Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

September 2009 News

Page updated on September 30, 2009
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Royal Flush

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Hugh Hefner cover by Robin Eley!

JOAN JETT back cover by Josh Bernstein!

Cover story with the one and only Hugh Hefner! See his original comic book art from the '30s and '40s!

Plus interviews with: JOAN JETT, Ted Nugent, Basil Gogos, Leslie Nielsen, Hispanic Batman, Alice Cooper, Harvey Pekar, Jack Kirby, Frank Zappa, Dethklok, Jim Gaffigan, Brian Posehn, Jeffrey Ross, Danny Trejo, Jenna Jameson, Californication, Torche, Osaka Popstar, Lamb of God and 112 pages of comics, commentary and calamity!

This is the magazine that slept with your girlfriend's magazine! Don't be the last on your block to own this monument of madness!!



MUSIC SAVES LIVES, the trusted conduit between music, entertainment and important life-saving causes, has joined forces with JOAN JETT in an effort to raise money and awareness of life saving issues. 4 winning bidders and their guests will have the opportunity to meet JOAN JETT, a force in pop culture, attend the 2009 Jack's 4th Show in Irvine California October 10th 2009, and be part of saving lives.

Jack's 4th Show will host JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, Foreigner, Eddie Money, the B 52's, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Ratt and Missing Persons.


Jett takes pride in Les Paul guitar honor

It's been 27 years since "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" came blaring out of radios. While some things have changed in that time, many things for Jett haven't. After a period in which she was blonde and even bald, Jett is back with jet black hair. A perfect match for her onstage black leather outfits. She still even has the same leather jacket she wore when she burst onto the scene. While her physical appearance looks the same, so does her guitar. A year ago Gibson unveiled the signature JOAN JETT Melody Maker guitar, making Jett the first woman the company named a guitar after. It's similar to the one she played in the early 1980s, formerly owned by Eric Carmen, who recorded the Raspberries' "Go All the Way" with it. The late Les Paul was on hand when the guitar was introduced, a touching moment for the tough Jett. "It's really a tremendous honor," she says.

JOAN JETT set to rock on

RUNAWAYS co-founder, '80s sensation not slowing down There is no shortage of topics to talk about with singer/guitarist JOAN JETT. A founding member of the teen girl 1970s rock group The RUNAWAYS, she's mother superior to female rockers. She used to make wake-up calls to Mike Tyson on fight days. Her friend Cal Ripken requested she sing the national anthem the day he broke the consecutive game streak. A political activist, she was the first celebrity supporter of Howard Dean and was on stage when he doomed his presidential bid by unleashing the Dean Scream. But in a 15-minute phone call with Jett last week, there was one topic that was off limits: the RUNAWAYS biopic currently in production. "She really can't talk about it, other than to acknowledge it's being made," her publicist warned before the interview, adding, "She did have a great time filming it." No matter. People are going to see JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS play at the Dakota Magic Casino tonight to hear the hits, not wonder what it's like to have Kristen Stewart of "Twilight" playing you. People will want to hear the hits, and Jett's got a number of them in her 34-year career. "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," "Bad Reputation," "Crimson and Clover" and "I Hate Myself for Loving You." Jett packs them all and more into her set. Having just turned 51 on Tuesday, Jett has survived the rigors of the rock world and overcome the pitfalls of the rock lifestyle. "I don't think I ever really projected how long I'd do this. 'When do you stop?' 'When do you retire?' 'Do you try to do something else?' " Jett says, in a low raspy voice. "I kind of just kept my head down, focused on the next gig and never really tried to think, 'How long do I do this?' " She credits her longtime friend, producer and collaborator KENNY LAGUNA with helping her out years ago. "She was drinking heavily," Laguna told the Associated Press in a 2006 interview recalling when they met in the late '70s. "She was hanging out with Sid Vicious and Darby Crash, and she definitely showed the look." Vicious, of the Sex Pistols, died of a drug overdose in '79 while Crash, singer for the Germs, committed suicide the next year. Jett however, got things together. "Once I met Kenny I had someone in my corner, someone who believed in me. I wasn't so all alone," Jett now says. "After the RUNAWAYS broke up I was laughed at. 'I told you a girl band wouldn't work.' 'Girls can't play rock 'n' roll.' That kind of attitude, and it was just piling on. I think it's really important to have support no matter what you do. So that was certainly a big component to getting healthy. Just having the support to know you can achieve what you put your mind to." She also changed her lifestyle. She'll occasionally have a drink, but doesn't smoke and is a vegetarian. Her desire to move past the RUNAWAYS led to an early decision not to have any women in the BLACKHEARTS, a seemingly odd move for a female role model. "I didn't want comparisons. Sometimes, the media does lack vision, you must admit," she says. "To come back after the RUNAWAYS with girls in the band, would give the band no chance. You'd be dead before you even start." She'd be open to the idea now and has worked with a number of women musicians, from producing for the riot girl act Bikini Kill to signing female acts like Girl in a Coma, The Eyeliners and the female-fronted Dollyrots to her BLACKHEART RECORDS. And as for the RUNAWAYS movie? Jett brings it up herself when asked what's next. "That should be pretty intense," she says, noting that the filming is done and the movie should be out some time in 2010 with Dakota Fanning playing lead singer Cherie Currie and Scout Taylor-Compton as guitarist Lita Ford. While rumors fly that Jett and Ford do not get along, Jett says the two are on good terms, though she hasn't seen her for quite some time. If you go
- When: 8 tonight
- Where: Dakota Magic Casino, Hankinson, N.D.
- Tickets: $30. (800) 325-6825

JOAN JETT works on her 'bad reputation'

low resolution image Not Enlargeable You can book JOAN JETT for your rally, and she'll draw a crowd, but that doesn't mean she's going to deliver protest songs.

"She's not Bob Dylan," her longtime producer and friend KENNY LAGUNA said in a ballroom at the Hilton before her short set Wednesday night at Point State Park. "I'm here because I support the cause," she said, "but my job is to entertain."

Jett flew in late Wednesday afternoon for the Clean Energy Jobs Now rally at the Point, which featured pro-labor, pro-environment speeches by local politicians and representatives of groups like the Sierra Club and the AFL-CIO, and 20-minute sets by the Houserockers, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, and Kathy Mattea.

Before the show, the veteran rocker, who turned 51 on Tuesday, paced the ballroom, occasionally out the window at the stage across the street. "I don't like to sit down before a show," she said.


Happy Birthday, JOAN JETT!

low resolution image Not Enlargeable

"The godmother to female musicians with loud guitars and idealistic dreams." That's how the New York Times once described JOAN JETT, expressing a sentiment shared by Jett's legions of fans.

From her pioneering stint in the RUNAWAYS in the '70s, to her trailblazing work on hits like "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" and "Bad Reputation," the artist once deemed "the female Elvis" has paved the way for every young girl driven to strap on an electric guitar.

More than that, however, Jett has given us some of the most unabashed guitar-rock of the past three decades. Injecting sass and sneer into a sure-footed sense of melody, the ever-youthful Jett combines a love of classic radio pop with a gnarly attitude in a way that goes to the essence of what rock music is all about.

"I'm a big fan of [pop music]," Jett said, in 2001 interview. "I think it really has to do with degrees of intensity, as to whether a song is bubblegum or rock 'n' roll. Good rock 'n' roll has to have a good pop sensibility within it. You need to have songs that say something, that have a hook, and that are catchy. Of course I listened to things like Bowie and T. Rex, too. It's all 'poppy' music, but with a harder edge."

Jett has lost none of her passion for her beloved rock 'n' roll. Doubters need only check out her recent performance for the "Nissan Live Set" concert series to see a artist in full flight, still reveling in making music. "I'm so blessed to be doing what I do," Jett says at one point.

Likewise, we're blessed -- blessed that Jett is still going strong and that she's lost none of her leather-clad edge...Gibson joins with Jett's fans in wishing her a wonderful birthday.

JOAN JETT Ð Best Female Rockstar of All Time

When you think about rockstars, the usual names that pop into mind are Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, Bono and many more. But when you think about it, female rockstars are not given as much credit as male rockstars are. So ask yourself, who is one female rockstar that you think deserves to be cited?

One possible candidate for this title is JOAN JETT, an American rock singer who can play guitar, sing, compose songs, act, and produce. She is best known for her number one hit single "I Love Rock and Roll", which boost her career to the top. "I Love Rock and Roll" was on the billboard charts from March 20 to May 1 of the year 1982. JOAN JETT started her music career as one of the founding members of The RUNAWAYS but during these times, Jett was not lead but she did sing some lead vocals, played rhythm guitar and also co-write most of the songs that the band performed. The popularity of the band lasted for quite some time in countries found in Europe, Asia, Australia and South America but they did not hit big in the United States. Although they were able to produce five albums together, the band eventually fell out and separated in the spring of 1979.

JOAN JETT pursued a solo career after the disbanding of The RUNAWAYS but then later formed another band in the name of the BLACKHEARTS. By this time, JOAN JETT had moved to the United States and was looking for three men to play bass, guitar, and the drums. After this, JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS began touring all over the United States performing in numerous places. The re-recording of the track "I Love Rock and Roll" became an instant hit in the United States. To prove this, the track stayed as number one in the Billboard charts for seven weeks in a row. Today, it is still Billboard's #28 song of all time.


Jobs tour to stop in Pittsburgh

A month-long tour dedicated to promoting job creation through environmental sustainability will land in Pittsburgh Sept. 23 -- the day before the G-20 summit begins -- closing its campaign with a rally and concert in Point State Park.

The Made in America Jobs Tour has held more than 50 events in 22 states, preaching a transition to clean energy that could simultaneously create jobs, reduce pollution and curb dependence on foreign oil.

Doors open at 5:30, and the free program, which includes speakers and a concert with Kathy Mattea and JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, begins at 7:30.



low resolution image Not Enlargeable After nearly 35 years of slinging a guitar over her left shoulder Ñ first as a teenager with the all-female band the RUNAWAYS and since 1979 as a solo artist Ñ JOAN JETT still loves rock 'n' roll.

And the Arts, Beats & Eats headliner said that's the main message she tries to impart on her fans when she performs these days.

"The fun part for me is actually being on stage," said Jett, 50, who was born Joan Larkin and is best-known for such hits as "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," "Bad Reputation," "I Hate Myself For Loving You" and covers of Gary Glitter's "Do You Want to Touch Me (Oh Yeah)" and Tommy James' "Crimson and Clover."

"I think part of it is just being a fan when I was a kid, and I went to see bands and the connection that I felt. I'd look at the band and I'd be smiling and I'd hear my favorite song and they'd be looking in my general direction and I'd feel like I was actually locking eyes with someone like (the New York Dolls') David Johansen or Ozzy Osbourne. That feeling's a really special one.

"And I do get fans who come up to me all the time and say, 'I was at your show' and they recite a date and they say, 'You looked at me and we smiled' or 'You dropped sweat on me.' It's all those thousands of connections. That's the special part for me, what makes it fun and wanting to continue to do it."


JOAN JETT: Rock 'N' Roll All Over Again

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Since bursting onto the punk rock scene with The RUNAWAYS in the late '70s, singer/guitarist JOAN JETT has remained a constant over the course of four decades in the rock industry. Regardless of where you hear her songs -- whether it's a drunk girl singing "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" at karaoke or "Bad Reputation" in an American Chopper commercial -- Jett is an effervescent goddess of rock 'n' roll. A goddess that will be playing at Pontiac's Arts, Beats & Eats, this Saturday, September 5. Real Detroit Weekly talked with Jett about her new signature Gibson guitar, The RUNAWAYS and some of her favorite memories of her punk rock life.

You've been in the punk rock scene since it really started. Is there one memory of your involvement in the scene that you will never forget?
I'll always remember -- I can still see it in my mind right now -- seeing The Clash in 1976, but it was right after their first album came out and I had that album so I knew all the songs. The RUNAWAYS were on Leeds and they did a show and it was at a small kind of ballroom with a wooden dance floor...I remember this is the first time I saw a whole audience -- and at the time they called it pogoing -- everyone, the whole 2000 people, were jumping up and down at the same time and it felt like the floor was bending. I had gone over in The RUNAWAYS as a glam fan...I dressed kind of glammy...but when I came back from England I was in a lot of leather.

I know Gibson just gave you your own signature guitar, but you actually bought the guitar they based it off of Eric Carmen of The Raspberries. How did you happen to buy it from him and how does it feel to have your own signature guitar?
There was a convention of roadies in Cleveland that did the Agora circuit. They were called the Rowdy Roadies. One of the guys in the Rowdy Roadies had worked with The Raspberries and I was looking for another guitar because I had a Les Paul and it was so heavy. I love my Les Paul and I didn't want to get rid of it, but it was killing me on stage. So I bought the guitar secondhand off of Eric Carmen and it is the ones he played on "Please Go All The Way" and all the hits. But, it's really such an honor, it really is. A Gibson guitar? A JOAN JETT Melody Maker? I'm so humbled by it that it's so hard to talk about it much more than that.

How has it felt to revisit the memories of your youth with the current RUNAWAYS movie that is in production and does it ever make you wish that you guys got back together?
No, I never wish we got back together for a reunion. I just think The RUNAWAYS had to be teenagers and I think had we stayed together and grew up into our 20s it would have gotten goofy. It was definitely one of the highlights of my life -- probably thee highlight of my life -- you're a teenager, you're living your dream, you're in a fucking rock 'n' roll band...I always look back on it with fond memories.

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS - 9/5 - 9:30 p.m. on the Michigan Lottery Stage @ Arts, Beats & Eats

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