Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

August 2009 News

Page updated on August 31, 2009
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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low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS treated Mitchell, South Dakota's Corn Palace to a night of hot, sweaty punk rock on Friday, August 28, 2009.

With their usual minimum of stage decor (a large banner with the band's logo), the BLACKHEARTS ripped through all the big hits and covers they are known for. "Crimson and Clover" and "I Hate Myself For Lovin' You" got great responses from a large crowd.

Not surprisingly with a new movie coming next year about Joan's teenage band The RUNAWAYS, several tunes from that era of her life were sprinkled throughout the set. "Cherry Bomb" has always been a fan favorite, but this was probably the first time in a long while for fans to hear "I Love Playing With Fire," "You Drive Me Wild," and "School Days."

Ê Despite a row of lights at the back of the stage that were causing Joan to sweat so much puddles were forming at her feet, she seemed to be having a good time and putting on the best show she could for the audience. I'm not sure why I could figure out that she wanted those lights turned off, but the lighting crew couldn't.

Rocker Jett provides 1980s flashback for fans at Palace

low resolution image Not Enlargeable It was JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS at the Corn Palace on Friday.

If fans were seeking a 1980s flashback, they got what they came for.

Jett's bad girl image has worn well through the years. Now 50, Jett still looks fit and ready in sweaty vinyl and trademark leather.

Diane Drake and Anya Hartpence of Brookings were typical of the strong feminine fan base at the Palace on Friday.

"In the '80s, she's the one I'd listen to and she's still swinging," Drake said.


JOAN JETT Talks Of 'Twilight''s Kristen Stewart's 'Runaway' Role

low resolution image Not Enlargeable 'Twilight' leading lady Kristen Stewart spent the summer playing the role of rock-n-roll legend JOAN JETT in the upcoming film 'The RUNAWAYS' -- now Jett reveals what she thought of Stewart's performance.

"Kristen was so into it, into the whole vibe of doing this," the rocker tells Billboard magazine.

"I think she felt a weight and a responsibility to interpret it correctly. She was really serious about it and was watching me and asking me all sorts of questions, from speech aspects to watching my body language, watching where I stood, watching my guitar playing. She really worked hard to get it right."

The film -- also starring Stewart's 'The Twilight Saga: New Moon' costar Dakota Fanning -- is about Jett's '70s teenage band called The RUNAWAYS. The movie is not set to hit theaters till some time next year.

Stewart is currently reported to be in Vancouver filming the third sequel in the 'Twilight' series.

JOAN JETT hopes RUNAWAYS film is successful, praises Kristen Stewart

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Rocker JOAN JETT is hoping for success for "The RUNAWAYS," the film based on the influential all-female rock band that she co-founded and led from 1975-79. In an interview with, Jett, who is an executive producer on the film, said "The RUNAWAYS" is "absolutely not a biopic. It's not fact-for-fact. What they did was basically take elements from the RUNAWAYS story and created a parallel narrative."

The film is somewhat based on RUNAWAYS singer Cherie Currie's 1989 memoir "Neon Angel. It starsÊ"Twilight" actress Kristen Stewart as Jett, Dakota FanningÊ(another member of the "Twilight" franchise) as Currie and British actor Michael Shannon as original producer Kim Fowley. Directed by Floria Sigismondi, the film is in post-production and slated for 2010 release.

Jett said watching the filming was "surreal."

"If anything it definitely made me smile. It reinforces my love for the band and the fact I think it was an extremely important band, regardless of our level of success in America. It just reinforces my love of the whole time and of the band and what we did and how it was implausible and improbable at the same time," she told


Royal Flush Festival Announces Killer Film, Music & Art Lineups

New York (Top40 Charts/ Royal Flush Festival) - The Royal Flush Festival, formerly known as the Evil City Film Fest, announces its lineup of independent films, music videos, live music performances, and underground art openings taking place October 15th-18th at Anthology Film Archives and other venues throughout New York.

Named after Royal Flush Magazine, a nationally-distributed killer rag that celebrates underground music, art, video games, pop-culture and indie movies with a strict, no-fluff stance, the Royal Flush Festival has more value than any other film festival in New York while doing so at a fraction of the cost. During the festival, Royal Flush Magazine will reveal its 2009 issue featuring on its two covers, Playboy founder and legend Hugh Hefner and rock goddess JOAN JETT, respectively.

Royal Flush Festival welcomes its filmmakers, musicians and artists from across the globe to kick off the festival at a free Opening Night Bash presented by GBH on Thursday, Oct. 15th at Hiro Ballroom, located in the Maritime Hotel.


JOAN JETT Hopes Kristen Stewart Film Is A Runaway Success

JOAN JETT and her creative and business partner KENNY LAGUNA are expressing optimism for "The RUNAWAYS," the film based on the maligned but influential all-female rock band that Jett co-founded and led from 1975-79.

The film, which is partly based on RUNAWAYS singer Cherie Currie's 1989 memoir "Neon Angel," features "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart as Jett, Dakota Fanning as Currie and Michael Shannon as original producer Kim Fowley. It was directed by Floria Sigismondi and is currently in post-production, with a release planned for 2010.

"It was very surreal and hard to put a word on," Jett, who executive produced the film and was on hand for the filming, tells "If anything it definitely made me smile. It reinforces my love for the band and the fact I think it was an extremely important band, regardless of our level of success in America. It just reinforces my love of the whole time and of the band and what we did and how it was implausible and improbable at the same time."


12 Greatest Female Electric Guitarists

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"You can caress [a guitar] like a woman," says Jimmy Page in the opening of It Might Get Loud, a new documentary by Davis Guggenheim that invites electric-guitar virtuosos Page, U2's The Edge, and Jack White to meet on an L.A. soundstage, tell their guitar stories, and do a little impromptu jamming. In theaters now, it's the kind of gripping music doc that could inspire girls and boys everywhere to ditch Guitar Hero for a real Stratocaster. And yet, as good as it is, we couldn't help but think, Why no female guitarist in the bunch? Could be that since the electric guitar's popularity blossomed in the mid-twentieth century, collective wisdom has suggested that great female guitarists simply don't exist. Take Rolling Stone's 2003 list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Only two women, Joni Mitchell and JOAN JETT, were honored. In a Washington Post article written in response to Rolling Stone's list, the writer suggests that as interest in electric guitar was revving up in the '60s, women weren't encouraged to step out of their ladylike gender roles, leaving them with an impossible game of catch-up to Jimi Hendrix and Page. Maybe. But Kelley Deal, lead guitarist of the Breeders, doesn't buy it. "I think we do exist," she says, "but in a different capacity. Guys really like to hear themselves talk. Women guitarists seem more song-oriented. What they choose to play contributes to making the song better, not just riffing all over it. It's a deeper relationship." And it's a relationship that could helm its own documentary (cough, cough, Mr. Guggenheim). In the meantime, ELLE presents 12 of the greatest female electric guitar players to ever pick up the instrument.

A no-nonsense player who in only a few strums can get an entire barroom howling her 1982 hit, "I Love Rock 'n' Roll." That kind of power, often amplified by painted-on leather pants, sets the bar high for Twilight's Kristen Stewart, who's playing Jett in an upcoming RUNAWAYS biopic.

Lita Ford
After jamming with Jett as lead guitarist in the RUNAWAYS, Lita Ford took her pop-metal shedder sound solo and hired fellow rocker chick Sharon Osbourne as her manager. In 1988, she released Lita, a sexy riff-filled album that not only pleased rockers with its head-banging tunes but also got mainstreamers in the pit, especially with "Close My Eyes Forever," her duet with the prince of darkness Ozzy Osbourne.


Jett still loves rock and roll

low resolution image Not Enlargeable An accomplished singer, songwriter and guitarist, '80s rocker JOAN JETT is proving to her fans she's still got what it takes. "I really enjoy actually being on stage and actually playing the songs. "I remember how I felt going to see bands," Jett, 50, said in a Daily Republic interview Friday morning.

An accomplished singer, songwriter and guitarist, '80s rocker JOAN JETT is proving to her fans she's still got what it takes.

"I really enjoy actually being on stage and actually playing the songs. "I remember how I felt going to see bands," Jett, 50, said in a Daily Republic interview Friday morning. "It's any number of things, whether you touched them, someone in the band looked at you, you smiled together or you were close enough to be sweat on. That's what it's about.

"It's about creating thousands of moments with people."

Jett will take the stage with her band, the BLACKHEARTS, at the Corn Palace Aug. 28 and make more of those same moments for her South Dakota fans.


JOAN JETT - a rocker with good image for 'Bad Reputation'

low resolution image Not Enlargeable She's a leather-clad, hard-driving guitarist and vocalist who helped prove that girls could rock, too.

JOAN JETT, who with The BLACKHEARTS will take the stage in a double-bill show with Lynyrd Skynyrd Friday night, Aug. 21, at Gilford's Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion, is a familiar figure from 1980s pop-punk culture.

With her defiant sneer, short-cropped black locks and heavy eyeliner, she belted out in-your-face anthems like "I Hate Myself for Loving You," "I Love Rock N' Roll" and "Bad Reputation."

But before hitting the top of the charts with The BLACKHEARTS, Jett was breaking musical ground with what is credited with being the first all-female rock band, The RUNAWAYS. The story of that group is being chronicled in a film set to star Kristen Stewart (of the "Twilight" vampire series) as Jett and Dakota Fanning ("War of the Worlds," "Hide and Seek") as fellow band member Cherie Currie. Jett and longtime writing partner KENNY LAGUNA, who run BLACKHEART RECORDS, will executive produce the coming-of-age picture, slated to hit theaters next year. Meanwhile, Jett's signature style has had an impact on the fashion world, inspiring both fans and designers, including Cynthia Steffe who created a collection inspired by the rocker and then invited Jett to make an appearance on the runway.

Jett, the first woman for whom Gibson made a signature guitar, also has found her way to the big and small screens, having starred in the 1987 film "Light of Day" along side Michael J. Fox, and made numerous appearances on television, including a 2008 episode of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."


'URGH! A Music War' finally released on DVD

Big news, '80s fans. URGH! A Music War is now on DVD. Stuck in the '80s music correspondent Douglas Arthur has the scoop in today's guest blog item.

One of the greatest concert films of all time has finally made its debut on the DVD format. Long considered the "Holy Grail" of concert films by music fans and collectors, URGH! was released by Warner Archives on Aug 4.

This was filmed in 1980 and released to theaters in 1981, then relentlessly screened on USA Night Flight for several years to build its cult following. What makes this film so powerful is that it captures the nascent New Wave and Post-Punk movements right at the beginning and the height of their powers. The setl ist for this film is wide-ranging and reads like a Who's Who, as well as in some cases, "who the ---?"


'Urgh! A Music War' finally released on DVD

The classic 1981 concert film "Urgh! A Music War" -- which captured dozens of punk, New Wave and post-punk bands live on stage -- quietly received its first-ever DVD release last week as part of the new Warner Archive on-demand catalog.

Long believed to be unreleasable on DVD, the Miles Copeland-produced film is available for $19.95 in widescreen format directly from Warner Archive, although the DVDs only can be shipped to the U.S. Warner also reports that while "this film has been manufactured from the best-quality video master currently available, it has not been remastered or restored." (It's also rumored that the Warner Archive series -- in which DVDs are manufactured and shipped on-demand as they're ordered -- features films simply burned onto DVD-Rs.)

Director Derek Burbridge filmed concerts in New York City, Los Angeles and locations in England and France throughout 1980, chronicling performances by the likes of XTC, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Police, Oingo Boingo, Dead Kennedys, Pere Ubu, X, The Cramps and many, many more (including the baffling and long, long forgotten Invisible Sex).

It's unclear, however, exactly what is on the DVD. The Warner Archive site does not include a tracklist, and the DVD's 116-minute runtime is longer than the 94-minute theatrical release, but shorter than the original 124-minute VHS and LaserDisc editions. Television airings over the years have both added and omitted footage, further clouding the issue (Gary Numan's "Down in the Park," for example, has been cut from recent airings over reported rights issues).


National Lampoon Presents ENDLESS BUMMER (DVD)

low resolution image Not Enlargeable National Lampoon Presents ENDLESS BUMMER (DVD)
Region: 1 / Production Year: 2009
Release Date: October 13, 2009
California is known for sun, sand and surfers. Ventura surfers worship two things: their surfboards and other surfers. When JD's (Khan Chittenden) custom-made, prized board is stolen by a kid from the dreaded San Fernando Valley (where people wear pants!), JD and his friends enlist Mooney (Lillard), a veteran surfer to help them track down the thief and get the board back. Inspired by actual events, this fun-filled adventure captures a day in the life of teens during the summer stopgap between high school graduation and embarking on the real world.

Director(s): Sam Pillsbury
Actors: Matthew Lillard, Khan Chittenden, Vanessa Angel, JOAN JETT, Colton james
Details for National Lampoon Presents Endless Bummer DVD:
Studio: Virgil Films and Entertainment
Format: Color / Dolby / DVD / NTSC / Widescreen
Language: English (Original Language)
Run Time: 105
Rating: R (Restricted)
Production Year: 2009
Release Date: October 13, 2009
Number of Discs: 1

'URGH! A Music War

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Director: Derek Burbidge
Genre: Documentary, Drama
Run Time: 121 minutes
Available Date: 8/4/09
Important Note: This film has been manufactured from the best-quality video master currently available and has not been remastered or restored specifically for this DVD and On Demand release. Click here to preview this film's video quality.

Studio: Warner Bros.
Screen Aspect: 16 X 9 FULL FRAME

Special Features: Synopsis:
It's live and loud. It's urgent and proud. It's more than two-dozen young, energetic bands caught in the act and making the music and moments matter in hot, crowded, amped venues scattered across L.A., London, New York City and elsewhere. It's big hair, little hair, guys, girlz - with music styles ranging from minimalist electronica to reggae to theatrical camp to mosh-worthy mayhem. It's catchy, it's topical, it's angry, it's playful, it's live. And it lives on in a rocking, throbbing, sights-and-sounds showcase featuring The Police, Devo, The Go-Gos, Oingo Boingo, X, The Cramps, Surf Punks, JOAN JETT, Pere Ubu and more. Turn it on, turn it up, this means war: Urgh! A Music War.


Summer Sonic '09 @ Osaka 3rd day
from: MTV Japan

low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT
Probably JOAN JETT everyone has made the ear, "I Love Rock' Well-known, just with N Roll" JOAN JETT of the originator lock girl! "It is possible to even the girl, with anything, it is. Without abandoning!" With it received the message which is said. Groovy next year the movie which draws band and The RUNAWAYS to which she has belonged time of the teenager is released.

The older sister to be too young is! Whether truly forward the 50 whether...instant, the ghost you thought, well with [maji] before [samasoni] in the master "however JOAN JETT you see, only that tune when intellectual viewing [ahaha]" speech is done "die! And be able to hear!"When with, it dies, to be said that you cannot hear, because CD of The RUNAWAYS was lent [gatsu], the master who is saved rather, being stuck thank you in the fence in the foremost line, when looking at the [ru] master, even if the air where the reason where she cannot do understands did the oak, the tune you have heard somewhere being many the many thing parenthesis was good, is

Bad Reputation
Cherry Bomb
Light Of Day
Do You Wanna Touch Me
Change the World
You Drive Me Wild
Love is Pain
Queen Of Noise
Love is All Around
School Days
I Love Rock 'n' Roll
Crimson And Clover
I Hate Myself For Loving You

(Webmaster note: Translated from Japanese)

The Passing of a Dear Friend

low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT, KENNY LAGUNA and everyone at BLACKHEART RECORDS mourn the passing of our dear friend, Les Paul. He was a genius inventor, musical innovator and a wonderful person.

The Nominations for the Pepsi Rock Band Music Video Promotion are Out

low resolution image Not Enlargeable NEW YORK, Aug. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Today, Pepsi, MTV and MTV Games, a part of Viacom's MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), have announced the nominees for the "2009 MTV Video Music Awards Best Performance in a Pepsi Rock Band Video" category. These five nominated bands were selected by MTV, Harmonix, and Pepsi based on their creativity, viewer rating, and originality.

Over 650 Rock Band videos were submitted and only one band will take home this year's first-ever Moonman for a Rock Band music video. Now the fates of the five finalists lie in the hands of voters, who can log on to through September 1 to cast their vote. The lucky band chosen will get to travel to the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, walk the red carpet, receive their Moonman, and be featured in a television spot airing during the MTV VMAs.

Hosted by UK's controversial comedian, Russell Brand, MTV's 26th annual Video Music Awards will air live from New York City, for the 14th time in its history, on Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 9PM (Live ET/Tape delayed PT.)


Arts, Beats & Eats expands food and kids' offerings

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Arts, Beats & Eats: Oakland County's Festival of Hope -- which runs Labor Day weekend, Sept. 4-7 in downtown Pontiac -- has announced its competed music lineup, a revamped list of participating restaurants and its expanded kids' programming.

"The show has just really rounded out nicely," says event producer Jon Witz. "Our goal is to satisfy all tastes and have quality acts at a great value." This year the big names on the Michigan Lottery Stage include '90s rockers Candlebox, rock 'n' roll mainstay JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, R&B powerhouse Angie Stone and rock group Puddle of Mudd. Witz says the festival will announce two more national acts soon.

Arts, Beats & Eats also features four other stages of local music featuring many bands that play year after year, including the Muggs, Impact 7, the Reefermen, Broadzilla and the Orbitsuns. Some fresh local groups on this year's schedule include Octopus, Prussia, Charlie Slick and Champions of Breakfast. Arts, Beats & Eats has amped up its eats this year as well. The list of restaurants features upscale offerings, and a more diverse selection including more ethnic and kosher options.


JOAN JETT backstage at Summer Sonic 2009, Japan

Musikfest Concert Review: RiverPlace a love shack for JOAN JETT, B-52s

low resolution image Not Enlargeable "I Love Rock N' Roll."

That's not just the title to JOAN JETT's most popular song. It's an explanation of why a crowd of 5,000 at Musikfest's main RiverPlace stage loved her performance Wednesday.

Jett plays rock 'n' roll -- real rock 'n' roll, the kind of music that has the heart and soul of punk, but bridges pop and metal. And at 50 years old and more than three decades into her career, she plays it amazingly well.

Jett played a litany of hits, but her newer songs (she played six from her latest disc, "SINNER") captured that spirit just as well.

Jett also performed as if the songs mattered -- squeezing 16 together tight and singing in a confident rasp, a growl or sweetly (on "Crimson and Clover") while her band The BLACKHEARTS -- especially thundering drummer Tommy Price -- backed her.


BETHLEHEM | Everyone loves her because she loves rock 'n' roll, but JOAN JETT is so much more than an '80s throwback singer.

Jett, with her band the BLACKHEARTS, proved Wednesday night at Musikfest's RiverPlace that she is as potent a force in rock today as she was 34 years ago, when she founded The RUNAWAYS. (Thirty-four years to the day, she told the crowd.)

Though she delivered powerful versions of her well-known hits "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," "Bad Reputation" and "I Hate Myself For Loving You," Jett's concert stood out because of the lesser hits. "You Drive Me Wild," a RUNAWAYS number from the 1970s, was the first song Jett ever wrote, she said.


JOAN JETT rocks Riverplace with 34 years of music under her studded belt

low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT has a simple formula for her music: Keep the chords simple, speed up the tempo and crank the volume to 11. Tonight -- 34 years to the day since the founding of the RUNAWAYS, she told the crowd -- Jett used this formula to great success as she rocked the thousands of fans at Musikfest's RiverPlace.

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS played the opening set before the B-52s hit the stage, giving the crowd a roughly even mix of new songs and classics. Of course, she started with "Bad Reputation," but it was another 45 minutes before she played her other signature hit, "I Love Rock 'N' Roll." She followed that with "Crimson and Clover," another easily recognizable hit from the 1980s.

Jett, clad in a gray "RUNAWAYS" T-shirt, leather pants and a studded belt, sounded just as gruff and aggressive as she ever has. She got the biggest cheers for her familiar songs but that didn't stop her from playing some of the rarities: "Androgynous," a song written by The Replacement's Paul Westerberg, "Change the World" -- both songs from her 2006 album, "SINNER" -- and "You Drive Me Wild."

The last song, she said, was the first she ever wrote.


Amherst couple's toilet paper collection earns feature on Smithsonian Channel

low resolution image Not Enlargeable AMHERST - Woody Allen may have said it best: "Why this?"

A toilet paper collection (none of it used) compiled over more than three decades, with many of the sheets bearing the signatures of celebrities (including Woody's and his query), has landed Flo and Rich Newman on TV's Smithsonian Channel as a future segment in the "Stories from the Vaults" series.

The collection, nearly 900 unique sheets, includes toilet paper from every continent except Antarctica, multicolored toilet paper from Switzerland, toilet paper with printing on it from Germany, antique toilet paper made from hemp and even Martha Stewart's toilet paper.

But why toilet paper?

It was a reaction to their own creeping materialism, said Flo Newman, who with her husband, began the collection in 1978.


THE RUNAWAYS Movie Set Pictures with Kristen Stewart & JOAN JETT

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Check out some new pictures of Kristen Stewart in a red leather jumpsuit on the set of RUNAWAYS, thanks to Radar Online. Also appearing on the pictures is JOAN JETT who Kristen Stewart will be playing in the movie.

This is definitely a very and cool interesting look for Kristen. You can also tell that she has done a real good job of adopting JOAN JETT's mannerisms. They look like sisters really. Hopefully, this will translate well to the screen.

The RUNAWAYS is a coming-of-age biopic about the '70s teenage band The RUNAWAYS.

The movie is scheduled to be released in 2010. You can check out a few additional pictures of Kristen Stewart and JOAN JETT on the set of The RUNAWAYS below.

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JOAN JETT still loves rock and roll and rock fans still love her

When JOAN JETT started all-girl proto-punk group The RUNAWAYS in 1975, and even after she and her later band, The BLACKHEARTS, hit it big with the song "I Love Rock 'N Roll" in 1982, she never thought she ever would be regarded as one of the greats.

"Not in that context," Jett says in a recent telephone interview from Los Angeles. "But I always thought maybe we'd be role models for girls or that I myself could be just a role model to show that you don't have to fit into a predesigned box; that when you were born as a girl, that doesn't -- shouldn't -- limit you."

It certainly didn't limit Jett. And 35 years later, she is certifiably one of the greats.

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