April 2010 News
Page updated on April 30, 2010
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Jett Set For Summer
With The RUNAWAYS movie out now and former band mate Lita Ford grabbing all the headlines with her latest album it's time for JOAN JETT to regain centre stage.
And what better way to do just that than to jump on one of the biggest outdoor gigs of the summer?
Yep, JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS will support Green Day in the UK in June at Manchester's Old Trafford cricket ground and Wembley Stadium. Talk about making a comeback...
Of course Jett has been seen on these shores in recent years - her performances on the Alice Cooper/Motorhead arena tour in 2007 turned heads and proved the 80s hitmaker could still hack it live. But the Green Day slot is a massive step up for the artist made famous when I Love Rock N Roll crashed charts the world over.
As the leader of the hard-rocking BLACKHEARTS, Jett has had eight platinum and gold albums and nine Top 40 singles, including the classics Bad Reputation, I Love Rock ÔN' Roll, I Hate Myself For Loving You, and Crimson and Clover.
She sits at the head of her own independent label, BLACKHEART RECORDS. Jett has acted in movies, including 1987's Light Of Day, with Michael J. Fox and Gena Rowlands, and in a Tony-nominated Broadway musical, The Rocky Horror Show.
As a producer, she has overseen albums by Bikini Kill, Circus Lupus, and the Vacancies, as well as the Germs' LA punk masterpiece, GI. Jett was even one of only two women named to Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest guitar players of all time. ÊIn the end, though, JOAN JETT's life has been dedicated to one goal and one goal only - rocking the hell out of every listener she can reach.
JOAN JETT To Support Green Day At UK Stadium Dates
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS will support Green Day on their upcoming UK tour, it's been announced.
The band will perform as special guests at Manchester's Lancashire County Cricket Ground on June 16 and Wembley Stadium in London on June 19.
Jett's profile has enjoyed a boost this year following the release of The RUNAWAYS, a biopic about her 1970s band starring Twilight star Kristen Stewart.
Tickets for Green Day's stadium gigs are on sale now and available via Gigwise Gig Tickets.
Green Day's UK tour dates are:
Manchester, Lancashire County Cricket Ground - June 16
London, Wembley Stadium - 19
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS - at Hollywood Park - Inglewood, CA
In Inglewood, two of the main attractions are the Hollywood Park and the Forum. Out of the two, one may expect the Forum to host legendary Punk performers JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS; however, Friday night was a different story and more Punks than gamblers and horse lovers showed up at the infamous race track. JoanÕs performance was apart of Hollywood ParkÕs "Fan-tastic Fridays" in which people who attend the horse races can see the nightÕs artist for the low price of $8, and anyone else can join after 10pm for $20. Although the actual performance was not scheduled to begin until 10:30pm, my party arrived at the park around 8PM to lounge out on the grass and check out a few of the races, despite the abnormally cold weather.
The set up reminded me of Warped Tour; mainly due to the outdoor stage and the food, drink and merchandise stands placed around the surrounding area.
As time passed, more and more people began gathering around the stage, some totally Punk-ed out, and some looking as if they just came from the races and eager to hear some good fashioned rock and roll. To my surprise, no opening acts were placed on the bill before Joan and the BLACKHEARTS, which made the already-long wait seem even worse, but everyone was mingling and having fun waiting for the Punk goddess to emerge. At 10:30pm, the planned time for Joan to arrive, a man came on stage to get the crowd cheering for Joan but also announced that we would have to wait fifteen minutes longer to hear her classic music. At exactly 10:45, JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS came out to hundreds of screaming fans and played the RUNAWAYS acclaimed hit, "Cherry Bomb". She also performed a plethora of other Runaway songs, such as "I Love Playin with Fire", "School Days" and "You Drive Me Wild".
Jett apologized for the cold weather and thanked the crowd for waiting, and showed her appreciation with "Bad Reputation", causing the audience to go crazy. She also performed songs "Fetish", "Androgynous","Fake Friends" and the hit "Do You Wanna Touch Me?", with the audience clapping their hands to every beat and singing along to the chorus. Through each and every song, the singer and the rest of the BLACKHEARTS maintained their reputation for fast-paced, revoluntary Punk rock persona, and shone through her last three songs, the three of her greatest hits: "I Love Rock nÕ Roll", "Crimson and Clover" and "I Hate Myself for Loving You". Because it was so late at night when Joan and the BLACKHEARTS exited, and because she played her most well-known tracks, I was under the impression an encore would not happen; I was wrong. The audience cheered and chanted, and a few minutes later the Punk rock legends walked back on the stage and rocked out, playing "Real Wild Child" and "Everyday People", with greater passion and energy than before. She thanked and introduced the rest of the band, waved, blew kisses and exited the stage around 12:15am.
JOAN JETT rocked the Oregon Coast
oan Jett and the BLACKHEARTS delivered a rockin', sold-out show to their fans at Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City. Performing two nights on April 16 and 17, some of the fans attended both nights. It was a beautifully warm, sunny spring day at the coast with lots of JOAN JETT look alikes wandering around the casino grounds. From aged 16 to 70, a diverse group gathered for the event and everyone in the crowd got into the vibe as the doors opened at 7:30 pm. Excitement in the air, the fans gathered around to get to their seats so as not miss a single beat of the show. Not a bad seat in the house, the seating fanned out to the left and right and tiered down towards the stage, and the stage was smaller and lower making for a very intimate show. Fans could not get any closer as the front row seats were right up against the stage with no barrier and no security standing in the line of sight. The sound was crisp without too much distortion and the lighting was well planned.
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS were very interactive with crowdÐhigh fiving, clapping, and reaching out to shake hands. Wearing a black form-fitting bodysuit as well as her signature black hair and dramatic eyes with a gleaming smile, she still carried on the raspiness in her voice that she is known for, hitting all the notes right on key. They opened with "Cherry Bomb" from her early days in The RUNAWAYS, and the crowd went crazy! She took the time to speak about what her songs meant to her before she sang them, giving the audience new insight into her music. Before "Fake Friends," Joan said, "There are those people that you know will be there for you and those people that you don't know will be there for you."
They of course played "Crimson and Clover," and when they played her anthem "I Love Rock Ôn Roll," the crowd rose up and sang along. Joan rocked her black guitar with a heart cutout like no other. Then she got out another guitar with tons of stickers and shredded it to the end. Joan is on Rolling Stone's Top 100 Guitarists, only 1 of 2 women to make the list (the other being Joni Mitchell).
Her lead guitarist DOUGIE NEEDLES sported a Sid Vicious look with spiked hair and tats, jumping around the stage like the rock star he is. Her long time drummer THOMMY PRICE and bassist Enzo didn't miss a beat either with their high energy performance. The keyboardist kept it going, picking up a tambourine here and there rolling through "Androgynous," "I Hate Myself For Loving You," the Gary Glitter cover "Do You Wanna Touch Me," and "Bad Reputation."
JOAN JETT made it OK for us girls to rock out
If you were born after 1979, there's something you might not understand about JOAN JETT.
To a whole generation of women, she is a god. In the late '70s, there were so few rock divas for teen girls to idolize. Aspiring she-rockers had to stand by and cheer, hoping one of the boys onstage would throw her a saliva-soaked guitar pick or a sweaty towel.
Oh sure, there was Heart, but then the Wilson girls started writing weird ditties about dogs and butterflies. And I couldn't quite forgive Debbie Harry after Blondie delved into disco.
And so I have mixed feeling about the new film, "The RUNAWAYS," which opened Friday at Century 10 in Fargo. It's a biopic about the hard-rocking, all-teen-girl band where Jett first made her start.
Part of me is very excited to revisit this earlier, simpler time. I can't wait to comb my hair into a Cherie Currie-esque mullet, squeeze my middle-aged feet into some denim platforms and celebrate an era when Gabe Kaplan was king.
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS collection pulls no punches
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS; "JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS Greatest Hits" (BLACKHEART RECORDS) ****
The JOAN JETT/Cherie Currie biopic "The RUNAWAYS" opens this weekend.
And it so happened a few weeks ago, Jett and her label, BLACKHEART RECORDS, released this two-CD greatest hits compilation. Jett handpicked the songs herself.
While the movie, of which Jett served as one of the executive producers, took some artistic liberties with the characters and storyline, this 21-track collection pulls no punches.
From the start, the explosive re-recording of the Runaway's tune "Cherry Bomb" shows the listener is in for some hard-hitting musical attitude.
There's the rousing clap-and-strut of "You Drive Me Wild" and the driving "School Days," and a quaint, charming version of "Love Is All Around," the theme song from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."
The CD wouldn't be complete without the bulk of Jett's trademark leather-bound gems Ñ "Bad Reputation," the Tommy James cover "Crimson and Clover," "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)," "I Hate Myself for Loving You" and, of course, "I Love Rock 'n' Roll."
Jett's remake of Bruce Springsteen's "Light of Day" and Sly & the Family Stone's anthemic "Everyday People" are also on the song list.
The inclusion of "Fake Friends," "You Don't Know What You've Got" and Jett's more recent but thought-provoking and button-pushing odes "Androgynous" and "A.C.D.C." show she hasn't lost her defiance, attitude and ear for guitar-driven punk.
JOAN JETT Hates Being Told That Girl
A simple, yet effective signature guitar that feels and sounds great!
Carefully developed in close cooperation with Jett herself, the Gibson JOAN JETT Blackheart Melody Maker guitar features a lightweight, slab mahogany body with a satin ebony finish.
Slim, double-cutaway mahogany body
From its initial launch in 1959, the Gibson Melody Maker was known for its single-cutaway design similar in profile to Gibson's iconic Les Paul Standard. The double-cutaway design on the JOAN JETT Melody Maker was first introduced in 1962, then changed again in 1966 to a style similar to the revered Gibson SG, with pointed horns and beveled edges.
Custom designed slim-tapered neck profile
The neck profile on the Gibson JOAN JETT guitar, however, is crafted to the same specs as Jett's original electric guitarÑa slim-taper profile similar to the Gibson Les Paul guitars and SGs of the mid to late 1960s. Add Gibson's Worn White finish to the back of the neck and the Melody Maker JOAN JETT signature guitar neck is one of Gibson's most comfortable and playable.
Grover Gibson Les Paul-style mini tuners
These classic, innovative tuners offer the same design and ease of use as the original tuners on Gibson's Melody Makers from the early 1960s. The smaller buttons on the JOAN JETT guitar afford more space for the fingers to tune the strings, the tuner housing is completely sealed, and a gear ratio of 14:1 delivers excellent performance and tuning accuracy to match the vintage Les Paul look.
JOAN JETT Walked Sean Connery's Annual Kilt Show, Stomach Bared
JOAN JETT, wearing a fantastic mohawklike feather hat, with her perfectly flat 51-year-old stomach bared, was perhaps the most memorable of the motley crew of celebrities walking the runway at last night's raucous annual Dressed to Kilt fashion show at M2 Ultralounge. Put on by Sean Connery's Friends of Scotland nonprofit group, Dressed to Kilt is known as perhaps the most delightfully chaotic, ridiculously cheesy party of the year -- the province of Al Roker in a kilt and Mike Myers dancing a jig with Sir Connery and Donald Trump looking on -- not exactly the kind of event where you'd expect to find the most badass woman in rock.
So why was Jett there? For the troops, it turned out. The event benefited the Wounded Warrior Project, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and the Erskine Hospital of Scotland, and though Jett is emphatically anti-war -- "even if it's something that seems justified" -- she's spent a lot of time doing USO shows. "When my first band broke up, the RUNAWAYS, I was kind of in a really bad place and I didn't know what to do with my life, and for a very short period of time I really contemplated joining a branch of the military, just to get myself straightened out, to figure out what I was gonna do," she explained backstage.
"When my first dream ended and I was so devastated, I was just trying to get back on my feet. So what [the Army] was going to do was give me some space to get back on my feet, mentally." Instead, just before enlisting, she met KENNY LAGUNA, her songwriting partner, producer, and current manager, and never went. Concerts for the troops and the Dressed to Kilt show are her way of making up for not having served. And she loves it, she said. "It just made me recognize that all these people are just like me, and all soldiers, it's not like they want to go in and kill, kill, kill. A lot of times people do it for reasons like they want to go to school, get a scholarship, travel, meet other people, just get out of where they live and experience life a little bit. So I'm sort of an anti-war military person. Because you can't blame the soldiers for the policy." What does Jett think she could have brought to the Army had she joined? "I thought I'd be an aggressive soldier," she said, laughing. "So, uh, yeah. Aggression."
JOAN JETT and Cherie Currie: The real 'RUNAWAYS'
(CNN) -- JOAN JETT enters her hotel room with all the swagger of -- well, JOAN JETT. The black shag haircut, the tomboyish gait, the New York accent (strange, since Jett is originally from Pennsylvania) -- they're all traits nailed by "Twilight" actress Kristen Stewart in the new movie "The RUNAWAYS," about the life and times of the real-life '70s girl group.
The film is based on "Neon Angel," the memoir of singer Cherie Currie, who left the band after two tumultuous years of sex, drugs and of course, rock 'n' roll. Former child star Dakota Fanning plays her on the big screen.
As the first female outfit to play aggressive music, the RUNAWAYS were in-your-face, provocative and sexual -- which was titillating to some and disturbing to others, especially since the girls were 15 and 16 at the time.
Currie, now 50, is a chainsaw artist, carving mermaids and teddy bears out of tree stumps. She recently sculpted a life-size guitar as a gift for Fanning on her 16th birthday. At 51, Jett still tours with her post-RUNAWAYS group, JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS. Last month, she performed the RUNAWAYS' first hit, "Cherry Bomb," on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."
CNN's Denise Quan recently sat down with Currie and Jett to talk about their band days and their take on the new movie:
CNN: What did you think of "The RUNAWAYS" movie when you saw it for the first time?
JOAN JETT: I had a lot of repeating emotions. Sometimes it's hard for people who live it to kind of see it, but I think overall, I wasn't upset. I didn't run out of the theater and say, "Oh my God, it's so wrong!" You know what I mean? (They laugh.) Only kidding. Obviously, it is a movie, so there were a few embellishments, but I think once I was able to pass all of that and realize that the main thing is the story, it was fine.
CNN: Because we've known Dakota Fanning as a child actress, it was hard watching her taking pills in the movie and engage in overtly sexual behavior. She was only 15 when she made the film -- but that's exactly how old you were, Cherie, when you started in the band.
Cherie Currie: We were older and wiser than our years; I believe we really were.
'RUNAWAYS' film gives due credit to band
Don't worry if you missed The RUNAWAYS.
They exploded on the rock scene and dissipated faster than, well, a cherry bomb.
Formed in 1975 and gone four years later, the group broke some ground -- as five women in a rock band, and teenagers, no less -- but for many years didn't have much to show for it. None of its albums charted higher than No. 172 on the Billboard charts. There were no hits. Critics hated them; guitarist and chief songwriter JOAN JETT recalls one writer -- a woman -- referring to them as "useless sluts."
"There was no respect," Jett acknowledges. "Everyone thought it was a gimmick, not the real thing."
Thirty-five years later, that perception has changed in a very real way.
Thanks to a new film about the band, "The RUNAWAYS" -- starring Kristen Stewart of "Twilight" as Jett and Screen Actors Guild Award nominee Dakota Fanning as singer Cherie Currie -- the group is getting some of the due it was denied when it was a going concern.
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