Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

August 2008 News

Page updated on August 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.

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Show Date: August 10, 2008
Location: Springfield, Illinois, U.S.A.
Venue: Illinois State Fairgrounds Grandstand

Be still my heart - JOAN JETT looks amazingly sexy for almost 50 years old.

I certainly don't hate myself for loving her because the opening act performance exhibited by JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS seemed more like that of a headliner.

All of my life I have wanted to see Huey Lewis And The News live. Laugh all you want fellow sleazeroxxers, but it's true. As ingrained with Heavy Metal D.N.A as I am, there has just always been something about Huey that appeals to me. Maybe he appeals to me because that's in fact what Huey Lewis And The News offers - mass appeal. In the great decade known as the 80's it didn't matter if you were 4 or 40; Huey Lewis' infectious pop hits appealed to everyone despite your age. And why shouldn't they be enjoyed by everyone? Songs like The "Power Of Love", "Hip To Be Square", and "Heart Of Rock N Roll" had an old school rock and roll vibe updated with the pop hysteria of the 80's.



low resolution image Not Enlargeable Niagara Falls, NY - Veteran rocker JOAN JETT played a free outdoor concert outside the Seneca Niagara Casino to a crowd who were very familiar with this punk/pop legend's material. Joan, who will be turning 50 in September, played like a woman half her age as she dished out classics, "Bad Reputation," "Light of Day," and the Tommy James and the Shondells original, "Crimson and Clover" that Joan has made famous on her own level. Joan is known for playing a Gibson guitar, but left it behind to sing "Androgynous," a cut off her latest CD, "SINNER."

JoanÕs band consisted of drummer THOMMY PRICE, lead guitarist DOUGIE NEEDLES, and bass player Enzo. Half way through their set I was thinking that Enzo seemed less than thrilled to be there. All of a sudden, a birthday cake was brought out and given to him as it was his birthday. Hell, if it was my birthday, maybe I would have wanted to be somewhere else too! Well duty called and the band did sound great minus some sound difficulties here and there.ÊJoan looked amazing and her voice has held steady after all of these years. She put on a great show even though she had a double dose of shows at 4pm and 8pm the next day at the Syracuse State Fair. Joan will be releasing a new greatest hits CD including a couple of new tracks sometime this fall.

We would like to thank Susan Blond Inc. and BLACKHEART RECORDS for the privilege to cover this show. For more info on Joan, go to For those Joan fans who can't get enough of her, a couple of years ago we sat down with Joan's long time collaborator KENNY LAGUNA.

Jett Screamer, Take Two

low resolution image Not Enlargeable State Troopers weren't wearing those orange earplugs for the Chevy Court's previous tenants, Asleep at the Wheel and the Spinners, but they sure needed them when JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS blew the roof off the joint (metaphorically speaking, given the arenaÕs open-air status) during the band's two sets on Aug. 23.

A touch of deja vu permeated the twin concerts. When Jett last performed at Chevy Court in August 2006 she was promoting a new release titled SINNER (Blackheart) and zipped through her show in about 50 minutesÑand the 2008 edition pretty much adhered to the same playlist, running time and SINNER plugs. Yet Jett appeared way more charged than she did two years earlier, when she performed in front of an afternoon audience of listless zombies.

Maybe her energy was derived from a backstage drive-by with the entourage of Sen. Chuck Schumer, who later strolled Chevy Court's perimeter as he gladhanded visitors while pitching a possible dream teaming of the Syracuse Chiefs and the New York Mets. Or perhaps it was the excitable crowd of perhaps 8,000 to 10,000 afternoon fairgoers who spilled across the courtÕs grassy field. At one point Jett peered into the sea of humanity and, bowled over by their rapturous reaction, uttered a simple "Wow!"


Jett's specialty honest rock 'n' roll

low resolution image Not Enlargeable What: JOAN JETT in concert.
When: Saturday afternoon.
Where: Chevrolet Court.
Crowd: 8,000 (estimated).
Times of performance: 45 minutes.

JOAN JETT gave the overstuffed crowd at Chevrolet Court exactly what they wanted.

The Sen. Chuck Schumer-introduced true downstater and her band, The BLACKHEARTS rocked out hard and true.

Starting with the crisp "Bad Reputation," singer and guitarist Jett and mates made sure to touch on the songs the throngs wanted: "Light of Day," written by Bruce Springsteen for the movie of the same title, which starred Jett with Michael J. Fox; "I Love Rock 'N Roll," the song that delivered her into the mainstream and went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1982; "Crimson in Clover," her steaming remake of the Tommy James and the Shondells classic; and "I Hate Myself for Loving You," the closing song that certainly rang true with plenty of her singing-along friends.

But there was more to Jett than that, and she wasn't afraid to show it. No, not the skimpy-as-a-beach-volleyball top she wore with her black leather pants. Jett and the band fired out a couple songs from her 2006 CD, "SINNER." "ACDC" explained a truly broad love life; "Naked" endorsed "taking stock of your own self," she told the crowd; and "Riddles," which obviously urged taking a close look at what public officials tell you.

For rock as an agent for change, Jett offered "Change the World," singing "Stop all the hate." Amen.


JOAN JETT delivers with usual abandon

low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT's career has been built around short tunes with catchy melodies and "crunchy" guitars played at high volumes. It's a methodology that has, along with a strong onstage work ethic, paid dividends for Jett and helped her maintain an impressive presence on concert tours.

Her free outdoor concert performance Friday night at the Seneca Niagara Casino revealed just how much of Jett's original core audience has stayed with her, and why succeeding generations have come under the sway of the forceful personality and deceptively simple guitar riffing that lies at the heart of every song.

Along with her crack trio of seasoned punk rock associates - guitarist DOUGIE NEEDLES, drummer THOMMY PRICE and bassist Enzo - Jett whipped through much of her back catalog (including "Cherry Bomb," "Bad Reputation," "Do You Want To Touch Me") plus a couple tunes from "SINNER," her last album and a twisted yet fun version of "Love Is All Around."


Rocker JOAN JETT's still got great 'bad reputation'

It's been more than 30 years since JOAN JETT kicked off her rock career with the all-girl band the RUNAWAYS, and nearly that long since she recorded "Bad Reputation," the single and album that established her as a star. But if you'd wandered into Cardinal Stadium last night, where Jett and her band, The BLACKHEARTS, were playing a free Kentucky State Fair concert, you might have thought she was a bright young newcomer, still trying to make a name for herself.

She and her band were masters of furious ironies, couching rebellious lyrics in slash-and-burn guitar chords, rumbling bass lines, and nimble drum textures. Her voice was rough and compelling - and from the way she muscled her trim, glittering way around the stage it was pretty clear that she meant every word when she sang, "I Love Rock 'n' Roll."

Much of her classic catalog made the set list: a blazing version of "Cherry Bomb," the provocative "Do You Want To Touch Me?" and witty covers of "Love Is All Around" (the theme from the "Mary Tyler Moore Show") and "Crimson and Clover."


Crazy Days and Nights A Night With JOAN JETT

low resolution image Not Enlargeable So, last night I sent out two readers to go see a private show JOAN JETT was doing for Yahoo!. Since they have the excalmation point in their name, how does the whole period thing work when it is directly after their name? They should seriously take this kind of s**t into account before they do these kinds of things. Yeah, I'm talking to you, E!, and OK!, and all of the other companies that think you are so cute doing that.

I must forewarn you that the person I sent to do the writing, has been in love with JOAN JETT for about 20 years so, that kind of comes through just a touch. Nothing wrong with that. You introduce me to Jose Cuervo and I am going to be doing a little drooling also. Hell of a man.

Anyway, on with the review.


JOAN JETT Urges Her Fellow Rocky Horror Fans to Keep an Open Mind

low resolution image Not Enlargeable There's no doubt that remakes are a hot trend in horror. Fans have been moaning "Is nothing sacred?" for some time but the recent announcement that MTV is assembling a Rocky Horror Picture Show remake in time for next Halloween has raised that noise to a fever pitch. On the official Rocky Horror fansite, reactions range from disbelief to rejection. "Let the battle begin!!" commented one fan, anticipating the inevitable bickering.

Rocky Horror stands out from most remake fodder, however, in that it has its own rich, built-in performance history, a fact that some fans -- including the rock star JOAN JETT -- haven't failed to overlook. The musical debuted in London in 1973 and arrived on Broadway in 1975, just months before the iconic film premiered. By the time Jett brought a "street tough edge" to the character of Columbia in 2000's Broadway revival, fans had already claimed the music and characters as their own via stagings, screenings, and singalongs. "I've been a fan of the movie since it came out," says Jett. "I guess it coincided with the beginning of my band, The RUNAWAYS, so I remember going to see it many times in Hollywood when I lived there."

Those who weren't able to see the show in New York were still able to get a taste of Jett's performance on television, when she performed as part of the Tony Award ceremony. "A lot of people still come up to me and say they really loved the show," says Jett. "I started out acting in school, in stage plays, so to be able to actually make it to a Broadway stage... I was just happy to do it! If people saw it, that's great, but it was a real learning experience -- I learned things then that I still use now." Joan sees the remake as the same sort of education for a whole new cast. "I think it's going to be really interesting to see what they're going to do with it -- they have very big shoes to fill: Getting the right cast, seeing how they work with the material... then there's the campiness of the original and the fact that it was somewhat low-budget," she says. "There are just so many intangible qualities involved, but all these elements combined the first time to make it magic." This rash of remakes makes her wary, but Jett is keeping an open mind: "It's not just horror movies being remade. Every TV show has been done and re-done. It's nice to see updates on movies that have already been made, but I'd like to see some originality too."


Arts Calendar Picks of the weekÊ

Critic's Pick

At age 49, JOAN JETT still looks like she could beat you up, break your heart or both. My money's on both. There's no doubt, however, that she'll rock your face off with hits such as "Bad Reputation," "Light of Day," "I Love Rock N Roll" and "I Hate Myself For Loving You," my current favorite.

Jett is the only really good free show at this year's Kentucky State Fair, but she should make up for the dearth of choices. She performs at 8 p.m., Old Cardinal Stadium, Kentucky Exposition Center. Sponsored by Fifth Third Bank. Free with admission to the Kentucky State Fair. Parking: $6.

She loves rock 'n' roll: Jett embraces her signature smash, but she’s no one-trick pony
from: State Journal-Register

It’s not just a clever lyric — JOAN JETT really loves rock and roll.

That could be why the Arrows’ original version of "I Love Rock ’n’ Roll" languished as a B-side for several years before Jett turned it into an anthem.

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, who are opening for Huey Lewis and the News on Sunday night at the Illinois State Fair, have seen nearly three decades of music-making swallowed by one hit.


JOAN JETT has staying power

low resolution image Not Enlargeable 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Verizon Wireless Music Center, 1000 Amphitheater Road, Pelham, $25-$65 through Ticketmaster.Ticket special: four for $75.

JOAN JETT has just a few minutes. Maybe 10, at most.
SPECIAL JOAN JETT says the Internet has been a boon for emerging musicians, and for longtime performers who want to connect directly with the public. She's too private to spill her guts on the Web, however. "A lot of people do blogs all the time," Jett says. "Personally, that's not my thing. It seems a little bit too self-interested to me."

The veteran singer and frontwoman of the BLACKHEARTS -- best known for hits such as "Bad Reputation," "I Love Rock 'N' Roll" and "I Hate Myself for Loving You" -- is hustling through an airport, getting ready to board a plane.


Casting for The RUNAWAYS

About JOAN JETT's Life - S.F. Bay, CA - Project ID # 283524
Project Type Feature Film Submission
Location S.F. Bay, CA Union Non-union
Rate/Pay n/a Release Date 07-29-08
Audition Date Submission Deadline 08-29-08
Casting Category Feature Film - Non-SAG
Market(s) Reno, NV-San Francisco, CA
Film ABout JOAN JETT's Life Casting
We are seeking exceptional talent to submit to casting actors.
Email us a headshot and resume.
STORY LINE: 1974. Before JOAN JETT created her own band, she was part of THE RUNAWAYS, a seminal all-girl punk rock group pulled together by producer KIM FOLEY and fronted by Jett and 15-year-old CHERIE CURRIE. The band released some hit songs, toured Japan, partied hard, got burned out on booze, pills and drugs and broke up within four years..

Seeking 1 talent(s) for this role

She's a beautiful blonde surfer girl growing up in the 1970s in California. Cherie isn't as confident or comfortable as her twin sister Marie, but she makes up for this with her defiance and punk rock attitude. After chopping off her hair and dying it platinum, she becomes an androgynous David Bowie-type who starts a brawl at her school talent show and gets noticed at a club by manager Kim Foley. Her audition for The RUNAWAYS is awkward and intimidating for her and she nearly gives up, but with Joan's encouragement and Kim's insults, she learns to release her inner sex kitten (both purr and growl) for a song tailor-made for her: "Cherry Bomb." She is described by Kim as "Brigitte Bardot in a trailer park". Cherie's signature look (fishnet stockings, corsets) quickly makes her the main cover girl and most popular member of The RUNAWAYS, to the resentment and frustration of the rest of the band. Cherie's home life is deeply troubled; her mother abandons Cherie and Marie to live in Indonesia with her boyfriend, and her father is a depressed alcoholic. Cherie's own addictions include uppers, downers, cocaine and booze, and before she's had a chance to truly understand her sudden, overwhelming fame or come to terms with her problems, she has burned out and quit the band...LEAD

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Female
Age: from 14 to 16
Hair Color: Blonde -

Role # 2 - JOAN JETT
Seeking 1 talent(s) for this role

Tough and pretty, with dark hair and pale skin, she is a ferociously talented, self-taught rhythm guitarist who lives for rock 'n' roll. Cool as hell, full of snarly attitude, she's a strutting rock star in black leather who writes her own songs but can also pick the most effective covers to re-do. She's knowledgeable about the key players in the music business and positions herself to get in front of manager Kim Foley, who then introduces her to Sandy West, a drummer in search of more band members. Her relationship with Cherie is strong and quite affectionate at first, but Joan despises the cheesy sex-kitten publicity Cherie courts and wants the band to get attention for the right reasons: the music. Despite the implosion of The RUNAWAYS, and her possible regret at losing Cherie, Joan isn't through with her music career; not by a long shot...LEAD

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Female
Age: from 14 to 18
Hair Color: Black -

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