Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

August 2016 News

Page updated on August 31, 2016
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Review: Heart shows all that glitters is gold at end of Rock Hall Three For All
from: heraldextra.comBR
low resolution image Not Enlargeable The Rock Hall Three For All tour provided more than three hours of great live music Monday night at USANA Amphitheatre, but if all you happened to see was the final 10 minutes, you would have still gotten your money's worth.

That was when headliners Heart put an indelible cap on the evening with a transcendent rendition of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." For those of you who have already seen the band's performance of the song at the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors -- which might be most of you as the clip went viral at the time -- you have a pretty good idea of what fans experienced Monday. Still, it's one thing to watch something on YouTube, but it is quite another to experience the power and majesty of it in a live setting.

To put a spin on a famous "Wayne's World" gag, there was no denying of "Stairway" on this evening.

There was a whole lot of music played before then, though, beginning with hour-long sets by Cheap Trick and JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS. The tour -- which is two-thirds of the way through its 30-plus dates -- features a trio of bands that have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Fame during the past three years. The three sets were all pretty straightforward, without much in the way of frills or effects, except for a multi-paneled video board in the back which played a mix of graphics and, at times, some archival footage. No live coverage was broadcast.

Cheap Trick started the proceedings, albeit by getting off to a bit of a slow start. Following traditional show-opener "Hello There," Cheap Trick, as it is wont to do, eschewed some of its more popular material early on, opting instead for a series of album tracks. That is a cool approach to take in theory, however, it's probably more effective overall when you're headlining and playing mostly to your own fans.

"Here's a song we've never done anywhere, and after we're done, we may never play it again," said guitarist Rick Nielsen five songs into the set while introducing "Yeah Yeah." So obscure was the song that even Nielsen struggled to remember what album it came from. "It's three and a half minutes, just clap, anyhow."

Heart, JOAN JETT and Cheap Trick give it all at the Forum

low resolution image Not Enlargeable As Nancy and Ann Wilson of rock band Heart were kicking around ideas on how to really promote and celebrate their band's 16th studio release, "Beautiful Broken," which dropped in July, the pair instantly thought of getting together with JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS.

During an interview back in April, Ann Wilson, who performed as solo show as the Ann Wilson Thing at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, said that they knew they needed a solid third act and landed on their longtime friends, Cheap Trick. It was also fitting since all three bands had been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Heart in 2013, Jett in 2015 and Cheap Trick was just officially inducted in April, thus the Rock Hall Three for All tour was announced.

Filling up, though not fully selling-out the Forum in Inglewood on Tuesday night, Heart gave a great mix of hits, covers and new material. The band appeared on stage and Ann got to it, wailing out "Wild Child." That was followed by Nancy's familiar guitar intro to "Magic Man," a song off of Heart's debut, "Deamboat Annie," which turns 40 this year. Ann soared through "What About Love" and talked about equal rights for women before offering "Even It Up."

Nancy took over for "These Dreams," a definite set highlight as she simultaneously bared her soul, rocked out on guitar and showed off the best, blondest, bounciest hair in rock 'n' roll. She was joined by her sister mid-song and the pair's harmonies were spot on. They did a couple of new songs including the title track, "Beautiful Broken," which was dedicated to those who are a little nutty, and a cover of R&B artist Ne-Yo's "Two."

Heading into "Straight On," Ann prefaced the song with a little of James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing." Anne's hauntingly powerful delivery of the song "Alone" brought down the house and it was followed by strong back-to-back performances of "Crazy On You," with Nancy going wild on guitar, and "Barracuda."

Heart returned after a quick break with two Led Zeppelin covers for the encore. It started out with a rousing version of "Immigrant Song," Ann's vocal certainly giving 1970s Robert Plant a run for his money, and the evening ended with a beautiful rendition of "Stairway to Heaven."

JOAN JETT is just a badass. She wasted no time digging into her hour-long turn, coming out fast and hard with "Bad Reputation" and her band, the BLACKHEARTS, kept that momentum going by transitioning right into "Cherry Bomb" by Jett's first band, the RUNAWAYS. The 57-year-old performer is still devilishly sharp as she delivers the lyrics of the popular song that she co-wrote over 40 years ago and she also continues to rock the otherwise glam version of Gary Glitter's "Do You Wanna Touch Me? (Oh Yeah)." The seasoned performer got the entire venue clapping and belting out "Oh! Oh yeah! Oh yeah!"

The Top Five Signature Models of Women Guitarists

Our friends at Guitar Nerds are presenting another top-five countdown, this time featuring the Top Five Signature Models of Women Guitarists. Among the honorees is Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale, shown above with her signature Gibson Explorer.

As Nerd spokesman Mark mentions in the video, "There were so many awesome guitars that could have been on this list, we’ve compiled some honorary mentions."

Take a look, and be sure to visit Guitar Nerds YouTube channel for more of their great videos.

Heart, JOAN JETT and Cheap Trick reminded fans why they can go out on Rock Hall package tour

low resolution image Not Enlargeable The Rock Hall Three for All is a brilliant premise for a package tour -- three artists whose induction to the Hall of Fame was long denied on one bill dusting off their greatest hits and more in sets that left no doubt that you were seeing three iconic acts in action.

Heart headlined at Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix over JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, with Cheap Trick playing to a fairly packed and extremely receptive house in the opening slot at the very un-rock-and-roll hour of 6:45. But more on Joan and Robin later.

Ann and Nancy Wilson sounded great in a set whose highlights ranged from raucous renditions of classic-rock radio triumphs as timeless as "Magic Man," "Even It Up," "Barricuda" and "Crazy On You" to tender ballads, including a Ne-Yo track they recorded for "Beautiful Broken," their new album, with Nancy on lead vocals.

When I spoke to Nancy prior to the show, she told me "Alone" had emerged as "the touchdown moment of the night" for her after freeing the song from what she labeled "the production bombast" of the '80s, stripping it down to one acoustic guitar, a piano and a voice. And that certainly proved to be the case at Sunday's concert, although in my notebook, it seems it was also the "holy (expletive)" moment of the night. Ann's vocals, which were soulful and emotional throughout, were especially powerful on that one. I got chills.

Heart is a blast to watch

Nancy was a blast to watch, with her high kick on "Crazy on You" and her jumps and her overall presence. And she more than earned her vocal spotlights, playing mandolin while singing lead on an understated arrangement of "These Dreams" and then holding the spotlight for the previously mentioned Ne-Yo track, a soulful ballad that could almost be a mainstream country hit called "Two."

JOAN JETT - Run DMC Darryl McDaniels "Reality Mentality"

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, Run DMC Darryl DMC McDaniels at Gexa Energy Pavilion In Dallas, Texas - "Reality Mentality" Live 08/18/16

Fans Flock to Watch Heart Headline a Night for The Aged, We Mean Ages, in Dallas

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Heart with JOAN JETT and the Black Hearts and Cheap Trick
Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas
Thursday, August 18, 2016

Everyone and their mom was at Gexa Energy Pavillon on Thursday night. That's not just a bad joke. (OK, it is a bad joke, but it's not only a bad joke.) It was a night for the ages, rocking out with Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Heart, JOAN JETT and the Black Hearts and Cheap Trick.

Although most of the audience was there to relive the glory days, there was no shortage of young people there as well. Many families attended, including 19-year-old Natalie Rowland and her mom, Mindy Poteet. "This is our thing, going to rock concerts," Poteet said. "We usually go see the bands I used to listen to as a kid. If you get in my car, I have [Sirius XM's] Hair Nation on and that's it."

It was the younger Rowland's first time to see any of the three bands. "I grew up listening to them," she said. "My friends make fun of me for being into this kind of music. They call me the '80s queen. Seeing JOAN JETT is on my bucket list, so this is absolutely fantastic, especially getting to see her and Cheap Trick."

Rowland wasn't the only one checking off a bucket list item. Merisa Trevino was there with her friends, Chelley Johnson and Yvonne Coan, to see Heart, and this concert was 20 years in the making for her.

"I might cry," Trevino said, with a laugh. "I'm telling you this is my childhood, and every time I've tried to see them something has happened or I was too young and my parents wouldn't let me go. I've just never had the opportunity."

Cheap Trick kicked things off while the crowd poured in. Even though it started raining halfway through their 13-song set, that didn't stop people from packing out the lawn. On their way in, Terri and Rick Howett stopped to snap a photo to send to their son. "My son bought me these tickets for my 50th birthday," Terri explains, saying she was most excited to see Heart. Although the night was for Terri, Rick wasn't exactly disappointed about getting to see Cheap Trick.

Heart, JOAN JETT, Cheap Trick give a Hall of Fame show at sold-out Starlight

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Monday's show at a sold-out Starlight Theatre was a celebration of recognition: All three bands on the bill for the Three for All Tour are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Cheap Trick, inducted this year; JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, in 2015; and the headliner, Heart, in 2013.

All three delivered sets stocked with hits, favorites and covers. And two tossed in songs from albums released this year. All three sets were pretty nuts-and-bolts, filled with the classic rock songs that led to their enshrinements.

Most of the crowd of nearly 8,000 was in place and the sun was still well above the western horizon when Cheap Trick opened the show with an old favorite, "Hello There," the perfect salutatory song: "Hello there, ladies and gents / Are you ready to rock?" They remain a four-piece fronted by three founding members, including Robin Zander, who can still muster a hefty howl.

The set list included one new song, "When I Wake Up Tomorrow," from "Bang, Zoom, Crazy … Hello," their 17th studio album, released in April. There were covers like "California Man," a Move song, and the Velvet Underground's "I'm Waiting for the Man," performed by Tom Petersson, who also played the 12-string bass. Classics and favorites included the classic power ballad "The Flame," then "I Want You to Want Me" and "Surrender."

Jett followed Cheap Trick, which is no enviable task. But she inflamed the mood right away, storming into "Bad Reputation," the RUNAWAYS classic "Cherry Bomb" and then Gary Glitter's "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)." Her cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Light of Day," the title track to the 1987 movie she starred in with Michael J. Fox, was another highlight.

She tossed in some material from her most recent album, "Unvarnished," released in 2013, including "Any Weather," a song she co-wrote with Dave Grohl, and "TMI."

She closed with a flurry of favorites: "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," her signature song; her cover of "Crimson and Clover"; "I Hate Myself for Loving You"; and then a splendid cover of Sly and the Family Stone's "Everyday People," which closed her set.

The Time Rocker JOAN JETT Helped Apprehend a Killer

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Any '90s punk kid worth their weight in black leather likely knows all about the short-lived punk band The Gits. To offer a brief introduction for the unfamiliar, The Gits were formed in Ohio in the mid-1980s, and eventually relocated to Seattle to take advantage of the then-burgeoning early-'90s music scene.

This was a time when ultra-produced '80s pop and idiotic hair metal was giving way to dark, introspective, messier punk-inspired grunge. Spandex was burning and flannel was rising. The Gits never became huge -- they only released two proper albums in their career -- but they were often seen performing alongside then-emerging grunge acts like Pearl Jam and Nirvana.

The Gits' lead singer, Mia Zapata, was an anomaly in the '90s grunge scene by dint of her gender alone. Most grunge acts consisted of moody white males writing about heartbreak, depression, and inner violence. Zapata, backed by a talented band of men, was more spirited, bringing a puckish Riot Grrrl attitude to the scene.

Zapata is often compared to other giants of the genre like JOAN JETT, Kathleen Hanna, Lydia Lunch, and Poly Styrene. Zapata differed from a lot of her peers and admirers, however, in that she was a woman in a male-dominated art who refused to be seen as a political object. Kathleen Hanna made a feminist point with Bikini Kill. Zapata wanted to just be heard as a musician.

Zapata was also, it is well-known, horribly murdered in the streets of Seattle in in the wee hours of July 7, 1993. Zapata was walking home from a bar after last call, and was found a few hours later beaten and strangled by an unknown assailant. There was no known motivation for the murder. Zapata, it seemed, just ran into someone with too much darkness in their soul. Zapata's body was discovered at 3:30 a.m., and no evidence as to the identity of the killer was immediately available. She likely didn't see her attacker coming, as she was wearing headphones. Enjoying music to the end.

The Gits weren't the only ones crushed by Zapata's death. The whole Seattle music scene had already latched onto Zapata as an important voice emerging into the mainstream punk universe, and she had attracted fans from other local bands -- many of which had already "made it big," as it were. Police began investigating, but they could find no clues. It was a sad and frustrating case for everyone, as it looked like the killer was going to get away with it. Eventually, the police had to stop investigating, as the trail was too cold. Zapata's killer was gone.

Of course, this didn't sit well with the angry scene of punkers and grunge musicians. Among Zapata's fans were members of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Heart, Bikini Kill, The Presidents of the United States of America, and punk goddess herself, JOAN JETT. These people weren't going to let Zapata's murderer go free, and rallied to hold several benefit concerts to raise money for a continued investigation. A woman named Leigh Hearon was hired as a private investigator, and was paid out of the earnings from these concerts.

JOAN JETT takes over New York and transforms venue into 'Joan's Beach'

low resolution image Not Enlargeable On July 28, veteran rock star JOAN JETT played at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in New York with the BLACKHEARTS, as part of The Rock Hall Three For All Tour.

Fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Cheap Trick and Heart (comprised of sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson) had opened for the rock queen before she played an impressive set for her hometown crowd.

JOAN JETT's set-list
They began their set with the up-tempo "Bad Reputation," where everybody was rocking along.

She took her fans back to her days with The RUNAWAYS as she belted out Cherry Bomb, with its infectious "ch ch ch ch ch cherry bomb" hooks.

She inquired as to how her audience was doing tonight and noted that it is great to be back on Long Island.

Do You Wanna Touch Me was a sassy and sexy performance, which she incorporate as a crowd sing-along. Jett and the BLACKHEARTS went on to perform several tunes from her Unvarnished studio album, such as TMI and the power-ballad Soulmates to Strangers, which was perhaps one of the highlight songs of the evening.

JOAN JETT "You Don't Know What You've Got" 1980

JOAN JETT "You Don't Know What You've Got" 1980

JOAN JETT's first post RUNAWAYS LP, Originally titled "JOAN JETT" was initially released on the German Label Ariola, and in the US on BLACKHEART RECORDS in 1980. In 1981 the album was retitled "BAD REPUTATION" and released on Boardwalk Records.

Recording for this LP began in March of 1979 at Chappell Studios in England. Former Sex Pistols, Steve Jones and Paul Cook produced the sessions. Of the three songs that were recorded, "You Don't Own Me" and "Don't Abuse Me" were included on the album. An early version of "I Love Rock and Roll" was also recorded and appeared as the B-side of the "You Don't Own Me" single released in Holland in 1979. "I Love Rock and Roll" would later be re-recorded with Jett's band THE BLACKHEARTS in June of 1981, and would spend eight weeks at #1 on the Billboard Charts!

The next sessions were recorded at Fidelity Recorders in Studio City, CA in August of 1979, this is the same studio where Jett had recorded the first RUNAWAYS Album. Seven songs were recorded and produced by KENNY LAGUNA and Ritchie Cordell. Of the seven songs, only "You Don't Know what You've Got" made it on to the LP. "What Can I Do for You" was also recorded, These tracks were to have been used in The RUNAWAYS Movie "Were Alll Crazy Now" which never finished Production (all seven songs later appeared on the JOAN JETT Compilation CD "1979").

Later that year, in December of 1979 Jett, Laguna and Cordell were recording again at The Who's Ramport Studios in England. Seven more songs were cut ranging from Gary Glitter's "Doing Alright with the Boys" and "Do You Wanna Touch Me", "Sam the Sham" and The Pharaoh's "Wooly Bully" to the Jett/Laguna original "Jezebel", all of which made the LP, as well as Tommy James and the Shondells "Hanky Panky", which was only on European pressings of the LP, and The Who's "Call me Lightning" which was the non-LP B-side of the Single "Make Believe". Some additional recoding was also done on "You Don't Know What You've Got" from Fidelity's August 1979 session.

In January 1980, recording continued with the Jett/Laguna/Cordell original "Let Me Go", Wind's "Make Believe" and "Too Bad on Your Birthday". The Lp was completed in March of 1980 with the recording of the Laguna/Cordell/Jett Composition "Bad Reputation", which would eventually become the title for the LP.

JOAN JETT brings 'Bad Reputation' to Chukchansi

low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT is best known for loving rock 'n' roll, both in the specific sense that her biggest hit is "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" and in the general sense.

Jett and her band, the BLACKHEARTS, will perform at the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5. It will be a safe bet, even by casino standards that Jett will perform all of her hits including "Crimson and Clover," "Bad Reputation" "I Hate Myself for Loving You," and "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)."

Top-20 hits on the Billboard charts aside, Jett has also played an important role in music in ways that don't show up on the stat sheets. She's like the rocker equivalent to Shane Battier that way.

Jett was a founding member of the all-female band The RUNAWAYS who torched their way in a male-dominated rock scene. After the group's breakup, Jett went solo, forming The BLACKHEARTS, and released a slew of hits and albums that went Gold or Platinum.

Jett has become, or probably always was, a feminist icon who blazed a path for bands like The Donnas and L7, among countless others.

DETAILS: JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS perform at the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, 711 Lucky Lane in Coarsegold, Friday, Aug. 5. Tickets range from $45-$55. Attendees must be 21 or older. For more information, visit or call 1-866-794-6946.
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