Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

Novemember 2007 News

Page updated on Novemember 30, 2007
All news is attributed to the source from which it was received so that readers may judge the validity of the statements for themselves.

Have Joan Jett news to report? Email us at, and please include the source of the information so it can be validated.

CB Top 5: Chick Lead Singers

Let’s face it: most female-fronted bands are goofy novelty acts, skanking it up for the crowd in the hopes it will somehow increase their artistic credibility. Unfortunately for these talentless teeny-boppers, the internet has made porn way to accessible to warrant shelling out twenty dollars for concert tickets just to see choreographed, sensual dancing. But all is not lost. Over the last fifty years, a select group of ladies have roped in music fans with their beautiful voices and go-to-hell attitudes. It’s about time they got their due.

In an effort to pinpoint the five best, I humorously locked all my writers in a dank storage room, blasting Yoko Ono noise pieces ad nauseam to speed up the process. One of the prisoners, err writers, hung himself after a particularly heinous Ono scream, but the remaining five escaped with their lives and an above-average list. Here’s what they came up with.

Cinema Blend Top 5: Chick Lead Singers
Nikki Pierce:Philadelphia born JOAN JETT packed a punch of spunk and attitude in her music, and she might as well have been the sister of the Ramones. Her voice may not have been particularly melodic, but that wasn’t the point. Punk was more than just the music: it was the style, the attitude, and the confidence, all of which JOAN JETT embodied in her vocals, leather pants and signature white Gibson Melody Maker. "Bad Reputation" is one of my all time favorite songs. Even now, it is so refreshing to hear a female vocal, just as raw and "punk" as the boys in the game, over tracks that were so crudely and fundamentally punk. The chords are simple, as they are with most hardcore punk songs, but the message comes clear, it comes hard, and it comes straightforward—just like Jett herself.

Mack Rawden: JOAN JETT is not the blushing, virginal wife-to-be. She’s the dangerous bridesmaid confidently grinning in the corner, the one you pounded whiskey shots with before escorting her to the men’s room for raunchy, bruising sex. She’s not going to call you back, but she will continue to ravish your seedy wet dreams. For the last twenty years, the vixen with the bad reputation has been thrashing out punk classics with her husky, menacing snarl. I was fortunate enough to catch a live show a few years back. Clad in little more than seducing black leather pants and a bra, she punish-fucked the entire crowd for over an hour before throwing her guitar down and exiting to a standing ovation. And you thought Lemmy was a badass.


Queen of noise

While her friends were into the Osmonds, JOAN JETT was strumming along to T Rex. When a woman plays rock'n'roll, she owns her sexuality, she tells Laura Barton. Perhaps that's why male critics find her so scary.

As the lift ascends to the third floor of the Brighton Centre, its passengers stand in companionable silence: Lemmy in an open-necked shirt, clutching a copy of Ian Rankin's Exit Music, and behind him the tiny frame of JOAN JETT, her eyes painted in iridescent wings of colour. Jett is halfway through a UK tour, sharing the bill with Motorhead and Alice Cooper. It is, one gathers, something of a reunion: she has known Lemmy since 1976, when she was 16 and her first band, The RUNAWAYS, opened for Motörhead in London. "It was a time," Jett explains throatily, "when we may have been more notorious than famous."

The name of JOAN JETT has long been tinged with notoriety; the original female rocker, she has not only enjoyed a successful career with hits such as I Love Rock'n'Roll, Crimson and Clover and Bad Reputation, earning herself a place in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists of all time - one of only two women to make the list - but she has also been an inspiration to generations of female musicians, from the riot grrrl movement of the early 90s to Britney Spears, who covered I Love Rock'n'Roll in 2002, and now to the cluster of female fans who wait, flushed-faced, to meet her this evening in Brighton. In 1976, however, the notoriety stemmed from little more than "being teenage girls playing rock'n'roll - because in those days, and even now, it's not really the norm, I suppose." She sniffs. "It seemed pretty normal to me, but girls playing rock'n'roll was pushing the boundaries."


Birmingham Gig Guide - News and Reviews
from: Birmingham Gig Guide

The one to really get excited about though is JOAN JETT who's not toured here in like forever. Former singer with The RUNAWAYS, she's only ever had one UK hit. But then that was with the enduring anthem I Love Rock n Roll, more than enough to keep her name well above the rock waters. And it's not like that's all she has to offer. Her versions of Crimson and Clover, Have You Ever Seen The Rain, Do You Wanna Touch Me and Everyday People are solid power-pop rock while it's always been a travesty that Bad Reputation was never a world conquering hit.

She's over with her band The BLACKHEARTS touting recent-ish album SINNER, still on gun-slinging ringing guitar form belting out self-penned blood surging, beat crunching, dance friendly punky pop rock swaggers like the politically biting Riddles, Everyone Knows, Change The World , the infectiously catchy A 100 Feet Away and a stonking cover of Sweet's AC DC. Jett doesn't get anywhere near acclaim she deserves for either her music or the influence she's had on the history of female rock, so it's about time you got down there and showed some respect. 7.30pm. £32.50.


JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS are among the February concerts at Casino Rama, Sun Media has learned before today's official announcement. Tickets for the following go on sale Nov. 13 at the Casino Rama box office, Ticketmaster, by calling 416-870-8000 or online at There is also a limited number of advance tickets on sale for Players Passport Club Members starting Nov. 11 at noon at the Rama box office: America, Feb. 1-2 ($25,$30); JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, Feb. 8-9 ($20,$25); Miranda Lambert, Feb. 14 ($25, $35); Roch Voisine, Feb. 15-16 ($35,$40); Ring of Fire -- The Music of Johnny Cash, Feb. 21-23 ($25,$30).

JOAN JETT still loves rock’n’roll but it’s not a cause she’s ever going to give up her life – or her dignity

KENNY LAGUNA, an affable fiftysomething with hair like spun sugar and the air of a man who has been around the music business just a tad too long, has a theory about why JOAN JETT isn’t the global rock superstar she once looked like being. "It's a game," he suggests, "that Joan doesn’t know how to play." Beside him on the sofa, the 49-year-old singer and guitarist he has managed and produced for a quarter of a century puts it more succinctly. "I don’t kiss the ring," she says.

Jett is famous primarily for two things: she helped found the LA all-girl punk band the RUNAWAYS in 1975, co-writing their biggest song, Cherry Bomb. And in 1982, with her new group, the BLACKHEARTS, she had an international No 1 hit with I Love Rock’n’Roll, going on to sell 10m copies of the album of the same name.

In America, she tours almost constantly, to a fan base made up equally of people who have been with her from the early days and newer converts turned on by the props given to her pioneering work by acts – the Distillers, Juliette and the Licks, the Donnas – who arrived in her wake.


Alice Cooper - Motorhead - JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS

Click to enlarge Sheffield Arena, Sheffield on Tuesday 6 November 2007 Who better to start tonight’s triple bill of rock greats than JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS. Looking very well for 49, we are treated to ‘I Hate Myself For loving You’ and ‘Naked’ from the album of the same name. Her raspy voice covers the whole arena, and you can imagine many of the rockers eyes (male and female) are on her short - haired and leather clad look.

Near the end we are treated to ‘I Love Rock And Roll’, as lets face it, a lot of people who have not been long time fans are here for the hits from the three acts. The crowd have their hands in the air performing big claps as Jett bounces around the stage and does not show any signs of slowing down to match her age; she’s rocking like she’s back in The RUNAWAYS.

Motorhead start on a dimly lit stage, and to be fair the sound quality is very muffled; it is quite impossible to hear what is being said or sang (Lemmy asking if people would like the music turning up does not really help the clarity of sound). Now I love it loud (you’re talking to someone who has spent an entire gig a metre away from Dinosaur Jr’s speakers, unaided by earplugs. Erm, don’t try this at home) but if it compromises the sound across a huge space the size of this arena, is it worth it? The band are quite static on stage, with Lemmy doing his usual thing of singing upwards into his downwards facing microphone.

Tracks tonight that stand out are ‘Killers’ from ‘Inferno’, ‘I Got Mine’, ‘In the Name Of Tragedy’, 'Going to Brazil’ and the long winded but true title ‘Just Cos You Got The Power, Don’t Mean You Have The Right’. Lemmy mentions something about William Shakespeare and the fact that most of us were not around when 1983’s ‘Another Perfect Day’ was released.

Both Guitarist Phil Campbell and drummer Mickey Dee have a chance to show off their musician skills, with Campbell driving his guitar sound in just about every track and Dee pounding the living crap out of the drum kit for a good ten minute solo treat, after which he jokingly slumps forward with his head hitting the drum in front of him.


Classic Rock Roll of Honor

Click to enlarge American singer JOAN JETT and Lemmy attend
the Third Annual Classic Rock Roll of Honor at
The Landmark Hotel, London. Monday Nov 5, 2007.

JOAN JETT talks about what she's learned and where she's headed.

Q. You initiated the idea of the independent artist by starting your own label to release your albums.
We had to create BLACKHEART RECORDS or we wouldn't have had anything out. Now we own the rights to our music, and I think people see the benefit in that. A lot of artists are trying to go that route.

Q. How do you write your songs?
In a couple of different ways. Once in a blue, blue moon, everything happens at once: You get the lyrics and the melody and you come out with a song almost completed. But that doesn't usually happen for me. I write a lot of riffs and melodies, and I'll get ideas for song titles, and I'll sort of put them together. I can't plan it; I can't say, "Okay, today at two o'clock I'm going to sit down and write for a couple of hours." I'm more impulsive.



JOAN JETT started her career in the first all-girl rock group The RUNAWAYS and wrote their big hit Cherry Bomb. As a solo artist, she scored a global hit with I Love Rock 'n' Roll, before setting up her own Blackheart label. She has been linked with actress Carmen Electra by the tabloids. Jett starts a British tour on Sunday with Motörhead and Alice Cooper.

You’re doing gigs with Alice Cooper and Motörhead. Are you pals with them?
Yeah, I played with them both in the 1980s. Opening for Motörhead was the very first tour I did, back when I was in The RUNAWAYS. They helped me out and lent me equipment for when I did a solo tour. It’ll be good to come back to Britain – I haven’t played there for a long time.

Why have you had more success in America than Britain?
It boils down to label support. We've tried to go our own way with our own label, Blackheart, which is distributed by other labels in the US but I guess it's a different situation in the UK. We'll have the record out when we get there for the tour which is exciting.

What did you think of the stories alleging that you were having a lesbian fling with Carmen Electra?
I understand why they started because it’s a titillating idea but it was all sparked off because she appeared in the video for my cover of The Sweet’s song AC/DC. Obviously, people are going to jump on that. Carmen’s a really wonderful person so I don’t mind people making jokes or speculating about that.

Suzi Quatro says you ripped her act off. What do you make of that?
Then I suppose The Stones ripped off Chuck Berry and so on and so forth. She inspired me. I was a big fan of Suzi when I was 14. I went and stood in a hotel lobby to try to get an autograph. I was petrified. She came down, looked at me, made a face and walked on by. I remembered that for the rest of my life. I thought: ‘If I become famous, I’ll never do that to a fan.’ If I notice someone in a lobby looking shy but it is obvious that they want to talk, I’ll ask if they want a picture. Maybe Suzi’s just bitter. She should be happy she inspired someone. I added to what she did. I wrote my songs. When she had her success, she was completely contrived.

What were the highlights of life in The RUNAWAYS?
The whole three-and-a-half years were great. It was such an actionpacked time. Every day, something crazy happened. We knew we could only be The RUNAWAYS for so long, while we were all still teenagers. I enjoyed it all but I know some of the other girls found it stressful.

After a gig in Glasgow, there was a riot. The fire brigade had to turn the hoses on the kids who’d come to see us

This Week:

No shows scheduled this week.

Click on the LIVE DATES link for upcoming shows

Item Of The Month:
 Click To Order

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional
© Blackheart Records and All Rights Reserved.