Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

June 2010 News

Page updated on June 30, 2010
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Concert Review: Green Day -- Wembley Stadium, London, June 19, 2010

low resolution image Not Enlargeable California punk trio Green Day are currently on the second European leg of their 21st Century Breakdown World Tour and I was lucky enough to see them live at London's Wembley Stadium last night. There is something undeniably exciting about Wembley Stadium but as we took our seats at the beginning of the evening and I looked around the vast stadium, I had to wonder whether Green Day would be able to carry such a large stadium.

We arrived just in time to see support act JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS take the stage. It feels strange to think that JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS could be supporting another band considering how huge they have been over the years and I can remember standing on a wall with other nine-year-olds belting out "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" when it came out in 1982. I had expected a washed out version of an aging rocker and I was absolutely proven wrong. JOAN JETT's voice is as powerful and unique as the day she first hit the stage in 1975 and I was really impressed by her vocal range. The highlight of the set was "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" which was followed by "Crimson and Clover".

JOAN JETTOne of my mates asked whether the former song was a cover of the Britney Spears version and I incredulously insisted that it was not. Confused, he asked when the JOAN JETT version had come out and simply could not believe it when I told him. Such was the power and energy of JOAN JETT's performance, assisted no doubt by how good she looks at 51, that he had not realised that these were veteran rockers.

The interval leading up to the Green Day set was quite eventful. There was, of course, the hilarious Drunken Bunny. Nobody knows who the Drunken Bunny is but his drunken, slapstick routine certainly helps to pass the time. My suspicion is that all of the band members act as the Drunken Bunny, alternating between shows.

We had taken seated tickets and were seated in the Club Wembley tier on the bend. These are normally reasonable seats but the first thing we noticed was that there was a massive lighting tower blocking our view of the centre stage. One tip about Wembley is that if you are unhappy with your seats or your view is obstructed, you have to complain about it on the night. It is written on their terms and conditions and they simply do not entertain complaints written after the event. We complained and were moved a further two section towards the front of the Stadium which was brilliant.

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JOAN JETT to perform at this year's Chopperfest

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Davidson Express' Chopper Fest will have many of the same attractions it has featured for the last three years, but it will sound a little different.

Organizer Larry Davidson has added musical guest JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS to this year's show in July.

"This is a national event now and when you have a national event, people want a national act," Davidson said. "JOAN JETT is also someone we can book and keep the price reasonable."

Chopperfest will start on Thursday, July 22, at the US-131 Motorsports Park in Martin Township, with an Antique Thursday bike-building competition and the JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS performance that evening.

The fest will continue through Sunday, including a bike building competition on Saturday.

Davidson said he'd heard from a lot of people who'd been Jett fans for a long time.

"'I've been in love with her since 1982;' that's what I've been hearing from people," he said.

Jett first had musical success with the pioneering all-female rock band The RUNAWAYS (whose story is chronicled in the current movie of the same name, starring Kristen Stewart as Jett) in the 1970s. The group had a hit with "Cherry Bomb," but broke up. Jett soon formed JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS and has been recording and touring ever since.


Year of the Jett

low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT wanted to play dirty, sweaty, sexy rock'n'roll -- and she sure as hell did, first with her riot grrl band The RUNAWAYS, and then with the BLACKHEARTS. She tells SINƒAD GLEESON about getting covered with spit, looking up to Suzi Quatro and being played by Kristen Stewart

OFTEN WHEN doing interviews with really famous musicians, there is a gatekeeper to get past before you get to talk to the star. In JOAN JETT's case, it's not an anonymous record label exec, but her long-time collaborator and pal, KENNY LAGUNA.

"Did you know that Joan is Irish?" he asks. I didn't, but then remember St Vincent educating me on the American concept of "black Irish" (pale skin, dark hair) and figure this applies to Joan. Her real surname is Larkin, and Kenny tells me there are a "ton of Duffys in her family". Unintentionally, the first five minutes of our interview turns into an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? The first thing you notice is the voice, which is husky as hell. "I've had a family tree done and we've traced it back to the 1700s. I know we came from Co Mayo."

Old Ireland and the firebrand female rocker aren't obvious bedfellows, but then Jett has never been a stereotype. The epitome of riot grrrl rock, she is a massive sports fan and a committed vegan. Her kohl-eyed, black-clad image hasn't put off her huge military following (she has played for US troops), and she is a supporter of animal rights. This dedication is a thread that runs all the way back to her early music days. It's easy to forget she was only 15 when she formed The RUNAWAYS. Youth made them vulnerable, but there was more to the opposition they received.

"The feminists would accuse us of being too sexual, of using our image to titillate, but we were teenage girls who thought about going out, hooking up and doing all of those things teenage girls do. It was real, and I think that was even scarier to people."

Much of the opposition came from men, who didn't know what to make of the band. Jett was once knocked over on stage by a bottle to the head. She got back up and kept playing her guitar.


JOAN JETT Returns to London

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Prior to supporting Green Day on their forthcoming European stadium tour, JOAN JETT, founding member of the iconic all-girl rock and roll band The RUNAWAYS and longtime leader of the BLACKHEARTS, performed a "greatest hits" gig to a capacity audience at the 100 Club in London. 300 lucky fans got to hear Joan roll out many of her best-loved rock anthems, such as "I Love Rock N' Roll," "Crimson and Clover," "Bad Reputation," "Fetish," "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)," "Light of Day," "Love Is Pain," and the seminal RUNAWAYS rock anthem "Cherry Bomb." The intimate show (which took place on June 14) was JOAN JETT's first club gig in London in 20 years. Tickets sold out in a record eight minutes, which is testament to Joan's longevity, star status and loyal fan support.

JOAN JETT is an originator, an innovator and a visionary. As the leader of the hard-rocking BLACKHEARTS, she's had eight platinum and gold albums and nine Top 40 singles. Joan's life has been dedicated to one goal only Ð to rock the hell out of every listener she can reach. "I remember times when I was at shows and the person onstage locked eyes with me," she recently told Esquire magazine. "And in that moment, everything was right with the world. I think that's part of my job, to create these thousands of moments every night."

Since co-founding The RUNAWAYS, the pioneering all-girl punk quintet, at age 15, Jett's determination and drive have kept her in the public eye. This year, however, her profile skyrocketed again, with the release of a feature film telling the story of The RUNAWAYS and a new, two-disc Greatest Hits collection (out now). The RUNAWAYS movie is based on lead singer Cherie Currie's book Neon Angel. Kristen Stewart, star of the Twilight series films, plays Jett, and Dakota Fanning portrays Currie. The movie chronicles the band's early years; formed by teenage girls living near Hollywood, The RUNAWAYS became the first all-girl band to break into the world of arena-filling hard rock acts.

The 100 Club has promoted live music on the same premises since 1942. The venue has gone on to become one of the most historical concert venues in Europe. The venue's heritage is legendary and has seen performances from acts as diverse as The Sex Pistols, Muddy Waters, The Rolling Stones and The White Stripes. In 1976, the 100 Club was host to the first-ever Punk festival. Seen for the first time in London, on the 100 Club stage were the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, Siouxsie and The Banshees and The Buzzcocks.

JOAN JETT Warms Up for Green Day Support at Historic London Club

low resolution image Not Enlargeable It may well be the middle of June but only JOAN JETT could guarantee such a high turn out of leather jackets at the height of the summer. But despite any sartorial misgivings, the veteran rocker proved that, like a much loved item of clothing, rock 'n' roll never goes out of style as she delivered a high-octane set at London's legendary 100 Club on Monday, June 14.

Having played England many times over during her lengthy career, this was the first time that JOAN JETT played the famed venue. The occasion and sense of history -- both her's and the venue's -- wasn't lost on the singer-guitarist. Opening with a double punch of 'Bad Reputation' and the RUNAWAYS' 'Cherry Bomb,' it was clear that JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS were in no mood for taking prisoners.

Reclaiming the glam stomp of 'Do You Wanna Me (Oh Yeah)' with the kind of vigour that would make bands half her age blush, Jett marshalled her adoring fans into a mass of pumped fists and chanting voices that carried on throughout 'I Love Rock 'n' Roll.'



low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT and her current crew played a show at London's famous 100 Club before they do a support slot at the Green Day gig at Wembley on Saturday and she absolutely killed a capacity crowd with an hour and a half of blistering punk & roll.

As this elfin figure took the stage and flashed a shy grin at the crowd she looked all of her twenty five years old (whaddaya mean 52 -- no way chum) and, surrounded by a band who all looked to be at least two feet taller than Jett, dominated the stage for the whole set.

She kicked off with 'Bad Reputation' and got the crowd bouncing but when she kicked into the RUNAWAYS classic 'Cherry Bomb' the audience were right there with her, singing it and starting to raise the temperature to seriously sweaty levels. JOAN JETT might not have played a club gig in London for twenty years but there are a hell of a lot of her fans here and they were out in force.


JOAN JETT...on being played by Kristen Stewart, teenage fame and just how close Cherie really were...

low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT's iconic 1970s teen rock band is brought to the big screen in new fi lm The RUNAWAYS. The original riot girl talks about how it feels to relive her youth...

Ê Tough, sexy and achingly cool, JOAN JETT was a ballsy pioneer for women in rock. She found fame with teen girl band The RUNAWAYS in 1975, who treated the music world to a brief burst of ferociously good rock with hits such as Cherry Bomb and Rock 'n' Roll... before burning out early in 1979. Joan kept on rockin', pursuing a solo career for a little while before forming her current band The BLACKHEARTS, with whom she has enjoyed a string of top-40 hits, including the US No 1 I Love Rock 'n' Roll. Twenty-one years after the girls parted company, The RUNAWAYS' short but sharp career has been immortalised in fi lm, with Joan as executive producer. Joan's role is played by Kristen Stewart, star of vampire drama Twilight. The film explores Joan's intense passion for music, the trials of life on the road as a young band...and Joan's lesbian relationship with another band member.

How did it feel for Joan to see The RUNAWAYS' story unfolding again right in front of her? "Well, obviously, I look at it with a couple of different eyes -- or I have to try to do that -- because on one hand I'm an executive producer, and on the other hand I'm the person -- I'm the subject matter." She goes on: "It's great for me to see The RUNAWAYS' story up there. I think it's a great story. I think the music kicks ass. I'm excited that people who knew about The RUNAWAYS will get a chance to get reacquainted and the people that had no idea will get a chance to discover it and look further."

Joan had little input in the casting, stipulating only that "It would be really great if they could get teenagers...If you're 21 or 22, I know that's still young and it's still close but there's a little bit of a difference with that teenage energy." Fortunately, Kristen turned out to be a perfect choice -- Joan was delighted with the way the actress came across. "Our mannerisms in real life were a lot alike. If you were to see the two of us sitting around, just the way that we move in space is pretty much alike. We shake our leg. We move our hands around," the singer laughs. "But she'd also just watch my posture, everything, my facial expressions, the way that I stood. I have some funny stances that I do that she'd copy. She tried to get it all."

As well as displaying many natural similarities to Joan, Kristen also put a lot of work into researching the part and really trying to become Joan. "She took it very seriously," Joan enthuses. "It was not a gig for her. It wasn't like, 'OK, I'm doing this movie and then I've got something else down the road'. I mean, she cut off her hair! She immersed herself not only in the music but in the story, because I chewed her ear off about it. I know she was reading articles about it. I sent her tapes. I sent her about twenty minutes of me talking as maybe a 14-year-old."


JOAN JETT is a regular Riot Grrl

Jun. 10--PETALUMA -- The sun's out, concert season is here, but Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa is closed. This leaves many music-lovers seeking big name entertainment close by. Good news, the Godmother of Punk, a mainstay on the worldwide music scene for more than 30 years, JOAN JETT, born Joan Marie Larkin on Sept. 22, 1958, will grace the stage of the Sonoma-Marin Fair at 8 p.m. June 25 with her band the BLACKHEARTS. The show is free with fair admission.

Jett achieved fame in her early teens with the all-girl band the RUNAWAYS. A highly-celebrated, critically-acclaimed movie was released this year starring Kristen Stewart as JOAN JETT. The film also features Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon, Stella Maeve, Scout-Taylor Compton and Alia Shawkat.

During Jett's career, she's worked with numerous artists and falls into uncountable music genres from surf to punk. JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS gained extreme popularity with the number one Billboard hit "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," but that was the tip of the iceberg in her vast career. Songs "Crimson and Clover," "I Hate Myself for Loving You," "Do You Want to Touch Me," "Light of Day," "Love Is All Around" and "Bad Reputation" are heard in movies, television shows and WNBA games. She is also an actress appearing in many movies, on television shows and on Broadway. She starred in the movie Light of Day with Michael J. Fox. Bruce Springsteen wrote the song "Light of Day" for her, and her performance was again critically-acclaimed.

Jett's and KENNY LAGUNA's BLACKHEART RECORDS producers a myriad of artists.

Jett and the BLACKHEARTS tour worldwide constantly and deliver a high-energy show.

The Sonoma-Marin Fair is located at 175 Fairgrounds Drive in Petaluma. For information, call 283-3247 or e-mail The fair office is open from 8 am to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays, year-round.

THE RUNAWAYS comes to Blu-ray and DVD--Rock 'n' roll, baby!

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Culver City, Calif. (June 1, 2010) Ð The year was 1975 and five teens haphazardly came together amidst a burgeoning glam-punk scene in Los Angeles. Guided by the eccentric manager-producer-promoter Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon, Oscar nominee for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, "Revolutionary Road," 2009), these young women banded together often amidst illicit and abusive circumstances to become the pop-punk phenomenon: The RUNAWAYS. The film based on the girl group explodes onto Blu-ray and DVD on July 20, 2010.

The ensemble was fronted by rock prodigy JOAN JETT (Kristen Stewart, "The Twilight Saga") and supported on lead vocals by Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" and "Eclipse"), a platinum princess who exuded an innocent yet devilish attitude. The hard-rockin' goddess Lita Ford (Scout Taylor-Compton, "Halloween II") on guitar and banging bombshell Sandy West (Stella Maeve, "Transamerica") on drums rounded out these deviant divas and poised them to take on the man's world of rock n' roll, fully clad in leather and lace.

Rocking special features include commentary with JOAN JETT, Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning as well as two featurettes, "Plugged In: Making the Film" and "The RUNAWAYS." The Blu-ray also features movieIQ+sync with "The RUNAWAYS" Playlist. movieIQ+sync allows users to access real time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie via BD-Live.

The RUNAWAYS will be available on Blu-ray for $34.95 SRP and the DVD for an SRP of $27.96.

Fans can enter the Facebook sweepstakes starting June 18, 2010 for a chance to win rocking prizes by proving they have what it takes to be the ultimate "The RUNAWAYS" groupie. Additional information regarding the upcoming release can also be found on "The RUNAWAYS" Twitter and MySpace pages.

Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning star as JOAN JETT and Cherie Currie in the music-fueled coming of age story of the groundbreaking, all-girl rock band, "The RUNAWAYS." They fall under the Svengali-like influence of rock impresario Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon, "Pearl Harbor"), who turns the rebellious Southern California kids into a rock group with outrageous success. With its tough-chick image and raw talent, the band quickly earns a name for itself and so do its two leads: Joan is the band's pure rock n' roll heart, while Cherie, with her Bowie-Bardot looks, is the sex kitten.

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