan on a hurried, bumpy ride to the airport. But Jett's pounded a few rocky roads while blazing on a relatively straight line.

"I think I've been really consistent and not varied that much, and some criticize me for it," Jett says during our brief conversation. "I like three-chord progressions ... to me it's freedom to follow this path. I like rock 'n' roll -- which is different from 'rock' -- and I think it implies sexuality. I've always been more on the sexy than cerebral side, though with this record lyrically we've gotten broader."

It seems like a fine distinction, thin as an apostrophe, that separates the rock and the roll. But to Jett -- and many cultural, nay, rock critics -- it's a point to strangulate almost as fervently as a punk does a guitar neck. "Rock 'n' roll" has electric blues, boogie-woogie and jump bands as its precursors -- acts as immediate as the gospel choirs that once sang of boats rockin' and rollin' on the way to the Lord. "Rock" of the '60s and especially '70s, however, lost some of that raw R&B momentum to exploring tricks in recording studios. Jett, for one, has never hesitated to take it back to the essence. Since 1976 she has belted live and direct numbers for audience after audience.


JOAN JETT's heart bleeds for her country
Timely lyrics keep new album from turning into a retro-rocket


Rocker JOAN JETT, whose numerous chart-topping rock anthems will forever inspire fist-pumping sing-alongs and underwhelming drunken karaoke routines, is feeling political. On SINNER, her first studio album in more than a decade, Jett gets away from the jukebox and shimmies onto her soapbox, aiming her signature power chords at the current administration.

"I think what we're trying to say," offers Jett over the phone (in a voice so raspy and weathered that I thought I'd been put through to Joan Rivers by accident.), "is [that we're] noticing what's going on in our country and I'm wondering, does anyone else see it or am I crazy? That's really all I'm trying to ask."

It's been more than 30 years since the iconic singer and guitar player (now 47) began her career with teenage girl group the RUNAWAYS. She went on to form her own group, the BLACKHEARTS, and pen a number of hits that are still smeared across the pop-culture landscape like so much black eyeliner. Fans will be screaming along with lines like "I love rock 'n' roll, so put another dime in the jukebox baby!" long after anyone still remembers jukeboxes (or, at the very least, that they ever took dimes). She's kept busy, playing and putting out albums pretty consistently for the past 20-odd years: Jett and the BLACKHEARTS' appeal reaches everyone from leather-jacket clad punk rockers (she just finished a two-month stint with the Warped Tour) to troops in Afghanistan (where she performed with nothing but a guitar and battery-powered amp).


JOAN JETT hasn't forsaken her punk rock past

It's hard to write about JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS' show and not use an expletive. She's one of the few remaining figures in rock 'n' roll who inspire cursing, spitting and heavy bourbon drinking.

From the opening chords of her seminal anthem Bad Reputation on Monday, the 46-year-old Jett had the rowdy Gypsy Tea Room crowd in the palm of her hand.

Channeling her punk rock past, Jett stuck to the punchy numbers, with tracks such as the old RUNAWAYS tune Cherry Bomb and the crowd singalong Do You Wanna Touch Me? (Oh Yeah!).


Defying years, Jett keeps the volume high
She blows an amp but not her fuse at Gypsy Tea Room


Click to enlarge At first, JOAN JETT makes everyone around her feel old.

The 48-year-old queen of punk rock looked half her age during her 80-minute set with the BLACKHEARTS on Monday at the Gypsy Tea Room's Ballroom. She has better muscle tone than the average high-school athlete. Despite her years and diminutive stature, she stomps, paces and pogos around the stage with the grace and confidence of an ebony panther.

Though most of her major hits are a generation old now – squarely classic-rock territory, a fact reflected by the audience's relatively advanced mean age – her new material is as polished and well-written as her age-defining hits.


Sandy West: Public Memorial Celebration

Location:: The Knitting Factory, Hollywood, CA
7021 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90028
Date:: December 9th, 2006
Cost: $10.00 and all proceeds go to The Sandy West Foundation

Join us at The Knitting Factory in Los Angeles for a rockin' Tribute to Sandy West, for being the best female drummer in rock 'n' roll history. We love you and we miss you!

Also Performing: Cherie Currie (The RUNAWAYS) with Jake Hays, Ian Mitchell (Bay City Rollers), Athens, The Street Walkin' Cheetahs, D.H. Peligro (Dead Kennedys) and Craig Else, Michael Des Barres, Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot), Vinnie and Carmine Appice, Rhino Bucket, The Adolescents, The Start, Diane Katz, and many more!

East Coast punk hits HOB:
Eagles of Death Metal, Throw Rag open for Jett's fierce concert


Click to enlarge A package of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll was delivered to the House of Blues on Monday, exciting hundreds of anxious, screaming, sweating fans. The concert featured the legendary JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, the raw-to-the-bone rock 'n' roll quartet Eagles of Death Metal and the Southern California rockabilly heroes Throw Rag.

As always, Throw Rag sped through a tight set featuring the Mick Jagger-meets-GG Allin stage antics of lead singer Captain Sean Doe.

However, the show truly started when the members of Eagles of Death Metal pranced onto the stage as the giant curtain opened. Launching into "Don't Speak (I Came to Make a BANG!)," a powerful gem off its latest album, Eagles of Death Metal immediately captured the rowdy crowd with its stage presence.


JOAN JETT plays to Tempe crowd

Considered by most critics and fans to be the queen of punk rock, and coming off a succesfull stint as a headliner on the Warped Tour earlier this year, it was expected that rock legend JOAN JETT and her band The BLACKHEARTS would easily fill the 1,000-capacity Marquee Theatre in Tempe Saturday night, but fewer than 600 fans came out to witness Jett's 90-minute set.

Jett, dressed in black leather pants and a black leather vest that showed off her many tattoos, started the set with her classic "Bad Reputation," which became the theme song for the cult TV classic "Freaks and Geeks," with The BLACKHEARTS, a group of 20-something guys, ably backing Jett with vicious power-chord licks.

Jett ripped out such hits as "Cherry Bomb" by her old band, the RUNAWAYS -- the all-female punk group she helped found as a teenager in the mid-70s -- and "Light of Day," the title title tune from the mid-'80s film co-starring Jett and Michael J. Fox.


Interview: JOAN JETT, The Return of a Rock ’n Roll Icon

With more than 25 years in the spotlight, musically and personally, JOAN JETT is more than comfortable in her own skin. "I know my strength," she shares, "and that’s just being me."

Indeed, this summer’s SINNER, Jett’s first domestic release in nearly a decade, has the rock icon’s signature stamped all over it. She refuses to rest on the laurels of such hits as "I Love Rock’n Roll," which topped charts for eight amazing weeks in 1982 and pushed her record of the same name to sales in excess of 10 million copies worldwide. Still, writing another smash of that caliber for this album was not Jett’s top priority.

"If we have another hit, great," says the singer, who has scored no less than nine Top 10 singles over the last quarter-century. "If not, we go out, play and do the best we can. I just hope fans are as excited about this record as I am."


No diva here – JOAN JETT just keeps rocking

JOAN JETT has always led a punk lifestyle.

Now 47, Jett started making music when she was 15. She was the first female rocker to launch her own record label and paved a path for bands like Bikini Kill, Le Tigre and Sleater-Kinney and now scouts young bands to help get them started.

Jett, who plays the House of Blues downtown on Monday, talked from her beachside home in Long Beach, N.Y. about today's music business.


JOAN JETT loses her voice but not her mystique


W.W.J.J.D.?What Would JOAN JETT Do? The question at hand appears on the T-shirt of a young guitarist for the all-female punk rock group the Applicators during yet another late-night, sweat-filled practice session in a small storage center in South Austin. For her, and countless others around the world, JOAN JETT is more than just an extraordinary musician. She is punk rock, an iconic symbol of female empowerment and liberation from male patriarchy. She is a timeless, sexual siren?the feminine mystique. She is an inspiration. She is god.

However, the question "What Would JOAN JETT Do?" becomes more confusing when it's not Jett who answers the question but her longtime manager?and writing and producing partner?KENNY LAGUNA. Such was the case on a recent phone interview for which Jett's voice was conveniently "gone." This led to Laguna, who was supposed to read Jett's typed responses to the questions, answering both for and as JOAN JETT. After 25 minutes, there was no distinction possible between the two separate entities: the musician and the manager, the artist and the art, the product from the machine.

Instead, Laguna, as he has done for more than 25 years now, attempted to sell the ideology and legacy surrounding JOAN JETT. In regard to performing for a younger generation at this past summer's Warped Tour, he replied: "Joan's younger than people think. You just think she's older because she's been around for so long, but the first time you heard of JOAN JETT she was 15." Right, and now she's 46, old enough to be the mother of most kids at a summer festival.


Stubb's, Tuesday, Nov 14


JOAN JETT is still a badass. The 48-year-old has managed to outlast many of her male punk counterparts, look good doing it, and still put out viable albums. SINNER, Jett’s first since Clinton was president, finds her hellbent for leather pants, with muscle from longtime band the BLACKHEARTS. Is she still pissed? Just drive through "Riddles," and order three-chord punk with a side of political doublespeak.

"I wanted to write about things other than relationships, falling in love, falling out of love," Jett explains in her New Yawk drawl. "And ‘Riddles’ didn’t even have to be manufactured; it’s just about what America’s become. It’s about the way this administration has used language to distort. It’s we the people, right? They should be speaking to us straight about what’s going on."

The band’s stint on this summer’s Warped Tour paired them with other politically minded bands, but politics aren’t the only thing on Joan’s mind. Many of SINNER’s tracks are directed at gender and sexuality. Since her time in the seminal all-girl RUNAWAYS, sexuality has been read between the lines, from "Cherry Bomb" to "I Hate Myself for Loving You." Covers of the Sweet’s glam "A.C.D.C." and the Replacements’ "Androgynous" give SINNER a confessional balance.
"They felt provocative," Jett says. "They got me thinking about gender roles and how everything is just so rigid. I like being a woman, but I don’t like the roles. I’m much more comfortable sliding down the middle."
With the mass production of "What Would JOAN JETT Do?" T-shirts, it’s loud and clear that her blackhearted rock has been embraced by younger sinners. The recent passing of RUNAWAYS drummer Sandy West finds Jett suitably reflective on her scope of influence. "I think about [us] getting thrown out of Disneyland, arrested in England," Jett says of her friend. "What’s been great is the outpouring. I was flipping through Time magazine, and there she is in the obituaries. Time fucking magazine."

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.

  • A $5.00 flat fee for shipping on orders of any size in the USA.
  • Foreign orders will be charged all necessary airmail fees.
  • Shipping is done via USPS Priority or Airmail for international.
  • CREDIT CARD, PAYPAL, and MONEY ORDER payments welcome.
  • Sale Merchandise is non-refundable.
Visit the Merchandise site at

The bitch is back

IT'S GONE -- AT LEAST THE SINGING PART. JOAN JETT's voice has always had a healthy rasp, making her sound equal parts Marilyn Monroe and revving monster truck. But now it's just a whimper. She talks in hushed tones. On stage she tries to power through -- and it works most of the time. Fans expect Jett to sing like a biker bitch ready to throw down. And she can still pull that off. But there's always been a subtle seductress side to Jett -- the bad girl you want to follow to hell. That, for the moment, has vanished.

"In the last week my voice has just disappeared," she says in a gargled whisper. "I just don't know what happened."

Part of it has to be her current schedule. Jett is in the middle of a massive push, the kind she hasn't seen in more than a decade. Every day she's on a plane. Last night she was in San Francisco, took the red eye home to New York to check on the friends and the financial folks, and soon will be back on a plane to L.A. It's enough to decimate anyone's vocal cords -- even without the daily regiment of singing/screaming.


Three Questions with JOAN JETT

You're sometimes referred to as the Godmother of Punk. Did the younger acts on this year's Warped Tour treat you with a sort of motherly respect?
Everybody was great to us. They were really respectful in a way, I guess you could say, but it didn't come off that way. That's not how I interpreted it. It was more like a great camaraderie between the bands. A lot of people were interested in certain aspects of my history, whether it was with The RUNAWAYS or me working with other bands like The Germs or Bikini Kill. We had a great rapport with the other bands, and the audiences treated us great, and hopefully we created some new fans. Certainly a lot of kids were unfamiliar with us, so it was pretty cool to turn 'em on to stuff.

SINNER is your first U.S.-released album of new material in 12 years. Why such a long gap?
Believe me, it felt right for a long time to get something out. We just weren't able to do it. We were on Warner Bros., and they kept changing administrations. Every time a new guy would come in, he'd want to be involved, so we wound up making a bunch of different records, which was frustrating. I got to a point where I wanted to put my head down and go out on the road for a while. But we had upwards of 30 or 40 songs recorded, and a couple years ago we took a listen to everything to see what still felt valid. I kept seven of the songs for this record, and I kept writing and came up with the rest. We've gotten mostly great reviews, and the fans seem to like it a lot. And it feels good to me to have something new out, like we've got a reason to be on the road.

Pat Benatar told me she hates having to perform "Hit With Me Your Best Shot," but Cyndi Lauper still enjoys doing "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." Where do you come down with "I Love Rock 'N Roll"?
I still love to do it, but I had to make peace with that whole thing years ago. You get to a point where people think of you as that song. Initially I was a little frustrated with it. But then the bigness of the song set in when I saw it listed at No. 28 of all time on Billboard. And you say, "Am I gonna resent this? The fact that I was involved with one of the biggest records of all time? I'm blessed to have been part of this." So now I embrace it, and I get off on it, and I don't resent it one bit.

JOAN JETT's Guitarist: 'Never Take Anything For Granted'
from: ultimate-guitar

low resolution image Not Enlargeable The original Riot Grrl herself, and to many the godmother of punk, JOAN JETT continues to fly the flag for punk rockers everywhere as is evident on her recently released studio outing SINNER.
v Though the bulk of the album appears on Jett’s Japanese-only 2004 release Naked, many of the tracks have been given a makeup and re-recorded for SINNER which is also Jett’s first full length album of all new material, U.S wise, in over a decade. While Jett does a superb job of holding fort on SINNER, much of the super-charged six-string rawness is down to Blackheart guitarist DOUGIE NEEDLES whose passion for punk extends well beyond his work with Jett.

His own band The Public Offenders also serve up a healthy dose of old school New York punk. For Needles, living and breathing punk is the order of the day. Joe Matera recently caught up with DOUGIE NEEDLES for this exclusive interview for UG to talk about SINNER, working with Jett and the simplicity of punk.

Ultimate-Guitar: How did you come to hook up with JOAN JETT?
I was working at S.I.R. in NYC and a friend I worked with was Dee Dee Ramone's guitar tech. Joan was playing a gig in Long Island where Dee Dee came up to play a song. My friend found out that night that Joan was looking for a guitar player. He gave out my number and I got a call a few days later to audition. They advised me by saying, ‘better learn two songs really good than three songs half-assed’. And then added ‘Oh and she doesn’t like any of that Eddie Van Halen shit!’ And I was like, ‘you know, I grew up learning these [Jett] songs’. So I pretty much knew the whole thing. It was a great audition as I ended up playing the whole set.


JOAN JETT wants "a fair shot" for SINNER


It's the Fourth of July at Cricket Pavilion, and kids wearing tee shirts that pledge their allegiance to every band from Anti-Flag to Less Than Jake are pressed against a makeshift stage at this year's local Warped Tour stop to see a star their parents may, in fact, have pressed against a stage to see when they were kids. She even opens with a song they more than likely would've heard that night, "Bad Reputation," its "Blitzkrieg Bop"-on-Jolt guitar riff bashed out with a recklessness that says, "This song was punk before you kids were born."

By the time she takes the mic for a well-received opening sneer of "I don't give a damn 'bout my reputation," it couldn't be more obvious that this is where JOAN JETT belongs, despite those seven weeks she spent at No. 1 with "I Love Rock N' Roll," or the fact that she once played a bandmate of Michael J. Fox's in a pretty bad movie.

As Jett says, "That's the kind of music I grew up with, spiritually and musically, that sort of punk-rock, do-it-yourself aesthetic."



On a night that featured Motley Crue and Aerosmith co-headlining the Hollywood Bowl, the legendary New York Dolls in a theater performance a few blocks away, and reggae/jungle/dub innovator Lee "Scratch" Perry also performing on the fabled Sunset Strip, few would have predicted under-the-radar icon JOAN JETT (tickets | music) to steal the evening's headlines.

But by the time the dust settled on her 75-minute performance at the Music Box Tuesday night (11/7), few in the near-capacity crowd could argue that they'd have rather been elsewhere.

Yes, on a night that featured industry heavyweights, trend-setting originators and genre-shaping innovators, it was a former Runaway with a solo career driven by cover songs that stole the spotlight, proving that all the hype, history and hoopla in the world is no substitute for the visceral throb and raw power of time-honored and true rock and roll. JOAN JETT is the real deal, and her 17-song set drove the point home with little room for debate.


JOAN JETT, tough girl? No, animal lover, vegetarian

On tour promoting her latest album, "SINNER," JOAN JETT is rushing through (what else?) an airport when she phones for a quick interview on the eve of her recent fortysomething birthday. "Sorry," the Philadelphia native says after a brief interruption. "I'm checking my bags and I'm getting hassled." Since her teens in the late-1970s all-girl rock band the RUNAWAYS, hassles have threatened to clip Jett's wings. Initially dismissed as a novelty act in the macho world of rock 'n' roll, Jett proved to be tougher than leather as she overcame the naysayers to become a legend with classic 1980s hit songs and MTV videos. Backed by her bad-boy band, the BLACKHEARTS, Jett is an inspiration and the undisputed queen of sneering punk 'n' roll.

XL: Tell us something about yourself that contradicts your tough image.
JOAN JETT: Wow! You'd have to hang out with me (to know). I love animals. I like to read. I think people tend to think I'm mean because of the image, but that's the biggest misconception. I'm not unapproachable.

Your new single, "A.C.D.C." is a re-make of an old Sweet song. Why did you choose it as the single and how did you get Carmen Electra to star in the video?
When I was 15 years old, I used to go to this disco where they played glitter music, so I was aware of the song long ago. It's provocative and I thought it would be fun to do. I happened to meet Carmen at a gig and I heard she was a fan. She's so unaffected by her fame. She's perfect (for the video) because she's beautiful and she's edgy, so we gave it a shot.

Your best-known song is another cover from a little-known band called the Arrows. How did you discover "I Love Rock 'n' Roll"?
The RUNAWAYS were on tour in England and I heard that song. It was the B-side of an Arrows' single. Nobody was paying attention to it, so I thought the RUNAWAYS should do it. None of the girls liked it, so I just held onto it until I had a chance to do it with the BLACKHEARTS. It certainly wasn't an instant hit. It took awhile because I had a lot of resistance from the industry and radio.


Don’t judge the Jett
Joan’s ‘Bad Reputation’ is all wrong


A line in JOAN JETT’s hit version of "I Love Rock and Roll" asks the listener to "put another dime in the jukebox, baby." That line alone points to the fact that Jett has been around a long time. What will a dime buy you these days?

The BLACKHEARTS have been playing together since 1981 and the song was actually written in 1975 by a band called The Arrows. Longevity aside, Jett is as viable today as ever and makes a stop at Northern Lights on Friday November 24th. She will be performing from her new album, SINNER, her first in a decade. I caught JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS at the New York State Fair in late August. The band had just finished a headlining slot on the Vans Warped Tour and the State Fair show was one of the best rock concerts I’ve ever been to. JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS are garage rock at its pinnacle. They are tight. If you get the chance, I’d recommend you check out this iconic band.

Jett has belted out some of the most anthemic songs in rock and roll history. Her scratchy, almost erotic voice and distorted guitar riffs have kept her music just outside of "pop" circles and just the right distance from "mainstream." Her outspoken attitude has landed her a punk persona, which has been evident since her days in the all-female band, The RUNAWAYS.


Doing Her Part to Change The World

Click to enlarge Without question, JOAN JETT is an institution. Joan holds the 87th spot on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of ALL Time and #7 on AOL’s list of Women Who Rock. JOAN JETT is a genuine rock and roll icon who broke down musical and sexual barriers by co-founding The Runaway’s in 1975 with Sandy West, Joan’s beloved friend who recently lost her battle with lung cancer. BLACKHEART RECORDS web site states her feelings best: We are deeply saddened by the loss of our good friend Sandy West. She was an incredible drummer and a kind soul. She will be missed. "I started The RUNAWAYS with Sandy West. We shared the dream of girls playing rock n' roll. Sandy was an exuberant and powerful drummer. So underrated, was the caliber of John Bonham. I am overcome from the loss of my friend. I always told her, we changed the world."-JOAN JETT

After the RUNAWAYS disbanded, Joan rocked everyone’s world with multiple Top 40 hit singles and eight Platinum and Gold LPs. Hits such as "I Love Rock ‘N Roll", "Do You Wanna Touch Me", "Crimson and Clover" are songs that are easily identifiable as Jett. Joan has starred in movies, on Broadway, and is as vibrant today as she was in the 80’s. Joan also hosts "JOAN JETT's Radio Revolution" on Little Steven's Sirius Satellite Radio's Underground Garage.

After seeing JOAN JETT perform this summer on the Warped tour, and again in Cincinnati, OH and getting a chance to meet her backstage before her show at Bogart’s, it’s more than evident that Joan is playing at the top of her game. She looks fantastic, she sounds as good or better than she did in the 80’s, and it’s obvious that she’s extremely comfortable in her own skin. Joan remains on tour through early December so there’s still time to catch her in action.


Jett still breaking barriers
Seminal female artist keeps rock rollin'


It might have seemed incongruous when JOAN JETT recorded "Love Is All Around," the theme from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." But nothing could have been more appropriate. Just as Mary politely cracked the glass ceiling of the newsroom, Jett smashed through music industry doors, paving the way for every woman rocker who's emerged in the past three decades.

In the '70s, at age 15, Jett took off with the all-girl band the RUNAWAYS. "Part of what we wanted to do was to inspire other girls to be what they wanted to be," Jett says. "If it's a musician, great. But if it's a nuclear physicist, that's great, too. Girls have very few life choices that people support. When they try to do other things, people look sideways at them. It's not just music where women have a tough time.

" Fiercely loyal and ferociously independent, Jett seems capable of meeting any challenge. Rock 'n' roll pours from every pore ... the throbbing, driving, grab-you-by-the-throat gutsy kind of rock. It's at the core of her very being.



- "Ladies & gentlemen, reaquaint yourselves with JOAN JETT, feminist icon, DIY-rock pioneer and ass-kicking rock goddess. Joan is back with a stellar new cd, "SINNER." (Dan Nailen, Salt Lake Citry Tribune)

- "SINNER" is one of the best and most ferocious pop-punk albums of the year! (Jim DeRogatis, Chicago Sun Times)

- "She's amazing. Not only is her set rad, she's really cool. For someone like JOAN JETT to be out here, she's on a BMX bike and she’s going around saying 'hi' to everybody, and I saw her playing baseball the other day -- she's totally down-to-earth and cool and ready to hang out. She's punker than anybody out here." (Tim McIlrath of Rise Against)



With her signature raspy vocals over distorted guitar riffs and rock beats, JOAN JETT hasn't changed much over the years - but that's not a bad things.

Her latest album, "SINNER," comes across as a polished Courtney Love - not quite alternative, not drug-fueled, slightly raunchy, just enough rock.

The album, her eleventh and first in more than a decade, starts off with the pop-rock, "Riddles." While it may sound pop, it also has a deeper political message aimed at our current government.


Sat Nov 4
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS with Eagles of Death Metal


low resolution image Not Enlargeable Schedule Location Date and Time

1805 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94115 map
cross street: Fillmore
district: Japantown/Fillmore
Sat Nov 4 (9pm)

*QUEEN OF ROCK: * If punk and every girl rocker have a godmother, Joan Jett is it. She exploded onto the scene in the late '70s with her all girl outfit The RUNAWAYS, formed her own record label in the early '80s, has a more than legit claim as a recording superstar, discovered and produced bands and records for years, hit Broadway, gained international acclaim and still finds the time to pick up her guitar and rock the hell out of any stage she comes across. JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS--some 23 years after recording "I Love Rock 'N Roll"--just got off a summer stint headlining the Vans Warped Tour and keeps right on cruising the tour circuit for her latest release, SINNER, with the Eagles of Death Metal and Throw Rag in tow.


JOAN JETT and band inspire generations of fans at 9:30 Club

low resolution image Not Enlargeable It seems nowadays that every band has to have a certain "rock label" attached to it: punk, pop, metal, hard-core, post-hard-core, indie, emo, screamo, etc.

It's difficult to find a band that is still around today about which you can simply say, "That's a rock 'n' roll band." Thankfully, JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS are here to let us know that rock 'n' roll still exists and is still going strong.

On Oct. 17, Jett and company played to a nearly sold-out crowd at the 9:30 Club. As anticipation built up in the crowd waiting for The BLACKHEARTS to play, people started to get restless. While everybody was busy setting up the equipment and getting the previous band's equipment off, the crowd was left to stand alone watching and waiting.


JOAN JETT (the original Tegan & Sara?)

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS at the Henry Fonda Theater

Indestructible rock & roll gladiatrix JOAN JETT has been hitting it for over three decades, yet everything she does still delivers that perfected mix of big,dirty guitar, throaty passion and gutter-tutored volatility — and if it’s a case of arrested development, we should all be so gloriously dysfunctional. Making a very rare visit to her boulevard of very bad memories (just the manner in which she pronounces "Hollywood" sounds as if there were a turd upon her tongue), Jett and her trusty BLACKHEARTS, with bitchen, long-overdue new album SINNER in tow (sample lyric: "relax/while I pound your ass"), shall doubtless do magnificent battle, a skirmish certain also to be colored by the recent tragic loss of former bandmate Sandy West. Vulnerable, vicious and certifiably brilliant, JOAN JETT remains an incomparable force.

Goodnight, Drummer Girl
Sandy West, RIP


low resolution image Not Enlargeable West was ''exuberant and powerful,'' said JOAN JETT. Sandy West, the formidable drummer whose taut, brawny traps work propelled mid-’70s all-grrl phenom the RUNAWAYS to dizzying heights, died on Saturday, October 21, from lung cancer. West was only 47 years old, and it’s a damn shame, in part because West’s work was so grossly underrated by the many who reserved the RUNAWAYS little more than scorn. Plagued by the perpetual, misogynistic chicks-can’t-really-rock syndrome, the RUNAWAYS were an exceptional torpedo to that tired hulk, and West herself represented perhaps its most convincing refutation, because she didn’t do anything but just-fucking-straight-ahead rock it.

A Southern California beach girl with a legitimate rock & roll fetish, she had begun playing Zeppelin and Sabbath covers at age 13 with an otherwise all-male garage band on the numbingly active teenage kegger circuit. A chance 1975 meeting with Strip Svengali Kim Fowley at the Rainbow changed all that; bear in mind that West was just 15, one of an army of local hip chicks who thought nothing of hitchhiking dozens of miles to dig in at Rodney’s English Disco or the Starwood (spots full of the quasi-Humbertish likes of Bingenheimer and Fowley, trolling for teen thrillers who might be able to jump-start a new scene). After Fowley led her to JOAN JETT, the earliest incarnation of the RUNAWAYS was born. While Fowley was bent on exploiting a weird national obsession with redefining the teenage girl (a Zeitgeist that also involved Suzi Quatro, Tanya Tucker, Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver and Brooke Shields in Pretty Baby), Jett and West were downright serious bad-ass rockers. Once Lita Ford and Cherie Currie got into it, there was no stopping them.

Even as punk rock set out to murder rock & roll, the RUNAWAYS jolted it back into life, treading the mainstream’s shadowy borderline with gorgeous abandon and a set list bristling with undeniable killers: "Cherry Bomb," "I Love Playing With Fire," "Getting Hot," "You Drive Me Wild" and dozens more. The band faced stacks of dismissive crap that tagged them an annoying novelty or, as Trouser Press’ Ira Robbins sniffed, "a fake rebel band"; but, as West told a Metal Maidens interviewer in 2000, "The musicianship was so good and so powerful, I never worried about that." The RUNAWAYS refused to break stride, and began burning down houses around the world, gaining a rabid international following even as Fowley’s under-my-thumb methodology grew heavier and more debilitating. Through all the insults, postshow adolescent high-jinks and foul drama, West sat back on the riser and drove the damn thing with a muscular, metronomic brilliance worthy of the best male rocker. "An exuberant and powerful drummer," JOAN JETT said, "so underrated, she was the caliber of John Bonham." While West did lead her own mid-’80s band for a time, her brief, almost incalculably influential work with the RUNAWAYS guarantees her well-deserved immortality.

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