Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

March 2017 News

Page updated on March 31, 2017
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How JOAN JETT used teenage confidence to propel her to rock stardom

low resolution image Not Enlargeable What may have been daunting to some teenagers was exhilarating for rock 'n' roll icon JOAN JETT when she launched into the music world in the mid '70s.

Not only did an adolescent Jett grab the guitar by the neck, she bucked societal conventions and helped knit together the groundbreaking all-girl punk group the RUNAWAYS before catapulting herself into leather gear and a successful career with JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS.

People will have a chance to see JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS perform the fiery anthems "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," "Bad Reputation" and "I Hate Myself For Loving You" at Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa in Cabazon on Friday, March 31.

"I was so excited and naive about everything," Jett, now 58, said about starting out at a young age during a recent telephone interview. "I definitely had that teenage exuberance that so many people have when they have a dream and combine it with the idea that you can do anything."

Jett said her parents played a big role in her confidence to pursue music and proved so by buying her an electric guitar for Christmas when she was 13 years old per her request.

"My parents ingrained in me when I was very young that I could do and be anything I wanted to be," she said. "So, it's a great thing but then you put your parents to the test and they have to live by their words or not."

Jett said she plodded along and taught herself how to play guitar and found it perplexing that she was watching girls in school playing classical music on cellos and violins, yet was hearing girls weren't supposed to play electric guitars.

"I immediately thought to myself 'What do you mean?'" She said. "What you're saying is we can master an instrument however we are not allowed by society's rules to play an electric guitar? And that kind of bothered me."

She kept strumming and singing and pushing forward, focusing on her passion for performing while non-conforming.

"When I reflect on that time I realize how close you can come close to screwing up," Jett said. "If you don't take the right steps you can take a step you can't come back from or you can come back but it takes a few years."

The RUNAWAYS - Cherokee/Gold Star Sessions

low resolution image Not Enlargeable THE RUNAWAYS
Cherokee/Gold Star Sessions

Release Date: 4/22/2017
Format: LP
Release type: RSD Exclusive Release

First recordings from The RUNAWAYS before they even became the band we know today. At the time, the band consisted of JOAN JETT, Sandy West, and Micki Steele. 1975 recordings of previously unreleased material. One-time pressing only. Standard weight, 12" red vinyl with download card.

01 American Nights (Cherokee)
02 Born To Be Bad (Gold Star)
03 California Paradise
04 I'm A Star (Gold Star)
05 Rock 'N Roll (Gold Star)
06 Rock 'N Roll (Cherokee)
07 Secrets (Gold Star)
08 Thunder (Cherokee)
09 Thunder (Gold Star)
10 Who Do You Voodoo (Cherokee)
11 Yesterday's Kids (Cherokee)
12 Yesterday's Kids (Gold Star)
13 You Drive Me Wild (Cherokee)
14 You Drive Me Wild (Gold Star)

Little Richard, JOAN JETT, Joe Perry & More Remember Friend and Idol Chuck Berry

low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT
Fresh off the success of "I Love Rock 'N Roll," she brought The BLACKHEARTS to Berry's hometown -- and snagged the man himself as backup singer.

We were playing in St. Louis in maybe '83, and we got a note that Chuck Berry had come to see us and was turned away at the door. Kenny [Laguna, Jett's musical partner] went running out the backstage door and caught Chuck in his black Cadillac Seville, just about to pull out of the parking lot: "Please come back in, we want you to be our guest." We asked if he would introduce us onstage, and he went out there and said, "Let's hear it for rock'n'roll, let's hear it for St. Louis, let's hear it for JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS!" When "I Love Rock ‘N Roll" came around, Chuck was by the side of the stage and he jumped onto the mic and started singing with Kenny.

The next day we had a day off, and he invited us to Berry Park to just hang out. He was so ahead of everything: He had huge TV screens on the wall and satellite TV, he was watching all the music shows -- he was really into MTV. He knew what was going on. He drove us down the road to get a bite at the local diner, and on the way, I guess he must have cut somebody off because this trucker comes in screaming at Chuck, pretty vile stuff. Kenny and I of course want to get in and defend him. But Chuck goes, "Just let it go." I'm sure Chuck had many run-ins in his life with people who found a reason to have a problem with him.

Several years later, we were both at a festival in upstate New York, but not on the same stage. I was walking around backstage and all of a sudden I feel someone come up behind me, wrap their arms around me and pick me up off the ground. I was scared -- I thought someone was attacking me! I threw my elbows back and head butted him, and guess who it was? Chuck Berry. But he understood. This is a guy who had been through a lot in his life. He knew, you come up behind a girl and grab her, she's going to get you. I apologize, [all these] years later.

Little Richard
At 84, the live-wire, piano-playing rock pioneer remembers a rival, friend and fellow trailblazer.

I just feel sad about Chuck going. I didn't even know he was sick. I lost a really great friend -- one of my best friends in music. I love Chuck. I've been with Chuck all my life, really.

We went around and toured America and Europe together. Most of my favorite moments were watching him just do the duck walk and play. Sometimes his daughter came out on the road with us. I remember one day he gave me a gold horseshoe to hold -- "Feel this. How do you like it?" -- and then he said, "OK, now give it back!" I said, "Chuck, you're not an Indian giver!" "No, I'm not!" He was one of those kind of guys. He would always say to me, "You got some pretty skin, Richard." I would just say, "Shut up, Chuck. Next joke!"

Slash and JOAN JETT Star Star live on AXS TV

JOAN JETT, The Del Lago Resort And Casino, Waterloo, New York. Saturday March 11, 2017

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS join Boston's 'Hyper Space' tour

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famers JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS have signed on to the summer leg of Boston's "Hyper Space" tour, including a stop at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater on July 23.

The Long Beach rocker is currently on a headlining tour of her own until May, before taking on opening duties on Boston's arena and amphitheater tour.

"I am thrilled to have Joan and her band on tour with us this summer," says Boston guitarist and founder Tom Scholz. "Not only is she an amazing rock 'n' roll performing artist, but even more exciting to me is that she is a fellow vegetarian and shares compassion for animal welfare."

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday through Live Nation. Members of the Boston or JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS fan clubs can begin purchasing pre-sale tickets at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

She loves rock 'n' roll - and fans love her

low resolution image Not Enlargeable In case you were wondering, JOAN JETT really does love rock 'n' roll.

After more than four decades in the business of creating great music, the legendary rock singer is still taking no prisoners as she adds to her "bad reputation."

When JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS touch down at Chinook Winds Casino & Resort in Lincoln City for a pair of concerts March 3 and 4, the audience will get Jett's heart, but it can't touch her soul.

That's nestled deep in a rock 'n' roll career that began with the all-female RUNAWAYS at age 16 in 1975, hit gold after she formed the BLACKHEARTS in 1979 and continues to strike a chord with fans everywhere who like a little attitude with their rock music.

The BLACKHEARTS' biggest hit, "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks in 1982 and remains an anthem played in movies and at sporting events throughout the country. Their version of Tommy James and the Shondells' "Crimson and Clover" (a personal favorite) and "Do You Want to Touch Me?" both reached the top 20 the same year. In 1988, along came "I Hate Myself for Loving You," which climbed as high as No. 8 on the charts.

Jett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015; "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" made it into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2016.

The best thing about all of this? Jett, 58, isn't slowing down for anybody.

Jett made time for her fans who read the Portland Tribune, calling while driving from Houston to Lake Charles, Louisiana, for the BLACKHEARTS' first road show of the year:

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS Live at Chinook Winds March 4, 2017

ENTERTAINMENT: Lincoln City loves rock 'n' roll
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS perform at Chinook Winds


low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT is an originator, an innovator, and a visionary.

Jett is scheduled to perform at Chinook Winds Friday and Saturday, March 3â€"4

As the leader of the hard-rocking BLACKHEARTS, she's had eight platinum and gold albums and nine Top 40 singles, including the classics "Bad Reputation," "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," "I Hate Myself For Loving You," and "Crimson and Clover."

She sits at the head of her own independent label, BLACKHEART RECORDS. Jett has acted in movies and television, including 1987's Light Of Day, and in a Tony-nominated Broadway musical, The Rocky Horror Show.

She has appeared on such acclaimed television shows as Oprah (the last season) and Law and Order. As a producer, she has overseen albums by Bikini Kill, Circus Lupus, as well as the Germs' LA punk masterpiece, GI.

Her music has become a permanent force in mainstream culture.

A version of "I Hate Myself for Loving You" has been NBC's Sunday Night Football, performed this past season by Carrie Underwood, and her music is heard in countless films and TV shows including Easy â€" A, Kick Ass, The RUNAWAYS, Shrek, Baby Mama, and many more.

Since co-founding the RUNAWAYS, the pioneering all-girl punk quintet, at age 15, Jett's determination and drive have kept her in the public eye. Jett was able to see her story told in The RUNAWAYS, the film based on (lead singer of The RUNAWAYS) Cherie Currie's book Neon Angel starring Kristen Stewart as Jett, and her fellow A-lister Dakota Fanning as Currie.

She served as an executive producer.

Jett and the BLACKHEARTS continuously tour across the globe to throngs of adoring fans. She has spent her lifetime breaking barriers and challenging expectations â€" this is, after all, a woman who is both a spokesperson for PETA and a devoted supporter of the US Military. Jett's fought hard for all of her historic accomplishments, yet she remains humble and appreciative.

"I've had a blessed career," she says. "I consider myself so lucky to have been able to do things my own way."
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