Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

March 2011 News

Page updated on March 31, 2011
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Why You Should Support Record Store Day 2011

low resolution image Not Enlargeable The 2011 Record Store Day is being held on Saturday, April 16. Many of us grew up listening to record albums, and a lot of us still do listen to those old LPs. If you love record albums, then Record Store Day is the perfect day to get out and buy some albums and show support for your local independently owned record stores.

What some people don't know is that many of today's bands issue vinyl releases for their new material. Lady Gaga, Dropkick Murphy's, Eminem and many other artists regularly release vinyl versions of their newest music. You don't have to be a DJ to appreciate the nuances of a song listened to on an LP. There is a contrast between old school and new school ways of listening to good music. An MP3 player is convenient and offers clear sound. You can download thousands of songs from iTunes, but those easy downloads are what has damaged the mom and pop record store industry. Nothing sounds as authentic as hearing your favorite band on vinyl. Nothing.

Some artists are getting behind the independently owned record store industry and are promoting limited edition releases, special vinyl versions of their new music and exclusive Record Store Day releases. The goal is to save those rapidly dwindling numbers of record stores so that we don't lose a classic part of Americana.

JOAN JETT is celebrating the 30th Anniversary of her I Love Rock-N-Roll album by issuing 1000 copies of a Limited Edition "180 gram Clear Vinyl" version of the album on Record Store Day. Jett issued this statement in support of Record Store Day, "My local independent record shop (Honest Jons) is a library, where you can go to listen to music, learn about it, exchange ideas about it and be inspired by it. I think independent record shops will outlive the music industry as we know it because long term their value to people is far greater, because even in our era of file-sharing and blogs, you can't replace the actual look on someone's face when they are playing something they really rate and think you should listen to it too. It's special."

The sound of a record album can't be replicated, and neither can the independently owned record shops that are struggling to stay alive in this age of digital music. Brush off your old record player, or spend the $100-150 to buy a new one. There is nothing like putting a great record album on and remembering the feeling you had when you bought your first LP. Most record stores also sell CDs, so buying those will support the cause as well. We lost most of the drive-in theaters; let's not lose the record stores too.

If you want more information on Record Store Day, the special releases coming out and where you can find the independently owned record stores in your area, click here.

CONCERTS: JOAN JETT, Kenny Rogers, Bret Michaels, Blue Oyster Cult to headline fair

Kennewick The Queen of Rock'n'Roll will rule the main stage of the Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo in Kennewick this summer.

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS kick off the entertainment line-up being announced today by the Benton Franklin Fair Board.

Kenny Rogers, Bret Michaels, Blue Oyster Cult and Lee Brice round out the slate of top entertainers scheduled to appear in August.


A Month of Awesome Women: JOAN JETT

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Think of your favorite female rock musician and now consider this -- she may not have stood a chance of getting her music to your iPod without JOAN JETT breaking down a few musical walls starting back in 1975. She is indisputably the Queen of Rock and Roll, and the lady still rocks out, as badass as ever, at age 52.

My first exposure to JOAN JETT was through the RUNAWAYS. I had no idea what a cherry bomb was, but I liked the way the girls spat out the word in the same way that I liked peeking at the fold-up of naked women on bicycles that came in one of our Queen albums. Rock and roll was just... interesting. More interesting, at least, than the Mozart I was learning to play in piano lessons.

My parents bought me a guitar when I was ten, and I wanted to rock out like JOAN JETT. She was hot -- first and foremost -- and she owned whatever stage she was on. She was talented, she was gutsy, she was confident. She was everything I was not as an awkward preteen. I stood in front of my mirror with my acoustic guitar, wishing it was an electric one, and that I could play it like JOAN JETT.

She was in Light of Day, damnit, with my future boyfriend, Michael J. Fox (if only he had responded to my fan letter marriage proposals!). And did I mention that she not only had the leather pants I was coveting from Commander Salamander, but she could wear them and look so amazingly hot. She wasn't sexy for men -- she was sexy because she was fucking sexy. Period. You got the sense that JOAN JETT didn't dress up for anyone other than herself and if you enjoyed it too, more power to you.

It wasn't until I was older and read articles about the beginnings of the BLACKHEARTS that I really appreciated how much JOAN JETT rocked as a musician. Not only was she an instrument-playing member in an all-girl band when she was in the RUNAWAYS (unheard of at the time), but when her solo album was rejected by labels in America, she released it herself on the BLACKHEART RECORDS label that she created with a producer. They built her following by selling her record at the end of the concert -- in other words, JOAN JETT worked her ass off to get where she is today. She wasn't signed to a major label until after she had built a following.

While she's certainly the Queen of Rock and Roll, she's also a mother figure, ushering other female rock musicians to the stage. She was instrumental in the riot grrrl movement, producing a later Bikini Kill single when they were disillusioned with the way the girl revolution was being perceived. JOAN JETT was clearly the go-to girl since she was already a revolutionary figure in music. And frankly, she embodies all that the riot grrrl movement stood for -- DIY, support other women, be radical, speak your mind.

I recently went back to playing guitar after about 20 years away from it. And while I may be a long way off from feeling like a rock star (though my fingers are nicely calloused by now!), I try to channel a bit of JOAN JETT's swagger when I sit down to practice. The woman made me nod my head with her musical proclamation that she loved rock and roll almost 30 years ago. Picking up my guitar again is me answering her song with agreement. I love rock and roll too, and that's why JOAN JETT is an awesome woman.

Jett, Currie return to RUNAWAYS era

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Back in the late 1970s, they changed everything. And then they disappeared.

One of the very first all-girl rock bands to achieve success, teenage five-piece The RUNAWAYS paved the way for decades of female musicians to come -- and more importantly, they totally rocked. Their biggest hit, "Cherry Bomb," won them fans around the world, particularly in Japan.

But within two years, under the weight of endless verbal and financial abuse from their manager, and a blaze of drug and alcohol addiction, the band imploded. Jailbait vocalist Cherie Currie -- 15 when she joined the band -- walked out, never to return. The remaining members limped on with founding guitaristbacking singer JOAN JETT taking on lead vocal duties. Then eventually they fizzled out -- until now.

"Joan and I were sitting there watching the girls perform for the movie, and tears were streaming down our faces, because it was the first time we actually got to sit in an audience and watch The RUNAWAYS," Currie, now 51, tells The Japan Times, by phone from her Southern California home about a new biopic based on and named after her old band. "That's how close the movie is to the real thing."

"The RUNAWAYS," which opens March 12 in Japan, tells the story of five teenage girls trying to conquer the world -- and it tells it exceptionally well. So it should: The movie is based in a roundabout way on the book "Neon Angel" by Currie, and has Jett on board as executive producer.


The Legendary JOAN JETT will headline VIP Night

low resolution image Not Enlargeable The Delaware County Fair is thrilled to announce their lineup for VIP night at the 2011 Delaware County Fair. JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS will headline this year's night of legends concert. During the 1980s, JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS put together a series of gold and platinum-certified hit albums and JOAN JETT was referred to as the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll". She was best known for her hits "I Love Rock'n'Roll", "Crimson and Clover", and "I Hate Myself for Loving You". JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS will be taking the stage on Friday, July 15th.

The Delaware County Fair considers VIP night their marquis event and is proud to once again host this annual social gathering for the community. Jeannie Domeyer, Manager of the Delaware County Fair said, "We had a tough year booking VIP night with the loss of REO Speedwagon but we spent a lot of time and effort finding a legendary rock band that could come into Manchester and put on a high energy, full force rock show. JOAN JETT was named as one of only two women to Rolling Stone's top 100 guitar players. With those kind of accolades her show will definitely be energetic and full on classic rock."

"Our community has supported VIP night very strongly over the past 9 years. We invite you to come out and join us again with another great classic rock show, Domeyer said."

Tickets for this concert will go on sale in late March. Tickets for this show are $60 and include all you care to eat and drink from 6:00 p.m. until the end of the concert.

Visit for more information about this year's Delaware County Fair.

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