Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

July 2008 News

Page updated on July 31, 2008
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.

llinois State Fair offering Jett, pop, country, a little ZZ and more

low resolution image Not Enlargeable SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois State Fair has never lacked for big name, exciting entertainment - and 2008 is no different.

With genres ranging from country to pop, parody to hard edged rock, musical tunes, classical and good old rock 'n' roll, performers will fill the air with music in the capital city on dates from Aug. 8 to Aug. 17, on the Grandstand stage at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Fergie, aka. Stacy Ferguson, appears Friday, Aug. 8, with hits from "The Dutchess," her first solo album, like "London Bridge," "Fergalicious" and "Glamorous." "Big Girls Don't Cry," from the same album, was her first worldwide No. 1 single, and is her most successful to date, receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.


JOAN JETT's Favorite Albums of All-Time

low resolution image Not Enlargeable The New York Times once described JOAN JETT as "the godmother to female musicians with loud guitars and idealistic dreams." Three decades into her career, the ever-youthful Jett remains an inspiration for any girl-or guy-who possesses a passion for no-frills rock and roll. Not surprisingly, Jett's all-time favorite albums combine great songwriting with a sonic wallop.

Rolling Stones: Let It Bleed
"Pure organic sound, and attitude with great hooks."

Sex Pistols: Never Mind The Bollocks
"The greatest punk recording ever."


Yahoo Taping Rescheduled for August 12th

The Yahoo! Live Set taping has been postponed to August 12. Due to severe weather in the New York area and flight cancellations, the band was not able to fly to LA. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Love, Ken Laguna

Hagar defines party animal

low resolution image Not Enlargeable A true rock 'n' roll original roared and soared over Harris Park last night.

There are plenty of rockers who'll play London this year. There's only one JOAN JETT -- the terrific gender-bending U.S. rock star who can open a set with her own Bad Reputation and find her way into a sing-along version of glam rocker Gary Glitter's Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah) a few songs later.

"We're the BLACKHEARTS from New York City," Jett told the crowd on Day 2 of Rock the Park V in downtown London. "Don't be shy. We love the show-offs."

Jett isn't shy. She followed one of her new songs Naked, a "self-inquiry" anthem, with a blazing cover of Love is All Around, the cheerful theme from the old Mary Tyler Moore show.


Jett Fuel: An interview with JOAN JETT's long-time producer

JOAN JETT shows no fear voicing her opinions in her music.

She loves rock and roll. She doesn't give a damn about her reputation. But she hasn't given many interviews, and she still chooses to shy away from the media. Behind this rock legend, you'll find some real musical muscle.

Meet KENNY LAGUNA. His name might not be on the cover or in lights, but chances are you've heard his work. Often.


Attention Southern California JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS fans!

Attention Southern California JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS fans!! Want to be a part of an exclusive major internet event with JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS?

Yahoo! Music and BLACKHEART RECORDS want you to join us when JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS take the stage for Nissan Live Sets in West Los Angeles, CA.

July 28, 2008
7 pm (subject to change, you need to arrive two hours before)
Location: West Los Angeles

The first 200 fans to email us at will get in the doors for this exclusive taping. Plus you get to bring a friend. Just email us your name and your location, and we will contact you if you are chosen to attend.


You must be at least 13 years old to attend. Fans under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. You must provide your own transportation and accommodations (if necessary).

This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

This invitation is not transferable, without the express permission of Yahoo!. Yahoo! reserves the right to rescind any invitation, at any time, in its sole discretion.

JOAN JETT's dirty secrets

Click to enlarge You know JOAN JETT loves rock 'n' roll. You know she has a blackheart, or at least a band by that name. And you know she's worked her way into rock legend. But like all great performers, there's much you don't know about her. Lucky for you, Festiva is here to teach you more about one of rock's leading ladies.

JOAN JETT will perform with Def Leppard on July 30 at Dodge Arena. Check out this week's Festiva for more, only in Friday's The Monitor.


1. Joan ditched high school in the 11th grade. She traded reading, writing and arithmetic for rocking, rolling and er, rocking and rolling. Joan earned her GED on the road, and she's kept studying ever since, mostly advanced philosophy.

2. Joan has broken major showmanship ground. She ranks as the first artist to perform on stage with S & M garb, you know studs, leather and chains. The look has become standard for rock, punk and metal.


The Bitch Is Back

Ê Some 20 years ago, Southern rock band Molly Hatchet opened for punk pioneer JOAN JETT. Charming singer Danny Joe Brown "warmed up" the crowd with a little stage banter: "I can't believe we're playing before some bitch." Jett's road manager slammed the dirtbag against a wall and his own band soon canned him. Jett played on; it was the kind of sexist crap she had to put up with a lot as the rare woman on the hard rock circuit and it wasn't going to stop her. "You're living in the past/ It's a new generation," buddy.

Fast forward: On Saturday, July 12, Molly Hatchet opened for Jett again at the Riverfest in Beloit, Wisconsin. This time the night was all smiles. Jett stood on the stage overlooking the downtown Riverside Park while the Hatchet churned through their hits ("Flirting with Disaster," anyone?) in a comradely show of solidarity. Between the sets, guitarist Bobby Igram thanked Joan repeatedly for letting his band open for her. He even had an invite: Would Jett come on the Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute cruise with them in January? The tattooed love goddess was uncommittal. (Me, I'm getting my pitch together to cover what I'm sure will be an endless all-star "Freebird" jam.)

"She's O negative," Jett's longtime manager, producer, and sometime keyboardist KENNY LAGUNA said as we stood backstage and watched her watching Hatchet. "She can play before any crowd." It's true: Yes, it's somewhat disconcerting to watch a woman who's still crafting smart, timely, poignant anthems like "Five" and "Naked" having to trot out "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" on what's essentially an oldies ("classic rock") circuit. A week before the Beloit gig, I caught Jett at the Miccosukee Casino in Miami; there, the opening act was Foghat.


The Who Honored

Click to enlarge VH1 paid tribute to The Who on the weekend with the taping of an all-star show in Los Angeles.

The show featured appearances from David Duchovny, Sean Penn and Adam Sandler. In fact, Sandler sang `Magic Bus`.

Pearl Jam, Incubus, Flaming Lips and Foo Fighters performed the songs of The Who, then the band a 9-song set including `Won`t Get Fooled Again`, `Who Are You` and `My Generation`.

The special will be aired on VH1 and later released on DVD.

The set-list was:
Video Montage with comments from Cameron Crowe, JOAN JETT, Billy Bob Thornton, Conan O`Brien, Sting, Billy Idol and others


Rock N' Talk

low resolution image Not Enlargeable REUNION (#CI7016)

When the host of TV's "Rock 'n' Talk" is bludgeoned to death by a champagne bottle, Logan and Wheeler's investigation into the seamy music world involves Jordie Black, Wheeler's favorite rock star from high school, whose secret past pushes Wheeler's admiration to the brink.


Click here to view

JOAN JETT's longtime musical partner says rock is a struggle

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS are known for putting on a high-energy rocking performance, full of songs Jett has made rock standards.

There also is usually plenty of leather, tattoos and spiked hair.

Except, there is in the background - behind the keyboards - someone who even he himself admits doesn't quite fit the vision of rock/punk star. Resembling more Ben Stein than Sid Vicious, KENNY LAGUNA doesn't seem to mind not being in the spotlight.



low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS
Rib-Fest, Naperville
Saturday, July 5, 2008

At nearly 50, JOAN JETT can be considered a rock 'n' roll cougar.

Taking the stage at Naperville's Rib-Fest Saturday night, the gum-chewing, leather-clad rocker cranked out a P.G. show that touched on all the old standbys. Slipping in a few new songs and touting a new disc, SINNER, she generally looked like she was having a good time.

Playing before a mostly low-key suburban crowd isn't the rock tours of the '80s, but many there weren't even born when "I Love Rock 'N Roll" topped the charts in 1981. Saturday's crowd had the usual first couple of rows of hardcore fans. And yes, there was the representative group of black-leather bikers in bandannas to complement the BLACKHEARTS' dark garb. But the balance was a mix of blanket-lying, kid-towing, lawn-chair-sitting suburbanites munching on ribs.

For Jett, the bad-girl image of her screaming guitar while strutting on top of a bar is gone. When red Gatorade replaces the adult beverage of choice on stage, well, you know, it just doesn't look the same. Throughout the show, her guitar skills were never in question. The BLACKHEARTS did well to complement her, pounding out a live show that sounded as good as a studio album.

Lean and buffed, she has weathered the many years on the road just fine. In fact, cover up a few of the arm tats, toss on a pair of shorts, and I'd bet she could walk into any Starbucks in Naperville and blend right in.

Next Time on Criminal Intent

low resolution image Not Enlargeable When the host of TV's "Rock 'n' Talk" is bludgeoned to death by a champagne bottle, Logan and Wheeler's investigation into the seamy music world involves Jordie Black, Wheeler's favorite rock star from high school, whose secret past pushes Wheeler's admiration to the brink. Catch the premiere of "REUNION" this Sunday at 9/8C!

Law & Order Criminal Intent Episodes

Click to enlarge 'LAW & Order: Criminal Intent" is taking on the case of Linda Stein, the ex-Ramones manager-turned-realtor-to-the-stars who was murdered last October - complete with some rock star casting.

Here's the first look at rocker JOAN JETT playing (or playing dead) a former music-biz bigwig with Chris Noth - as Det. Mike Logan - at the scene. (Noth, who stars in the box-office smash "Sex & the City" movie, is keeping his day job and was working on the "L&O" series.)

In the show - as in real life - the dead woman's assistant is the leading suspect in the murder.

USA Sun, Jul 13 9:00 PM
USA Mon, Jul 14 12:00 AM

Episode Detail: Reunion - Law & Order: Criminal Intent
A former groupie who has her own television show is murdered, and the suspects include her assistant, her son, and a well-known musician and his wife. JOAN JETT guest stars.

DVD Reviews 'The Gits'

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Here is a three-word summary of how intense this documentary is: JOAN JETT cries. We don't exactly see her cry, of course-c'mon, she's JOAN JETT-but during her interview, she gets so choked up she has to stop for a moment, and seeing rock's tough girl overwhelmed by emotion and unable to speak somehow says it all. Mia Zapata was a tough girl, too, at least onstage and in her songs. As the interviews in this labor-of-love doc reveal, offstage the lead singer of the almost-famous punk band the Gits had a big heart and was known to be shy and reserved. The film's name is deceptive-it isn't really about the Gits, as a phenomenon or even as a band-as much as it's about Zapata and the people that she touched while she was alive. Besides being lumped in with the Seattle scene in the '90s, the Gits never got a chance to leave much of a mark. But by the time they were ready to release their second album, they had gotten a lot of attention for the band's fast-and-heavy punk sound and especially for Zapata's powerful voice and dark lyrics. Sadly, that's where Zapata's story becomes a true-crime story-she was raped and murdered in 1993-and director Kerri O'Kane lets the film follow down that path. The Gits becomes a mystery-who did it and why?-on the one hand, and on the other a chronicle of how her death tore the people around her apart. In a larger sense, it also tore apart the Northwest rock scene. O'Kane provides an unflinching look at the damage, as band members talk about hiring a P.I. to investigate their friends, and also explores how her friends and family tried to make something positive out of their anger, grief and fear. Anyone who doesn't know how this story turned out will be shocked and awed by the end, to be sure.

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