June 2007 News
Page updated on June 30, 2007
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A Salute to the USO
Monday, July 2 at 3 a.m. ET!
Hosted by Oliver North
In this special edition of "War Stories with Oliver North," come along for an insider’s tour of the historic USO (United Service Organizations). Go with Oliver North as he travels from Hollywood to Washington D.C. to the battle zones inside Iraq to bring you the USO in action. Up close and in person, you’ll hear stories from entertainers of all eras who have traveled to these dangerous areas for more than 60 years to give service and smiles to our troops.
You’ll see North talk with Hollywood icons and musical legends as Mickey Rooney, Johnny Grant, Connie Stevens, and Ann-Margret, Wayne Newton, Bo Derek and Bob Hope’s son, Tony, share their recollections of performing from steamy islands in the South Pacific to the jungles of Vietnam, to bases all over the world.
About the Show Oliver North's Bio E-mail the Show Fox News Channel Schedule Plus, acclaimed actor Gary Sinese sits down with North to share his pride in working with the USO since being inspired by the events of September 11, 2001.
We Do Love Rock and Roll
The ´70s and ´80s were a very fashionable time to be a parentless youth, especially if you were a little girl. Annie and Punky Brewster were amazingly strong fictitious kids who became our peer role models. They didn’t fear the government or social services; they didn’t conform with normal children standards; and they didn’t need their birth parents – just a loyal dog and some music. Then came JOAN JETT, and she was real. That’s when we all started growing up.
Her story was more sordid and sultry than anything Hollywood ever fed us; she caught her boyfriend cheating on her with her own mom and she ran away from home – no dog, just her guitar. Of course, her pseudo-adoptive family was as dysfunctional as everything she had run away from; her manager/eccentric father figure Kim Fowley dressed little Joan and friends up in more black leather and lace then you could find in any Frederick’s of Hollywood catalogue, and then fed them to swarms of hungry fans. And they rocked, oh, how they rocked. Soon JOAN JETT wasn’t just some kid who left a bad situation; she was touring the world, hanging out with The Damned, doin’ Blondie’s hair, and shimmying around from guitar to lead vocals to bass before it all dissolved. She didn’t need prom.
When the RUNAWAYS got too big to cuddle, Fowley went out for a carton of ciggies and didn’t return; that’s when Joan went solo. That’s when she rose to patron sainthood – or at least picture-in-the-locker-worthy status. Her songs were the rebellious anthems of our chrysalis into grown-upness, and, to top it off, she produced them on her own record label, Blackheart.
Best Angry Love Songs of All Time
You know these ones: The love songs that sound sweet but are dripping with sarcasm; the ones you’re listening to while you’re drunk-dialing your ex-girlfriend; the ones you put on that mixtape for the ex you’re not over. Here are five of our favorite angry love songs. What are yours?
REM - "The One I Love"
Bob Dylan - "Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright"
Leonard Cohen - "Famous Blue Raincoat"
Foreigner - "Urgent"
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS - "I Hate Myself For Loving You"
Rockin' the Jett Set
June 22, 2007 -- WELCOME to the great outdoors. If you're not subwaying to the Coney Island Mermaid Day Parade tomorrow, which officially kicks off summer, kick the season off unofficially with one of these outdoor concerts - all of them are absolutely FREE.
TONIGHT: Bluegrass greats Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys tear it up and down beneath the moonshine skies at Celebrate Brooklyn! at the Prospect Park Bandshell (Prospect Park West at Ninth Street, Park Slope;  855-7882; celebratebrooklyn.com). James Reams & the Barnstormers open.
TOMORROW: Brooklyn Borough Grandmaster Marty Markowitz has declared Saturday Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival Day for the third annual Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest. Ghostface, Consequence, Emily King, Dres, Ralph McDaniels and others take the stage at the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park (noon to 8 p.m.) in DUMBO. It's free, but you need a ticket, which can be e-mailed to you. Go to brooklynbodega.com for tickets and directions.
Rock ’n’ roll model
When JOAN JETT’s version of "I Love Rock ’n’ Roll" first assaulted the top 40, it was a breath of fresh air throughout the sodden pop world of 1982. But it was also a signal to women and girls that they could pick up guitars and blast away as loudly as any of the boys.
She wasn’t the first woman rocker of the era — Chrissie Hynde had been changing minds with The Pretenders, and the American New Wave scene was relatively equal-opportunity. And it wasn’t Jett’s recorded debut — she’d founded the all-female RUNAWAYS while still a teenager. But Jett’s pop visibility (the song was number one for eight weeks), uncompromising rock sound and attitude forced the discussion forward a few steps.
At 47, Jett’s an elder stateswoman of rock ’n’ roll, whose influence can be heard and felt throughout the music business. Not only has the road of every woman who’s picked up a guitar been made a little easier, but since the major record labels of the time wouldn’t put out her music, her hit singles ("I Love Rock ’n’ Roll," "Crimson and Clover," "Do You Wanna Touch Me") were all on her own BLACKHEART RECORDS label.
JOAN JETT Still Rocking After All These Years
from: Podcast Party
If you remember the song "I Love Rock and Roll," then you know JOAN JETT. What you may not know is that Jett is still rocking today, and touring, and recording, and she's sounding better than ever.
I've been a fan of hers since I got my copy of the "Bad Reputation" album when it came out in the '80s (on, um, cassette). I bought a few more of her albums, but never managed to see her in concert, though I wanted to.
Fast forward about 15 years, and it turns out she's playing an outdoor set for the runners in a race I'm running in, in New York's Central Park a couple of summers ago. Finally, my chance to see JOAN JETT, and she didn't disappoint. She and the BLACKHEARTS really DO love rock and roll, and even though us runners were sweating in shorts and t-shirts, there were JOAN JETT and her bandmates staying true to their punk roots, rocking out on stage in black leather pants.
I identify myself as a gay, Albanian-American, celebrity gossip columnist who is a native Bostonian and lives in Hollywood. This week, every story refers to one of those descriptors. It's like an embarrassment of riches — and I don't embarrass easily!
My fans frequently worry about my career. I can't tell you how many e-mails I get from people wondering why I'm not more famous — and often chastise my so-called "rivals." In the words of Maria Callas, "How can you have rivals when no one can do what you do?" While some poor, self-admitted fat pig was shivering in the darkened doorway of a closed coffee house, hijacking high-speed Internet to doodle on nude photos of Sharon Stone, yours truly was cavorting onstage with Miss Stone in front of over 10,000 people! But let's start at the beginning.
This week we celebrated Pride here in L.A. For hosts, the daytime shift had the hunky duo of Ben Patrick Johnson and Marcellas Reynolds. Then for the headliners, I swooped in along with Los Angeles's deluxe drag diva, Momma. We had a stellar line-up of talent filling both days, but the big name on Saturday was JOAN JETT. The only person I know who is a bigger JOAN JETT fan than moi is legendary purveyor of all things pornographic, Chi Chi La Rue. At the last minute, I thought it would be a special treat to bring Chi Chi onstage to introduce Joan. The Pride organizers thought it was a great idea, and when Joan arrived, she gave me the OK. When La Rue showed up backstage simply to watch the show, I thought she was going to hyperventilate. I've known Chi Chi for years and we've worked together on and off stage millions of times and I have never seen her tongue-tied. But La Rue is truly in awe of Jett and simply wanted everything to be perfect. I was glad to share this moment with her.
As Chi Chi greeted the crowd, I noticed a familiar blonde being escorted to the front section of the audience. Could it be? Was Sharon Stone actually there? And was she trying to just slip in unnoticed? With me onstage? Not likely! I grabbed that mike back and announced the presence of La Stone to the ear-piercing screams of the crowd. Sharon laughed with delight as she waved and blew me a kiss. When I asked how many millions she's raised for AIDS research, the paparazzi caught her trying to tell me the amount by holding up her hands — to which I said, "You gotta slow down, Stone, I don't have my abacus up here with me!"
Jett Blasts Jamboree
ELKO — JOAN JETT doesn’t care about her "bad reputation," and neither did the thousands who swarmed the downtown corridor Saturday night to catch the New York rocker’s free concert.
The champion of female rockers and vanguard of old-school punk rock kicked off her concert with "Bad Reputation" and promptly followed suit with "Cherry Bomb," a classic from her days as a teenager with the all-female group The RUNAWAYS.
As a testament to Jett’s crossover popularity, the crowd featured people from just about every walk of life imaginable. Even Crystal Theatre employees seated atop the theater’s overhang spelled out "We Love JOAN JETT" in large, black letters on the marquee.
Redwood Run rides again
from: times-standard.com (Times-Standard Online)
The 30th annual Redwood Run has now been entered into the history books and a great time was had by all. Motorcycle enthusiasts came from all over the country to join in the festivities this past weekend in Piercy. The sold-out event featured live music, spectacular custom motorcycles, great food and beverages and skill-based biker games.
The California Highway Patrol estimated that up to 7,000 motorcycles would be present on North Coast highways for the event. Using an extremely conservative value of $10,000 per bike, riders on an estimated 70 million dollars of rolling stock enjoyed the local area with associated positive economic impacts for local motels, restaurants and retail shops.
According to Internet research, 30th anniversaries are traditionally celebrated with the precious stone Diamond as a symbol. Modern lore recognizes the Pearl as a commemorative icon marking three decades. The Redwood Run offered up spectacular musical jewels in the form of performances by artists including JOAN JETT, Molly Hatchet, Gregg Allman and Joe Bonamassa among others. The magnificent natural setting of the site is a gem in its own right. Dramatic high rock cliffs along the Eel River form the backdrop for the stage. Crystal clear skies and redwoods frame the northern and southern boundaries and a large gently-sloped hill provides seating for attendees watching the show.
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS @ PrideFest
JOAN JETT is a lot of things to a lot of people—brilliant musician, sex object, rabble-rouser—but to thousands of fans at Sunday's PrideFest performance, she was also someone who understands the trials and tribulations of being openly gay in a culture that to this day doesn't fully accept it.
In between solid versions of classic JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS hits ("Crimson & Clover," "I Love Rock 'N' Roll") as well as a stunning cover of The Replacements' "Androgynous," the leather-clad, spiky black-haired, totally buff and much-tattooed rock icon poked sly fun at American politics and openly mocked the president, much to the glee of the rambunctious audience, who joined in to bash our current leader.
This should come as no surprise to those who've had the pleasure of listening to her latest CD, SINNER, which contains several politically charged tracks, including "Change the World" ("Now I see/ Disparity/ What needs to be /Hell it isn't charity/ It's time we stop all the fightin'/ Let's start today /Go find a way/ To change the World/ Gotta change the world/ Go change the world/ Gotta change the world").
LOUD & PROUD
Angelina Jolie usually tops the list, but when it comes to babes who get everybody hot (even straight gals and gay guys), there’s one raven-haired beauty with an even badder reputation: JOAN JETT. The original cherry bomb headlined last weekend’s Gay Pride Festival, and her hit-packed set saw swooning sisters and misters of all persuasions swarming around the stage, including none other than Sharon Stone. (Jett’s rumored GF Carmen Electra was nowhere in sight.) J.J.’s appeal is a combo of beauty, ballsy stance and, of course, that sexy rasp — though potty-mouthed Pride MC Chi Chi La Rue theorized it’s ’cause "her guitar is like a dick." The other hostess with the mostest, madam Momma, did a fine job filling the time between performances along with cohort Billy Masters, fawning over Stone ("You’re looking so butch in your vintage rock T-shirt! You are a goddess for all the money you’ve raised for AIDS!"), mocking tradition ("Aren’t we tired of the whole rainbow thing already? It’s so ’80s!") and perfectly encapsulating the WeHo happening’s familial vibe ("There were so many strollers out there today, it was like Disneyland!"). Make that Disneyland with drag queens and biker dykes. Speaking of which, despite Joanie’s charms, we were almost as enthralled by the burly leather-clad lez doing sign language onstage during the show. Not only did her hands do the talkin’, but her hips did too, especially during "Do Ya Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)?" Deaf interpretations were also a part of Berlin’s performance, which included unique covers of Marilyn Manson’s "Dope Show" and Donna Summer’s "I Feel Love." Of course, "Sex (I’m A)" made for a rousing climax.
JOAN JETT’s Radio Revolution
Sundays 9 pm ET
Every Sunday Night, rock and roll trailblazer JOAN JETT brings her Radio Revolution to Faction. Tune in for two hours with the First Lady of Faction – playing her music – telling her stories – and hanging with some friends made along the way as a Runaway, Blackheart and Warped Tour main stager.
Jett rides the nostalgia train into Pride Fest
Despite the black leather, swearing, drunken sing-a-longs, raunchy lyrics and all-around sassiness, there really weren't any surprises from JOAN JETT, who closed Pride Fest on Sunday night for a sparse but passionate crowd. At least from a distance, Jett looked and sounded much like the rocker I remember from two decades ago. (Might I add the 49-year-old looked phenomenal with a body that most 25-year-olds would die for. I'm signing up for Pilates immediately.)
Jett released a 15-song CD last year called "SINNER," and during Sunday night's show she belted out almost as many tracks from more-recent efforts as she did classic material. Interestingly, fans seemed responsive to her newer stuff, especially the song "AC/DC," but nothing compared to the explosive reactions during "Crimson and Clover," "Bad Reputation," "I Hate Myself for Loving You," "Cherry Bomb," "Do You Wanna Touch Me," and, of course, "I Love Rock 'n' Roll."
The highpoint of the show, however, was her rendition of "Love Is All Around," the theme song from the "Mary Tyler Moore" show. Personally, I still prefer Husker Du's cover of this tune, but it's always a treat to hear this song live. After all, who doesn't respond positively to the lyrics "You're gonna make it after all?"
The new tune "Change the World" was another great moment in the show, proving that, for the most part, Jett still has it. That said, some of her more-recent tracks have down-right laughable lyrics, like in the song Fetish that features the lines, "Pain turns to pleasure fast/Relax, while I pound your ass."
JOAN JETT: Back from the road to ruin
JOAN JETT at L.A. Pride Festival at West Hollywood Park
When the RUNAWAYS disbanded in 1979, singer-guitarist JOAN JETT was already considered washed up at the age of 19. Undeterred by the terminally sexist music industry and often-condescending media critics, she reinvented herself with a solo career that soon produced such classic anthems as "Bad Reputation" and "I Love Rock ’N Roll," which was a No. 1 hit in 1982. With a sound that draws equally on glitter, punk and bubblegum, her music attracts an unusually diverse range of fans. Like Cheap Trick, she has the ability to cross over into the mainstream without being considered a sellout. How many other rock stars would have been hip (and prescient) enough to produce the Germs’ G.I. album in 1979 and star alongside Michael J. Fox in the 1987 film Light of Day — without losing her credibility? Her 2006 CD, SINNER, is a typically unpretentious affair with no-nonsense rockers like "Naked" and a juiced-up cover of Sweet’s "A.C.D.C.," and she opens up her big, bad black heart with a touching version of the Replacements’ ode to freaks of all genders, "Androgynous," the perfect theme song for this weekend festival. Sunday’s lineup includes Jett’s thrilling new pop-punk protégées Girl in a Coma. 647 N. San Vicente Blvd., W. Hlywd. www.lapride.org. (Falling James)
Also playing Saturday:
U.S. BOMBS, JAMES INTVELD, JAKE LA BOTZ at Queen Mary; ONESIDEZERO, VOKEE at El Rey Theatre; O’JAYS at Greek Theatre; CHANNEL 3, SMOGTOWN at Blue Cafe; LOS LOBOS at the Canyon; JON BRION at Largo; GHOST MACHINISTS, KIND HEARTS & CORONETS, 8-BIT at Mr. T’s Bowl; SUKI EWERS, BEDROOM WALLS at Pehrspace; YOHIMBE BROTHERS at Temple Bar; BEN VAUGHN'S DESERT CLASSIC at Brennan’s Pub.
JOAN JETT, Kenny Wayne Shepherd top lineup for Detroit International River Days
Rockers JOAN JETT, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Dickey Betts will lead the music action at the inaugural Detroit International River Days, organizers announced today.
Those performers are among nearly 70 local and national acts lined up to perform on three stages at the event, which runs June 22 through 27 to celebrate the opening of the newest portion of Detroit’s riverfront promenade.
Also billed on the EDS main stage are R&B acts Angie Stone and the Ohio Players, along with Detroit regulars such as the Twistin’ Tarantulas and the Orbitsuns.
Big names center stage at PrideFest:
Khan, Griffin, Jett stepping up to festival mics
With its finances on an even keel, PrideFest is now poised to take its place as one of the biggest gay pride festivals in the nation.
The festival has increased its entertainment budget by 50% this year, with name headliners on each of its three nights: comic Kathy Griffin on Friday, Chaka Khan on Saturday and JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS on Sunday.
"There are over 50 Pride Festivals in the U.S.," says David Charpentier, PrideFest's entertainment director. "This year, we're able to claim that we have the largest entertainment lineup.
"We've now surpassed Los Angeles and New York. For example, L.A. Pride's major headliner is JOAN JETT and the Black Hearts. . . . Not only do we have JOAN JETT, we also have Chaka Khan and Kathy Griffin."
The increased emphasis on national acts is part of a deliberate choice by PrideFest, which drew 23,839 people last year, according to festival organizers.
"By diversifying and increasing the size of our entertainment, we branched out to having more crossover appeal to everyone," Charpentier says.
The turn toward bigger names has been building for a while. Last year the festival brought in comedian Margaret Cho. Other previous headliners have included En Vogue, Taylor Dayne, Sophie B. Hawkins and RuPaul.
"We're getting to the point of true legends," Charpentier says of Khan. "She's won eight Grammy awards. She appeals to everyone whether gay, straight, white or black, young or old. . . . She's coming out with a new album that's produced by Janet Jackson's producer."
Confessions of a Jett Groupie
Last week the island enjoyed it's first full week of warmish weather of the year. Finally summer is about to arrive. Also last week I managed to score a CD that I have been looking for ever since I lost my copy. With the disc and the warm weather I couldn't help but revisit one homercat's most enjoyable summers. 1983, the year this album originally came out. Homercat had just finished college and had entered that mythical land of legal drinking age. Still working a common labour job and not exactly ready to grow up just yet. I hung out with a core group of friends, that remain to this day the best friends I ever had. Keggers, lawn dart tourneys, trying to decide on which concert we were going to see next. MTV still showed music videos and we would watch it incessantly.
That was the year JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS released Album. Simple cover, Joan with her Gibson in mid jump against a yellow background wearing rec converse runners. I was already a huge fan from her Runaway days and prior two albums. I bought this album the week it came out and was amazed at how good it was. On this her third album the stylistic reference point is early-Seventies Rolling Stones, as evinced by the chugging rhythm-guitar hooks of "Secret Love" and "Coney Island Whitefish" or the punchy horn charts that top "The French Song" and "Handyman." We found out Joan was going to tour that summer behind the album and I was on board. Much to our surprise she was hitting many towns in our area. Meaning within a 2 hour drive to be more precise.
So that summer we managed to catch six different shows and each one was better than the one before. Three of those shows homercat managed to get in the front row, as all the shows we attended were outdoor shows with festival seating. The very first one we went to we were first in line at the gates and waited hours for the gates to open. As the time approached for the gates to open, we were literally being crushed against the gates as people kept trying to surge forward. After all this was every man for himself as soon as the gates opened. When they finally opened I ran like a man possessed to secure my front row spot. It was an insane thing to witness and be a part of and almost scary. I think it was the third show when I swear I actually made eye contact with her and screamed out, I love You Joan. To this day I still say she smiled straight at me when I screamed that. Who knows if she really did or not. All in all it was a great summer following Joan around.
JOAN JETT @ Primm Valley Resort, NV
Star of the Desert Arena – Primm, Nevada – The Star of the Desert Arena, located in Primm, Nevada, was the stage for JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS. Outside of the arena, it was a typical hot, summer day in Nevada and the heat followed to the inside once JOAN JETT took the stage. As she walked on stage with her charming, confident smile, Joan began preparing herself and the band with her usual queue choice of music, letting the crowd know the show was about to start.
The set opened with a few old favorites; "Bad Reputation", "Cherry Bomb" and "Light of Day", as fans made their way towards the stage for a better view. As I was scanning the audience, I could see people singing and dancing along with the music, embracing every word, and based on Joan's facial expressions, she was accomplishing her goal in getting the most out of the audience. The crowd's age group ranged from early teens to senior citizens. There was even a young lady present that could have been JOAN JETT's twin back in the day.
The band kept the crowd hopping as they segued into hits like "Do You Want to Touch Me" and gained a more personal touch with songs like "Naked", "Fetish" and "Riddles". There were a few moments when Joan gave the crowd some insight regarding how some of the songs came about. In doing so, essentially becoming personal with the crowd and letting them know she was human and no stranger to the deep thoughts all of us are vulnerable to from time to time.
Of course the performance included some of the most well known hits of the 80's - "I Love Rock n' Roll" and "Crimson and Clover". I must say the sound system in this venue contributed very well to Ms. Jett's distinctive voice. There was no over-powering bass or to much on the high end that throws the crowd off from hearing the real music.
Approaching the encore, JOAN JETT ended with "I Hate Myself for Loving You". Immediately following, the crowd began chanting and stomping the floor asking for more, while roadies rushed to the stage to ensure all the instruments were in tune for the climax of the show. Just a few moments into the break, the band took to the stage for the encore. The encore began with "A.C.D.C." and finished with "Wild One" and you could feel the energy the crowd was projecting onto the stage. In conclusion, Joan signaled the crowd the end has come by holding her guitar high up in the air. She gratefully thanked the audience and humbly exited the stage.
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