Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

July 2015 News

Page updated on July 31, 2015
All news is attributed to the source from which it was received so that readers may judge the validity of the statements for themselves.

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low resolution image Not Enlargeable Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll
Season 1, Ep. 3 | Aired Jul 30
Posted July 30 2015 Ñ 10:30 PM EDT
Whether they want to admit it or not, most rock stars (and indeed, most anybody actively seeking any modicum of fame) are actively concerned with their legacies. Some are more up front about it than others: In a conversation with Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo last year, he told me how he perceives his band in the context of other great rock bands, and made a case for why Weezer belongs alongside the greats. The same goes for Dave Grohl, who used to openly talk about how much he didn't want to be known only as the guy who stood behind Kurt Cobain at photo shoots. (Two decades of Foo Fighters has taken care of that.) Other stars try to play it cool and shrug off conversations about what sort of impression they will leave behind once they shuffle off this mortal coil, but deep down, they do what they do in order to establish some sort of longevity and, dare they dream, immortality.

Johnny Rock falls into the former category: He desperately wants to be remembered as a great rock star, and he is deeply disappointed to find out not that there was a rumor that he was dead, but rather that Rolling Stone hasn't given his death any coverage. "Peaches Geldof got a whole page, and she's not even a goddamn musician!" he complains after finding out that the only news hit his chicken-bone-assisted exit got was from Slicing Up Eyeballs. That may seem like Rock's very particular brand of vanity, but really, he's merely indulging in a basic bit of human nature. After all, wouldn't you want to know how people were reacting to your eternal rest?

But because Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll is hilariously cynical, the time for mourning is short, and gives way to a scheme that sets the whole episode in motion. News of Rock's quietus has spiked iTunes sales of old Heathens songs, and with the band on the tip of certain tongues in the media, it presents a perfect opportunity for Gigi and the remaining members of the band to perform as a reconfigured combo (and to pay tribute to its sorta-patriarch). It's just another way that SDRR gets the music business really, really right: Stars are rarely as lucrative as when they have just passed away, and plenty of actual legends have seen their expirations turned quickly into business transactions (just look at how much commerce got done in the wake of Michael Jackson's death in 2009). Thus the plan is set in motion: The rumor will be that Rock was shot by one of his bandmates, and the Gigi-led band will emerge as the Assassins.

Johnny gets to watch his career retrospective play out online to hilarious effect (Rolling Stone finally pays tribute to him in a very small way), but as planned, the focus shifts toward Gig and her Twitter follower-attracting hotness. Unscrupulous Ira books the band a show at Glasslands that will act as Gigi's coming out party, and she appropriately freaks out just before the show. Only the calming effect of a heart-to-heart with Johnny and an encouraging word from guest star JOAN JETT can get her on stage, where she kicks an impressive amount of butt.


JOAN JETT and Darlene Love film a music video in Asbury Park

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members JOAN JETT and Darlene Love along with former Late Show with David Lettermen band leader Paul Shaffer film a video along Lake Ave. in Asbury Park on Tuesday July 28,2015. Here Jett (left) enters a car driven by Love (right) during the video shoot.

Open call: Darlene Love to film video on A.P. beach

low resolution image Not Enlargeable The summer needs more Love and Asbury Park is about to get it. Rock and Roll hall of Fame member Darlene Love will film video for a new song 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 28 the 3rd Avenue beach in Asbury Park and producers are making a call for fans who want to participate. All ages are welcome and are encouraged to wear bright and colorful beach attire with no logos, photos or inappropriate sayings. The video producers are looking for a few surfers with their boards and wetsuits as well as some hip-hop and break dancers.

The public is invited to dance or just be a part of the crowd on the beach. The video will feature a ÒSoul TrainÓ style dance-off.

JOAN JETT, Paul Shaffer and Maureen Van Zandt will participate in the shoot, said Judi Yaccarino of Asbury Park's Sammy Boyd Productions. She said it's likely that Steven Van Zandt, the producer of the new album, will be edited into the video at later date.

Van Zandt is out of town, Yaccarino said.

ÒIntroducing Darlene Love,Ó which will be released in September on Van Zandt's Wicked Cool label and will be distributed by Columbia Records, will feature songs written by Jett, Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Jim Webb, Linda Perry, Desmond Child, and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

Love will play the city's Paramount Theatre on September 12 accompanied by Van Zandt and the musicians who played on the new album.


The RUNAWAYS And Motorhead Land Rock Honour On 40th Anniversary

low resolution image Not Enlargeable The RUNAWAYS And Motorhead Are Set To Be Honoured With A Special Music Industry Award 40 Years After The Bands Were Founded.

The two groups are set to be inducted into the IES Rock Honors, part of the Indie Entertainment Summit, in Los Angeles on 5 August (15).

The honour marks both bands' 40th anniversaries as they were both founded in 1975, and the day of the induction event also falls exactly 40 years after The RUNAWAYS co-stars JOAN JETT and Cherie Currie met for the first time.

The Ramones and former Guns N' Roses rocker Slash will also be among the inductees, and the event will feature tributes from members of Metallica and Megadeth.

A statement from the organisers reads, "This year's IES Rock Honors... will be a historic night... (and) will be (an) induction.. of icons on their 40th Anniversaries."

The music industry conference runs from 5-8 August (15).

The 5 Greatest Rock & Roll Biographical Movies

low resolution image Not Enlargeable You're setting yourself up for failure if you throw all the great musical biopics into one hopper and then try to pick a Top Five. It ain't going to happen. For one thing, there are too many to choose from, and for another, the competing genres, disparate historical timeframes, and stylistic choices are going to force you make some weird choices.

Consider: Which was the better movie: Director Clint Eastwood's Bird (the bio of jazz great Charlie Parker) or Milos Forman's Amadeus (Mozart's story)? How would you even compare those two? Or how would you compare La Vie en Rose ( Marion Cotillard playing Edith Piaf) with Walk the Line (Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon as Johnny Cash and June Carter)? Forget about it.

So let's stick with rock biographies, of which there are plenty. And before we name them, let's take care of some nasty business by announcing that Oliver Stone's The Doors (Jim Morrison's story) and Todd Haynes' I'm Not There (Bob Dylan) won't be on the list. As accomplished a director as Stone is (I loved "Wall Street"!!), his tendency to embrace sordid melodrama gets him in trouble. Subtlety has never been Stone's strong suit.

As for Haynes (who directed the excellent Far From Heaven), he made the artistic decision to present Dylan, the most enigmatic musician of his generation, in the most "enigmatic" manner possible. Alas, just as Nabokov was always trying prove how well he could write, Haynes tried to prove how innovative he could be. As a consequence, his "art" swallowed up his story. He had Cate Blanchett playing Dylan. 'Nuff said.

Here's our list of the 5 Greatest Rock Biopics, in no particular order:


Motorhead, Slash, Ramones + The RUNAWAYS To Be Saluted at 2015 IES Honors

low resolution image Not Enlargeable It's looking like quite a week for the annual Indie Entertainment Summit taking place in Los Angeles next month. Organizers have revealed that they will induct Lemmy Kilmister and Motorhead, Slash, Ramones and the RUNAWAYS during the IES Honors ceremony saluting rock's trailblazers.

The Indie Entertainment Summit takes place between Aug. 5-8 in the North Hollywood Area of Los Angeles and will feature a mix of cutting edge seminars, workshops, keynote speeches and events that are designed to help artists, managers, producers and labels to navigate the ever-changing music industry.

Two of the major highlights include the Indie Entertainment Summit Honors Ceremony as well as the IES Gear and Tech Expo. During the IES Honors, Lemmy and Motorhead will be inducted by Slash, and the timing is perfect as the band is celebrating their 40th anniversary and will be releasing their new Bad Magic album on Aug. 28. The band also recorded the disc at North Hollywood's NRG Studios, so returning for the IES is a bit of a homecoming.

The North Hollywood location also plays into honoring the RUNAWAYS, as Aug. 5 marks the 40th anniversary of the first meeting of singer Cherie Currie with JOAN JETT and manager Kim Fowley. As the story goes, Currie was met by Jett and Fowley in North Hollywood and the song "Cherry Bomb" was written on the spot so that she could audition.

The IES Honors will also induct the Ramones in honor of their 40th anniversary and Richie Ramone will lead an all-star jam with special guests at the event. And Slash, who is helping to induct Motorhead, will be inducted and saluted as well. Plus, celebrating the 40th anniversary of IRS Records, there will be a tribute to the label's founders and members of the Go-Go's, Oingo Boing and R.E.M. have been invited as well. The celebration will also feature members of Ozzy OsbourneÔs band, Metallica and Megadeth making guest appearances.

Meanwhile, on the final day (Aug. 8) of the summit, there will be IES Gear & Tech Expo featuring new apps, hardware, gear and demos, plus another all-star jam is expected to take place.

In order to attend the Indie Entertainment Summit, you must be registered. Be sure to head over to and register to take part in this special music week.

JOAN JETT & THE RUNAWAYS "I Want You" 1979 *(Video Master)

Five years before 'duBEAT-e-o', there was a movie in the works called 'We're All Crazy Now' that was to have starred The RUNAWAYS. Although the RUNAWAYS broke up in the spring of 1979, filming went ahead that summer with JOAN JETT and three actresses playing the band. On September 22,1979 BILLBOARD reported:

LOS ANGELESÑProduction has started on the Feature Motion Picture "We're All Crazy Now," loosely based on the career of the all-girl rock act the RUNAWAYS. The Zane-Helpern independent production stars Arte Johnson, RUNAWAYS' member JOAN JETT and former Herman's Hermits leader Peter Noone. Cheryl Smith, Karen and Kathy Fallentine round out the cast as the remainder of the original RUNAWAYS.

(Yes, that is Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith of 'Caged Heat' fame on Drums. And Twins Karen & Kathy Fallentine on Bass & Keyboards)

The production fell apart and the movie was abandoned. Somehow, by 1984, the footage wound up in the hands of producer Alan Sacks, the creative genius behind Welcome Back, Kotter, Chico and the Man. Sacks cast Ray Sharkey as an editor whoÑget thisÑis assigned to make a movie out of some old footage of JOAN JETT! (I think this is what the credits are referring to when they say the movie is "Based on an idea by Alan Sacks."

Back in Jan. 1979, Z Productions announced the start of the filming of 'We're All Crazy Now', to be Directed by James Roberson, who was better known in Exploitation circles as a Cinematographer for such films as The Great Lester Boggs, Mountain Family Robinson, Encounter With the Unknown, and (most importantly) a couple of films for Charles B. Pearce ('Winterhawk' and 'The Town that Dreaded Sundown'). With the aim to create a film for the then-disintegrating RUNAWAYS, with bassist Laurie McAllister already out of the picture (to form another all girl band 'THE ORCHIDS' with RUNAWAYS Manager & Producer Kim Fowley), it was reported that Sandy West (Drums) and Lita Ford (Guitar) decided to walk out of the project, possibly the final straw that led to the official breakup of the band in April. With JOAN JETT still on, she was contracted to do the project, and decided to soldier on with a trio of acting RUNAWAYS, including Rainbeaux Smith on Drums.


Sound Advice: JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS Friday ¥ Lawrenceburg Event Center (Hollywood Casino)

low resolution image Not Enlargeable For all the grumbling about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the induction ceremonies can often be revelatory and moving, occasionally serving as a way to view an artist from a different perspective and remind everyone why an artist is receiving the honor in the first place. The 2015 Rock Hall inductions had its fair share of goosebump-worthy moments. Patti Smith and Laurie Anderson's stories showed a delicate, tender side of inductee Lou Reed that was likely unknown to many fans (and Lou fans who didn't get choked up when Smith got choked up reciting lines from "Perfect Day" aren't real fans).

But it was fellow inductee JOAN JETT's acceptance speech that made me most emotional, reminding me of my own deep-rooted passion for music in general, and Rock & Roll specifically.

"I come from a place where Rock & Roll means something," Jett said at the podium. "It means more than music, more than fashion, more than the pose. Rock & Roll is an idea and an ideal. We've become so conditioned to measuring our music's impact in dollar signs only that we can forget what it's really about Ñ the music! Emotion. Expression. Giving a voice to those who aren't satisfied with whatever Ôbox' they were given."

Perhaps even more touching was when the rocker began naming several artists who've inspired her (and, often, were inspired by her), showing her wide impact on contemporary music and her passion for rebellious music, past and present. Jett shouted out Pussy Riot, The Foo Fighters, Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill), Adam Horovitz (Beastie Boys), Motšrhead, Nirvana, Iggy Pop, Blondie, The Ramones, Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick, The Who, Fugazi, Dischord Records, Green Day, X, Robert Plant, Darlene Love, Aerosmith, The Replacements, Social Distortion and "all the riot grrrls out there."

Jett's career speaks for itself, from her groundbreaking work with The RUNAWAYS in the '70s to her successful solo career, which produced timeless Rock classics like "Bad Reputation" and "I Love Rock & Roll." Music has progressed so that today, women who play music have become exhausted and frustrated by questions about what it's like to be a woman who plays music. Jett probably hated those questions too, but the reason gender doesn't (or shouldn't) matter when assessing a musical performer's worth and talent is because of the accomplishments of JOAN JETT and the many female artists who came before and after her.

JOAN JETT - I Love Rock 'n' Roll, Northern Quest Casino - July 20, 2015

CONCERT REVIEW: Melissa, Debbie and Joan pulled off one of the hottest rock shows of summer

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Last night at the Northern Quest Resort & Casino, Melissa Etheridge, Blondie and JOAN JETT played one of the hottest shows of the Inland Northwest summer - not just because it was 90 degrees out, but because it moved and entertained and brought a whole bunch of different folks (punks, housewives, lesbians, grandparents, teens) to the packed-out outdoor concert space.

This was the only time the trio of acts was booked to play the same stage this year Ñ Blondie and Etheridge have toured a bit together, but Jett is opening for the Who. Somehow, Airway Heights lucked out getting the legendary rock 'n' roll artists in one spot.

Etheridge was the perfect choice to kick off the show. She has this voice capable of taking over whole planets and guitar skills to match (her guitar-playing ability is seriously underrated). As people filed into their folding-chair seats for the spot-on 7 pm set, Etheridge played songs to get the crowd movin' and shaking, to forget that they were sweating hard.

"I can't seem to get enough water," she admitted from the stage, as she drank out of a purple water bottle. This, of course, moved her perfectly into the hit "Bring Me Some Water." And even when her vocals did get dry and raspy, she still hit every note. Throughout the hour-long set, she stomped around the stage while playing all the hits, took on her bass and guitar players, played harmonica, flipped her hair and even took a selfie of the crowd. She never got super-political, just told people to "choose only love."

The closer, "Like the Way I Do" went on for 10 minutes of pure aggression complete with an interlude where Etheridge nearly killed her acoustic guitar.

Debbie Harry can still move. At 70, she was up there last night doing kicks, spins, foot shuffles and air punches. Her voice is still there, too, as much as it ever was. Harry's life partner, Chris Stein, whom she started Blondie with in 1974, is five years younger and barely moves on his guitar, but that doesn't mean he wasn't feeling it.


JOAN JETT Responds to Kim Fowley Rape Allegation: 'I Was Not Aware of This Incident'

low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT has responded to the rape allegations made by her former RUNAWAYS bandmate Jackie Fox against former manager Kim Fowley, saying she hadn't known anything about it.

Fuches had told Huffington Post that Fowley raped her after a roadie insisted she take a Quaalude pill and did so while Jett and others watched.

"Anyone who truly knows me understands that if I was aware of a friend or bandmate being violated, I would not stand by while it happened," said Jett in a statement. "For a group of young teenagers thrust into 70s rock stardom there were relationships that were bizarre, but I was not aware of this incident."

She continued, "Obviously Jackie's story is extremely upsetting and although we haven't spoken in decades, I wish her peace and healing."

Billboard reached out to Kim Fowley's widow, Kara Fowley, and she doesn't have any comment about the interview.

Evelyn McDonnel, who wrote the 2013 book on the RUNAWAYS Queens of Noise, has released a lengthy statement about Fox's allegation and the Huffington Post story.

In it, she said, "I have issues with the story's sometimes sensationalist tone, the reporter's methods, and some of the response to it online Ð particularly the way other women tangential to this story (including JOAN JETT and myself) are also being targeted and blamed, by men."

JOAN JETT for Levi's new denim range

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Ultimate rock babe JOAN JETT has been unveiled as one of the new faces of Levi's.

As reported by, Jett, along with Erin Wasson, Tali Lennox, Jamie Chung and Leigh Lezark (and more, talk about squad goals) are fronting the campaign for the brand's 700 denim series. The collection has six styles, from the 710 Super Skinny to the 714 Straight.

The campaign was shot by Petra Collins, and the collection was unveiled at an event in New York on Tuesday night.

Tali Lennox, Petra Collins, Jillian Hervey, JOAN JETT, Marloes Horst, Erin Wasson, Leigh Lezark and Phoebe Collings-James attends the Levi's Women's Collection Exhibition Launch at The Levi's Store Times Square on July 7, 2015.

We can't get enough of Jett's portrait though, which she unveiled at the event. It captures her perfectly, all saturated hues, leather jacket, and tough girl with heart.

So. Dreamy.

Exclusive: Levi's New Denim Range Is Modeled by JOAN JETT, Erin Wasson, and More

low resolution image Not Enlargeable While denim is having a renaissance on the runways, the rise of athleisure has actually posed quite a threat to the once-omnipresent jeans in the current market. To combat that, Levi's is rolling out a wide selection of new denim styles, each crafted with new calibrations of stretch to appeal to a consumer looking to blend comfort with style.

"We're making jeans for women around the world and our mission is to make them look good and feel good," explained Levi's chief product officer, Karyn Hillman, at a walk-through of the event space where Levi's will debut the jeans this evening. Hillman, clad in a denim top and jeans, put an extra stress on the word feel, later noting that the brand's process, which took them abroad to several countries for market research with real women of all shapes and sizes, centered on feeling, in both the literal and emotional senses. "It almost became fabric first," she offered, "but I would say fit and fabric are equal in the end."

Those two elements are best married in the brand's 700 series. Comprised of six styles ranging from the 710 Super Skinny to the 714 Straight, the collection is crafted with a new stretch fabric that allows for optimum comfort. And with a mid rise on five of the six styles, it's more easily adaptable to the many body types out there. (The sixth pair, the 721 High Rise, rides above the hip bonesÑlet's say intended for those willing to show off their curves, especially in the derriere.)

Also helping bring the buzz to the collection are tastemakers including JOAN JETT, Erin Wasson, and Tali Lennox, who posed latest for Levi's for photographer Petra Collins. Those saturated pictures will help cull some fashion world favor for the brand, while Alicia Keys, who composed a new song debuting in the campaign, will no doubt help broaden Levi's reach around the world. See all of Collins' photos in the slideshow, debuting exclusively here.

"I Hate Myself for Loving You" JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS@RFK Stadium Washington DC 7/4/15

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS ( I love Rock and Roll / France 1992)

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