Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

September 2014 News

Page updated on September 30, 2014
All news is attributed to the source from which it was received so that readers may judge the validity of the statements for themselves.

Have Joan Jett news to report? Email us at, and please include the source of the information so it can be validated.

Lifetime taking dark turn with 'Big Driver'

At first one might not conceive of Lifetime, Stephen King and "The Walking Dead" being connected, and they weren't, until now that is. Lifetime, the channel that features programming that is geared toward women or features women in lead roles, will premiere "Big Driver", an adaptation of one of Stephen King's novellas, according to on Sept. 24, 2014.

Yes, Stephen King and Lifetime are collaborating on "Big Driver" to bring audiences a dark, grim and brutal story of a young novelist who was victim to a savage crime and is now seeking revenge. This project is an unusual and uncharacteristic one for Lifetime, though the network has been branching out in recent years. Where does "The Walking Dead" fit into this you're wondering? Keep reading.

"Big Driver", the same-named short story from Stephen King's 2010 collection "Full Dark, No Stars", headlines Maria Bello, and also stars Olympia Dukakis (Sex & Violence," "Steel Magnolias"), Ann Dowd (the provocative "The Leftovers"), Will Harris ("NCIS", "Sky High"), and Grammy nominee JOAN JETT. If this intriguing cast and the trailer of "Big Driver" doesn't pique your interest, than it seems nothing will.

The opening scene alone of "Big Driver's" trailer is enough to make your hair stand on end. It features a terrified and disheveled woman running down a desolate road at dusk with headlights trailing behind her with Timber Timbre's foreboding track "Run from Me" playing.

"Big Driver" is just one project of many to thank for making Lifetime look more like the Chiller network or the Syfy channel than a channel whose tagline and signature slogan was at one time branded, "Television for Women". Lifetime has been trying to branch out in recent years and reinvent themselves as a network with such shows as "Witches of East End" and "The Lottery", and the original Lifetime movie "Lizzie Borden Took an Ax", starring Christina Ricci, Billy Campbell, and Clea DuVall.

More recently, Lifetime announced they have green-lighted a six-episode straight-to-series pickup of a TV series based on the demon child from the "Omen" movies with former "Walking Dead" executive producer Glen Mazzara attached to the project, according to Project Casting. This drama is set for 2015, but until then you can get your horror/suspense/drama fix from Lifetime's "Big Driver" which premieres on Oct. 18, 2014.

JOAN JETT, Starship, Christen New Sanford PREMIER Center Wednesday Night!

low resolution image Not Enlargeable I admit it. I've been waiting for last night for over 15 years. The first show in a brand new events center in Sioux Falls. And Wednesday night I spent the better part of three hours with a big grin on my face that was there as much for the new Denny Sanford PREMIER Center as for JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS and Starship featuring Mickey Thomas. The venue is beautiful, the sound was great (of course as an old rock guy, it could have been a little louder, but I suppose they didn't want to blow away the 4688 of us that turned out to reminisce) and the new seats were comfortable (for the little bit of time I actually spent sitting in them!)

The show started right on time with a great, albeit too brief, set from Starship. Mickey Thomas still sounds fantastic at 64 as the band ran through hits like 'Jane', 'Sara' and 'We Built This City'.

I had seen Thomas on a Christmas show with Eddie Money and Lou Gramm a couple of years ago at Grand Falls Casino, so I knew he can still entertain and hit those amazing notes. And it was a nice surprise to hear them include a song that Thomas sang on and had a hit with Elvin Bishop back in the 70s on 'Fooled Around and Fell in Love'! What I wasn't expecting though was Stephanie Calvert. The diminutive powerhouse Starship vocalist who is tasked with filling the legend Grace Slick's shoes (and microphone) She sounded fantastic, especially when taking the lead on the Jefferson Airplane classics 'White Rabbit' and 'Somebody To Love'.

After a short stage changeover, it was time for one of the first ladies of rock to take the stage. I've been a fan of JOAN JETT since she formed The RUNAWAYS back in the 1970s when she was just 17 (and of course the band included her famous ex-bandmate Lita Ford) and last night was the fourth time I've seen her perform. I've enjoyed every one of the shows.

I like to refer to Jett as 'fun size' as she is absolutely tiny in person, but her voice and her persona are larger than life. She had plenty of smiles for the appreciative crowd, talked about being honored to be the first band to headline the new building in Sioux Falls, and ran through a set filled with her biggest hits and several songs from the band's latest release 'Unvarnished' that came out in 2013.

While the crowd appreciated the new songs, it was obviously the classics that wound the crowd into a frenzy like 'Do You Wanna Touch', 'I Hate Myself For Loving You' and of course 'I Love Rock & Roll'.

Jett even hung around on stage for a few minutes after the set was over to sign a few autographs for fans that were standing along the rail in front. A very cool gesture from someone who doesn't need to do that, but continues to make her fans feel special. We had the opportunity to do the meet & greet with her and she took those few extra seconds with everyone in line for a hug and to make it 'personal'. Again, just that little something extra that leaves an impression on fans.


JOAN JETT rocks the new Premier Center

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Not only did Dana Johnson attend her first live concert ever Wednesday, she did it in style, going to the first performance at the Denny Sanford Premier Center.

"It sounded pretty good," the 18-year-old from Sioux Falls said during intermission after hearing a 30-minute set from Starship, the opening act for JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS.

As a newbie to live performances, Johnson had nothing to compare the new events center to, but those who suffered through concerts at the Sioux Falls Arena were enthused about the venue's acoustics and sight lines.

"It's probably four times better on acoustics," said Greg Learing of Sioux Falls, comparing the two. "There's more room, and people are excited. We're coming back for the Jason Aldean concert."

Country star Aldean will perform to a sold-out crowd for Oct. 3's grand opening. Jett's performance was billed as a rock 'n' roll ramp-up concert," said Rick Huffman, the center's director of sales and public relations.


JOAN JETT on tour, being honored at Little Kids Rock benefit gala w/ Alice Cooper, Glen Hansard, Brody Dalle, more

low resolution image Not Enlargeable The annual Little Kids Rock benefit gala (which Brian Wilson played last year) happens this year at NYC's Hammerstein Ballroom on October 23 and honors JOAN JETT. Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong will present Joan with the award and Alice Cooper, Tommy James, Darlene Love, Jake Clemons, Glen Hansard, Brody Dalle and Jesse Malin will all be on hand to perform Joan's songs as a tribute to her. The event is produced by Jake's fellow E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt and his wife Maureen (both also of The Sopranos). You can reserve a seat now ($25,000 seats are the cheapest ones remaining, but there's a waiting list for the two lower levels).

Joan doesn't have any regular shows in NYC on her tour schedule, but she will be nearby not long before the gala for a show at NJ's Count Basie Theatre on October 11 with Jesse Malin. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

All of her dates are listed below...

JOAN JETT -- 2014 Tour Dates
Sep 24 Denny Sanford PREMIER Center Sioux Falls, SD
Sep 26 Central WA State Fair Yakima, WA
Sep 27 Lancaster Performing Arts Center Lancaster, CA
Sep 28 Budweiser Pavilion Bakersfield, CA
Oct 04 Bayfest Mobile, AL
Oct 05 Gretna Heritage Festival Gretna, LA
Oct 11 Count Basie Theatre Red Bank, NJ
Oct 18 The Joint at Hard Rock Casino Tulsa Catoosa, OK
Oct 23 Hammerstein Ballroom New York, NY (Little Kids Rock benefit gala)
Oct 26 North Carolina State Fair Raleigh, NC
Nov 01 Fanfest Austin, TX
Nov 08 Old City Music Festival St Augustine, FL

Official Big Driver Trailer
from: Lifetime

Check out the winning "TMI" video directed by Krzysztof Wrobel!
from: JOAN JETT & The Blackhears


JOAN JETT gets rocker of the year honor from 'Little Kids Rock' gala

low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT will be receiving an award for rocker of the year from the "Little Kids Rock" annual gala in New York city. The ceremony takes place October 23 at the Hammerstein Ballroom. The night will be filled with star studded tributes to the rocker featuring Alice Cooper, Jake Clemons, Tommy James, Brody Dalle, and Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, who will present her with the award. E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt and his wife, who both helped to produce the event, will also be in attendance. Tickets are available for purchase, but get ready to pay a hefty price. Reservations start at $1000 and go as high as $100,000.

There will also be an action that evening to raise additional funds for Little Kids Rock, which helps to rise money to support music education in public schools. The program originally began in 2002 in Verona, New Jersey and has since expanded to other public school districts. To learn more about the benefit and to donate, visit their website.

Earlier this year Jett became the first woman to win the Golden God Award from Revolver Magazine. She also joined the remaining members of Nirvana for a performance of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" during their Rock n Roll Hall of Fame induction. Jett herself was nominated for induction in 2012, but was passed over. She was re-nominated for induction in 2013 and was passed over once again. Her most recent studio album with The BLACKHEARTS, "Unvarnished" was released last year.

Alice Cooper, JOAN JETT, Billie Joe Armstrong Join Forces for Little Kids Rock Benefit

low resolution image Not Enlargeable If you've ever wanted to see Alice Cooper, Billie Joe Armstrong and Darlene Love paying tribute to JOAN JETT, you're in luck.

On Oct. 23, those artists will join forces -- along with Glen Hansard, Tommy James, Jesse Malin, Brody Dalle, Jake Clemons and other special guests -- for the sixth annual Little Kids Rock Benefit in New York. Last year's event paid tribute to Darlene Love, and in 2012, Steven Van Zandt was honored (and Bruce Springsteen showed up to speak about his lifelong friend; they also performed together).

The special night of performances, produced by Steven Van Zandt, will donate its proceeds towards the organization Little Kids Rock, which inspires children in disadvantaged public schools by overhauling their music programs.

Related: Alice Cooper on Late Guitarist Dick Wagner: ‘He is Irreplaceable' Jett will be on hand to accept the honor of Rocker of the Year for her musical impact and charity work for the non-profit's "Modern Band" music program that not only donates instruments to public school teachers, but also trains them and provides curricular resources.

In addition to producing the event, Van Zandt will be donating dinner with him and his wife Maureen to the silent auction, which will feature items like autographed music memorabilia, cruises from Royal Caribbean and other prizes.

The event goes down at 6 p.m. ET at the Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center.

Take a Ride with the Official Poster Art and New Stills from Lifetime's Big Driver

low resolution image Not Enlargeable

We're closing in on the October 18th premiere date of Lifetime's upcoming "Big Driver" adaptation, and on tap today we have the film's official poster art to share plus over a dozen new stills. Check ‘em out, and look for more soon!

About "Big Driver" on Lifetime:
From a story by Stephen King, "Big Driver" marks the first collaboration between Lifetime and King. This dark story of a young novelist hell-bent on revenge after falling victim to a brutal crime stars Golden Globe nominee Maria Bello (A History of Violence).

Bello's co-stars include Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis (Steel Magnolias), Grammy nominee JOAN JETT, film and television veteran Ann Dowd ("The Leftovers"), and Will Harris ("NCIS").

low resolution image Not Enlargeable

In "Big Driver" Tess Thorne (Bello), a famous and revered mystery and thriller writer, faces a long drive home following a book-signing engagement. But while driving on a lonely stretch of New England road, her tire blows out, leaving her stranded. Relieved when another driver stops and offers assistance, Tess quickly discovers her savior is actually her assailant, a serial killer who repeatedly assaults her. Left for dead in a drainage pipe to rot with the bodies of his other victims, Tess escapes and makes her way safely home. With her fragile mind beginning to unravel, she is determined to find her rapist and seek revenge, as payback is the only thing holding her together.

Produced by Ostar Productions, "Big Driver" is executive produced by Bill Haber (The Trip to Bountiful) and Jeffrey Hayes (A Day Late and A Dollar Short). The screenplay adaptation was written by Richard Christian Matheson ("Masters of Horror," Happy Face Killer) and is directed by Mikael Salomon (Drew Peterson: Untouchable). A+E Networks handles international sales for "Big Driver."


JOAN JETT to play Green Bay sports bar before Packers-Jets game

low resolution image Not Enlargeable A longtime rocker and reported Green Bay Packers fan will play a short distance from the hallowed "frozen tundra" of Lambeau Field the night before the 2014 home opener.

JOAN JETT will play Saturday night, Sept. 13 at Burkel's One Block Over on Tony Canadeo Way, according to a news release.

The Packers play the next day against the New York Jets at Lambeau Field. Fans can buy tickets starting Tuesday, August 12th at 11:00 a.m. through Ticket Star.

JOAN JETT loves rock 'n' roll...and the Packers

low resolution image Not Enlargeable As as you might expect when it comes to most things JOAN JETT, she doesn't talk the talk of being a Green Bay Packers fan without putting some teeth into it.

The rock icon behind the snarl of "I Hate Myself for Loving You" and "Bad Reputation" has been a fan of the Pack since she was a little kid growing up in Pennsylvania and Maryland. While that may sound like a convenient thing to throw out there when you just happen to be playing Green Bay on home opener weekend, Jett does some impressive name dropping -- Nitschke, Starr -- to back it up.

She became a Packers fan much the same way she has become one of the most influential women in rock, from her days as a rebellious teen in the pioneering all-girl, pop-punk band The RUNAWAYS in the 1970s to undeniable jukebox hits like "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" and "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)" with The BLACKHEARTS in the '80s to her ranking on lists of guitar great right alongside the boys. She did it by following her gut.

"I'm pretty sure it was a Sports Illustrated cover from what was then the Mud Bowl (Jan. 2, 1966, at Lambeau Field), and if you know about football you should know something about the Mud Bowl," the 55-year-old Jett said by phone. " It was before they did the Super Bowl, except it was the championship game. I believe the Packers played Cleveland.

"You could see a bunch of guys, but you couldn't see anybody's uniforms. You couldn't see who was wearing white. You couldn't see who was wearing their colors. You couldn't see anybody's helmets. Everything was covered in mud, except I guess somebody's hand swiped a Green Bay helmet, and I think it was Ray Nitschke, and so you could just see a little bit of the G on the helmet.

"And for some reason as a little kid, I guess I was getting into sports then and I was getting into football, something about that said, 'That's my team.' ... Bart Starr and all that stuff. I followed it as best I could in the papers, and so just all these years I've been a Packers fan."


Little Kids Rock to Honor JOAN JETT on October 23

low resolution image Not Enlargeable

Mark your calendars to help build a world where all kids can live rich, purposeful lives through music at Little Kids Rock's 6th Annual Benefit in NYC on Thursday, October 23.

Presented by Guitar Center, the event will honor iconic rock star JOAN JETT and raise funds to bring the transformational gift of music education to children in underserved schools across the country. Reserve your seats now!

This year's benefit will be hosted by the legendary Hammerstein Ballroom at Manhattan Center and will include live musical performances produced by Steven Van Zandt, a cocktail hour, dinner, live and silent auctions, and special performances by local Little Kids Rock students.

Every ticket sold will help provide forty public school children with music lessons.

JOAN JETT cashes in on runaway hit NFL theme song

low resolution image Not Enlargeable The next time you happen to be on Long Island, look out for JOAN JETT. She'll be the one riding around in a brand-new Cadillac ELR.

"When I bought it a few months back, it was the only one in Nassau County," Jett, now 55 and still touring hard with her band the BLACKHEARTS, tells The Post. The rock 'n' roll queen isn't someone who allows herself to splurge on $75,000 electric cars or other flashy accessories very often, but it's one of the things that "I Hate Myself for Loving You" -- the theme to NBC's "Sunday Night Football" -- has bought her.

Released in 1988 and co-written with songwriter Desmond Child (who also co-wrote some of Bon Jovi's biggest singles), it originally hit the Top 10 on the Billboard chart. The track got a new lease on life in 2006 when NBC picked it up to be the theme tune of their primetime football show and renamed it "Waiting All Day for Sunday Night." Over the past eight years, new versions with altered lyrics have been sung by Pink, Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood, but Jett and co-writer Child have enjoyed the spoils.

Veronica Gretton, founder of New York based music publishing company 401K Music Inc., estimates that although Jett won't be hurting financially, she probably hasn't earned quite enough to move next door to Mark Zuckerberg just yet. "[The year] 2006 was a bit of a lean period for Joan, so NBC probably low-balled her," she speculates. "But even so, it's a well-viewed show, so I think she probably got a couple of grand a week, times that by a 17-week season over eight years. So that's $272,000 as a base figure, which will be split 50/50 with Desmond Child." When added to performance royalties, international screenings of 'SNF,' as well as sales of the original track prompted by fans hearing it, Gretton estimates it would have netted at least a cool half-million for Jett alone.

Bizarrely, the writers of "I Hate Myself for Loving You" initially didn't want to hand over their baby to NBC, but Jett has come to terms with it. "I'm not Kanye West and I'm not on the radio all the time, so it helps keep my band paid," she says. "I'm just glad I don't have to sing the new versions. I'd probably end up singing the football version onstage by accident."

MUSIC REVIEW | Journey and JOAN JETT electrify the Minnesota State Fair

low resolution image Not Enlargeable The Minnesota State Fair was given an explosive final farewell to the 2014 Grandstand Concert Series as Journey and JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS came together for an amazing rock sound that electrified the myriad masses out of their food comas and on to their feet.

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS opened the show at 7pm sharp, ripping right into "Bad Reputation" and keeping the energy level high as people scrambled to get to their seats and enjoy the show. Jett was absolutely stunning on stage, exuding charm, energy, and a playful stage presence that was captivating. JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS know what they're doing, and they do it well, as they blasted through almost an hour of straight forward, high-octane rock and roll.

Journey then took the stage following a fairly lengthy intermission and captivated in their own right. While JOAN JETT has that wonderful, fast, heavy hitting sound that conjures visions of energetic nights in small venues, Journey is almost pure arena rock. Journey is sing-along rock, it is "bust out your lighters and sway to the tune" rock, and their performance brought you to all of those moments, from the classic "Any Way You Want It," to the track with the greatest music video ever in "Separate Ways" (which brought a ridiculous and completely unexpected pop from the crowd), to the more mellow sounds of songs such as "Lights" and "Open Arms."

Arnel Pineda is an amazing frontman, a man with an incredible amount of energy and a million dollar smile who knows how to work a crowd, and while he was given plenty of time as the face, each band member was given their own chance to shine, and each of them did. No one seemed lost in the shuffle as the whole truly felt like a collaborative effort between artists as equals rather than musicians without identities stacked up behind a charming and likable face. Guitarist Neal Schon owned his opportunities all night, firing off several great solos and even getting a bit of spotlight time of his own to play through a little Hendrix-inspired riff on the Star Spangled Banner. Drummer Deen Castronovo excelled in a performance of "Mother, Father" as well as owning a few moments of his own. Jonathan Cain's piano solo was quite beautiful and a good segue into the softer tracks, while bassist Ross Valory was a delightful surprise, flashing an entertaining array of ridiculous, exaggerated facial expressions like something straight out of a silent film, something which may not have been captured by cameras for the folks in the grandstand but was very apparent to those close to the stage.

Journey and JOAN JETT are an oddly complementary duo, juxtaposing the minimalist and straight-forward rock of The BLACKHEARTS with the wonderfully over-the-top stage show that is Journey. It is the difference between a simple black banner bearing the band's name and massive video screens and frantic lighting effects, but while each may be suited for a different venue, they both worked well at the Grandstand last night.

Journey and JOAN JETT killed it on a beautiful night at the fair, creating a Monday which not even Garfield could hate. The Grandstand Concert Series was given a grand send-off on the last day of the State Fair, as two amazing rock acts did a great job of warding off that sense of melancholy that comes with the closing of the fair and the realization that summer is drawing to a close, and The Season Which Shall Not Be Named is pressing ever closer on the horizon. It was a good night with a great crowd who seemed eager to sing along with every track, and it was a great way to end the Fair.

This Week:

No shows scheduled this week.

Click on the LIVE DATES link for upcoming shows

Item Of The Month:
 Click To Order

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional
© Blackheart Records and All Rights Reserved.