Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

Novemember 2011 News

Page updated on Novemember 30, 2011
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Rock pioneer JOAN JETT set to play Tulsa

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Long ago, JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS professed their love for rock 'n' roll. That affair is still full of fire.

Jett brings her live show to a sold-out show, 7 p.m. Friday night at the River Spirit Event Center.

The woman who first made waves as the 15-year-old co-founder of the all-girl rock/punk group The RUNAWAYS is now a member of the 2012 candidates for possible induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The performer has had eight albums sell more than a million copies.

Her hit singles include "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," "Crimson and Clover," "I Hate Myself for Loving You," "Do You Want to Touch Me," "Light of Day," "Love Is All Around," "Bad Reputation," "Little Liar" and more. She also now leads her own independent record label, BLACKHEART RECORDS.

She is one of only two women to make Rolling Stone magazine's list of Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."

JOAN JETT, Foo Fighters Give 'Letterman' Their 'Bad Reputation'

low resolution image Not Enlargeable A couple of years ago, the makers of the video game Rock Band struggled to come up with a connection between JOAN JETT and Dave Grohl. "Let's see: Jett's first band was teen-punk sensations the RUNAWAYS...who were discovered and produced by notorious L.A. impresario Kim Fowley...who later co-wrote the KISS classic 'Do You Love Me'...which was then covered by Nirvana," the game's blog playfully suggested. "How's that?"

No one will have to reach that far to find a link between the pioneering "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" badass and the ever-versatile Foo Fighters frontman anymore. On Sunday night, Jett joined the Foo Fighters onstage at Madison Square Garden in New York City for a cover of Jett's early-'80s solo hit "Bad Reputation." Then, on Tuesday night, they got together and did it again, only this time for a bigger audience via the Late Show With David Letterman.

The rendition of the song itself is less noteworthy than the fact that these still-standing rock titans got together to play it in the first place. Though slightly more hard-charging than the 1980 original version, and with seriously tight instrumental backing from the Foos, these covers offer little that would surprise any fans with "Bad Reputation" grafted onto their cerebellums thanks to repeated viewings of Freaks and Geeks (it's that TV show's theme song). Little differences: On Letterman, Grohl sings the verse after the song's key change; at MSG, Jett says she doesn't give a "shit" about her lousy rep. Both performances are furiously energetic and fist-pumping.

Foo Fighters wrap up their current U.S. tour tonight in Boston, before heading to Australia, New Zealand, and Japan in support of latest album Wasting Light; check out our review of their tour kickoff here. Jett and her band the BLACKHEARTS, meanwhile, recently landed their first nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It's safe to say these rockers' reputations are pretty well established.

JOAN JETT w/Foo Fighters Ð "Bad Reputation" 11/15 Letterman

In case you missed rock 'n' roll history on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City, JOAN JETT and the Foo Fighters would team up again to play Jett's classic hit "Bad Reputation" on the Late Show with David Letterman. Watch vidoes of tonight's and Sunday night's performances below:

Late Show with David Letterman

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FooFighters and JOAN JETT blow the roof off the dump with "Bad Reputation."

JOAN JETT to Team up with Foo Fighters on 'Letterman' Tonight

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Upset that you missed out on seeing the Foo Fighters join JOAN JETT at Madison Square Garden for a surprise rendition of her song 'Bad Reputation' over the weekend? Not to worry -- David Letterman has you covered.

Jett will reunite with the Foos on 'The Late Show with David Letterman' tonight to deliver a 'Bad Reputation' encore. It's admittedly not quite the same as seeing the original event unfold onstage at the Garden, but if you're a fan of either act, you won't want to miss this.

Jett, who appeared on Letterman's show last year to perform 'Bad Reputation,' has popped up all over the pop culture map over the last few years, from her bestselling biography on the book charts to her appearances on Broadway, film, and television.

She acted as an executive producer for 'The RUNAWAYS,' the Kristen Stewart/Dakota Fanning-led biopic about her time in the groundbreaking titular rock combo, which reignited an interest in her back catalog; Jett released a double-disc greatest hits album last year that features four newly re-recorded versions of classic tracks.

Jett's also found no shortage of fans-turned-fellow musicians waiting to share a stage with her -- including Miley Cyrus, who joined Jett for a greatest hits medley on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' last year. These days, Jett's celebrating her nomination for the 2012 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- and doing it in style, as this clip from her Madison Square Garden performance with the Foo Fighters can attest. Check your local listings for tonight's performance on 'The Late Show with David Letterman'!

JOAN JETT with Foo Fighters "Bad Reputation" Live From MSG 11/13

In an evening that already featured a guest appearance from Bob Mould for "Dear Rosemary", the Foo Fighters would jam for the first time ever with the legendary JOAN JETT at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Jett performed her hit "Bad Reputation" with the Foo Fighters as her backup band. Watch it for yourself below:

Michael J. Fox Rocks the Waldorf Astoria!

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Meanwhile, across the continent, other celebs were gathered to support actor Michael J. Fox and his 2011 A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Cure Parkinson's -- Show held last night at the Waldorf Astoria Ballroom in New York City.

The event was hosted by The Daily Show's John Oliver and featured Ricky Gervais as well as performances by Kid Cudi, comedian Mike Birbiglia, and the man of the hour Michael J. Fox with JOAN JETT. Gervais tweeted this about watching Fox perform: "watching Michael J Fox perform Johnny B Goode was a spine chilling magic f*cking moment." I can only imagine that is was, for so many reasons. Fox and Jett performed Springsteen's "Light of Day" from their 1987 movie of the same name. Anyone else see it? I thought Joan was pretty good.

Fox and his gorgeous wife of 23 years(!), Tracy Pollan, brought their four children, including son Sam. Also in attendance was twenty four year old athlete Sam Fox (no relation to Michael -- "Sam Fox meet Sam Fox") whose mother Lucy has Parkinson's and in whose honor he just completed the 2396.5 mile Pacific Crest Trail in a fundraising effort called "Run While You Can" with all proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's research.

Rockin' the Wish with JOAN JETT and Gabrielle Anwar at The InterContinental Miami

low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT kicks ass. Always has, always will. In The RUNAWAYS, the guitar-strapped rock goddess set the stage for every riot grrrl to come. Gone solo, she proved without a doubt that women can not only roar on their own, but that those roars can resound around stadiums the world over. Pit the Queen of Rock alongside Burn NoticeÔs ass-kicking Gabrielle Anwar and, well, you've got a hard-charged night to contend with. That's just what happened last Saturday at the 17th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball. I, for one of many, truly hope all the bruises don't soon heal.

This year's gala was themed to Truman Capote's infamous Black-and-White Ball, which took place at The Plaza lo those many moons ago. Like its predecessor, version 2011 attracted the proverbial creme-de-la-creme. Unlike the Big Bad Apple blowout (which of course was thrown to honor Washington Post publisher Katherine Graham), Miami's massive night was made to make the day of others.

On the White Carpet, Jett rolled with the same stroll that made her mighty mark back before she was even of drinking age. Feisty, fearsome and full of a fully-lived life, the ever-on songstress was as candid as she was charming. I mentioned that I caught The RUNAWAYS opening for The Ramones around the corner at Gusman Center when I was but a wee lad; Jett's eyes lit up with the spark of great creation.

"That was one of my favorite tours ever," she told me. "All of us were young and hungry and determined. And the crowds were wonderful."


17th Annual Make-A-Wish Ball

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Miami, FL Ð November 5, 2011 Ð On Saturday, November 5, 2011, the Make-A-Wish Foundation¨ of Southern Florida and InterContinental Miami celebrated the 17th AnnualInterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball to the theme of Truman Capote's legendary Black & White Ball. With iconic rock-n-roll group JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS as the entertainment, Burn Notice star Gabrielle Anwar as the celebrity auctioneer, and the achievement of a $10 million lifetime-fundraising milestone, the affair fulfilled its namesake prophecy as "The Party of the Century." The crowd of 900, including MLB legend Sammy Sosa, supermodel Elsa Benitez, designer Andy Hilfiger and more, rushed the dance floor during Jett's live performance of "I Love Rock and Roll," "Cherry Bomb" and continued to dance the night away at the fourth anniversary of the InterContinental Make-A-Wish Nightclub.

JOAN JETT at 16th Annual Make-A-Wish Foundation BallÐ Exclusive

low resolution image Not Enlargeable On a dazzling and pleasant Saturday evening in Miami, the Make-a-Wish Foundation hosted its 16th Annual Ball at the InterContinental Hotel downtown. Philanthropists arrived in yachts while generous celebrities walked the white carpet, all geared up for a night of glitz and glam. They wore ornamental masks and some held sparkly wallets, ready to donate for research to support child cancer patients. It was glamorous, but at least had a good cause. JOAN JETT was the first to draw major attention when she stepped onto the white carpet, posing for photographers and interacting with other altruistic attendees.

Rock fans know her from her 80s claim-to-fame. A devotee of the glam-rock style (one David Bowie would legendarily strut) and a teenage rebel, Jett was a cool cat, going big time only a few years after she got her first guitar. Jett and drummer, Sandy West, founded the RUNAWAYS, the first female rock group who gained attention internationally shortly after their debut. When she was only 18, Jett and the band rocked Japan harder than an earthquake, earning the biggest- selling imports in music history. The RUNAWAYS toured with acts from Cheap Trick and Van Halen. When the band became her life, she faced some tough years after its break-up (Jett recently produced a film about the band's hardships starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning), but even then, Jett refused to lay down her guitar. Not letting it get the best of her, she established the band, the BLACKHEARTS, who played late Saturday night, after the cocktail hour and auction. Does the band's hit ÒI Love Rock n' RollÓ spark your memory? Jett is definitely an inspirationÑa talented artist and a woman who supports many causes. Luckily, we got the chance to speak with her about her turnout at this event.

IC: How did you get involved in this event?
I've been doing this event Make-A-Wish for many years making wishes come true. This is the first time I've been asked to play at one of the fundraising events. Happy to be on the other side of it; it's very important I think.

IC: You and the BLACKHEARTS are performing tonight. What's in the repertoire?
We'll be doing a lot of different things; a lot of different hits. We don't have that much time so it'll be a cross section. It'll be a rock n' roll show. We'll be getting people up and moving in their ball gowns. We'll see how it goes.

IC: Any words of wisdom for aspiring female musicians today?
If you believe in what you're doing, don't give up no matter how tough it gets because it will get tough. That really goes for anything in life, for musicians, and it's nothing more for girls. If that's where you want to go, you have to fight for what you love.

JOAN JETT Talks Rock 'n' Roll, Justin Bieber, and Girl Power

low resolution image Not Enlargeable If you ask us, there are icons and then there are legends. Icons are people we all admire. Legends are people who you, your mother, your grandmother, and your future children will totally love forever. And rocker JOAN JETT is an effing legend.

She founded one of the first all-girl bands, The RUNAWAYS, in her teens. She proclaimed "I Love Rock 'n' Roll." And she inspired legions of girls and boys to pick up the axe.

So before she headed to Miami to entertain the crowd at tomorrow's Make-A-Wish Ball, we here at Crossfade just had to talk to this legendary lady and ask all about her incredible career. Oh, and what she thinks about Justin Bieber dressing up as JOAN JETT for Halloween.

Crossfade: I can imagine you have been to Miami a time or two.
JOAN JETT: Oh yeah, plenty of times.

Do you like it here? You're such an East Coast girl. Don't know if Miami is your style.
I am very much an East Coast girl. But I did live in California for a while. I do like Florida. South Florida especially. And they seem to love rock 'n' roll.

You're performing at the Make-A-Wish Ball at the Intercontinental on Saturday. What is it going to be like to perform in front of people in ball gowns?
You kind of have to prepare yourself mentally. I'm used to playing for a rock crowd in a different type of attire, I suppose. But it should be fun. I think people enjoy getting dressed up and letting loose. Whatever happens, we are ready for it.

How have you not fallen off the radar all of these years? If you are 8 or 80, there is a good chance you know who JOAN JETT is.
I don't think there is any real plan for that. You just have to do what you love and if people like it, well, that's amazing. I have always been dumbstruck by the wide variety of audiences that we have. It's cool.

Think you will ever retire?
I don't plan on it.

Well, have you ever taken a break?
Not big ones, no. Nothing more than a couple of weeks. I don't like to do that. I like to stay in my routine of staying on the road. Especially these days with the internet and the 24/7 world we live in. You step out of this world for six months and people are going to forget who you are.

Looking back, did you ever think you would be here?
When I was a kid in The RUNAWAYS, I didn't think about the future much at all. I think it was scary to project about that. I remember being 19 in The RUNAWAYS and thinking, "This can't go on much longer." You have to be a teenager to runaway from something. When you're an adult, it doesn't make sense, but I knew I just wanted to play rock 'n' roll.

What was it like to be an all girl group in the '70s when nothing like that really existed?
I'll tell you, for me, it was the most incredible experience. It was living a total dream and fantasy. It was showing girls other paths. It didn't just have to do with music. It has to do with anything you want to do in life. Don't stand behind the boys. You can't be told you can't do something because you're a girl. I got a lot of that when I was a kid. I got it even after the success of "I Love Rock 'n' Roll." I learned you had to keep proving yourself. And I was fine with that.

The RUNAWAYS definitely shook things up when they came on the scene.
We didn't edit ourselves because we were girls. You disrespect teenagers in a way when you don't allow them to speak their mind. Girls think about sex, and all the other things boys think about. We were living it and wanted to give that fact a voice. Our music seemed authentic and genuine to me. But we definitely got in trouble for just being ourselves.

Do you love that women like Adele, Lady Gaga, and Beyonce are kind of taking over the music industry?
I suppose so. It will be really great when there is a lot of rock 'n' roll girls. And there really hasn't been any rock 'n' roll girls for years. I think it's very threatening when girls pick up guitars, drums, and get loud. It scares people. I don't really get it. Maybe some day that will be different.

Do you see a rock 'n' roll revival in our future?
I think it has to occur before there is a revival. There was a time there in the '90s with Bikini Kill and a lot of other bands coming out of the Seattle scene and there was a lot of commercial success for all-girl rock bands. Then it just ...didn't happen. Music happens in cycles. Hopefully, I'll see rock 'n' roll in the Top 40 soon. It's not really dominating the airwaves at the moment.

They made a movie about your life. That had to be pretty epic.
It was surreal. Very surreal. It was just such a positive experience. All the actors did an incredible job. Kristen [Stewart] really did, I mean, an amazing job. She did her homework and became me. She's such a hard worker. If anything, it got The RUNAWAYS to be talked about a little bit.

I hate to ask this question, but I listen to you and your music. What is on your iPod?
Here, I'll pull up my iTunes. Let's see, Bowie. A lot of David Bowie. I listen to a lot of British rock -- Led Zeppelin and Rolling Stones. I love Gary Glitter. A lot of punk rock. Tons of The Clash. The Kills. Pretty much rock 'n' roll, mostly.

Random fact: Did you know that Justin Bieber dressed up as you for Halloween?
[Laughs] No, I didn't hear that. That's amazing.

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