Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

July 2017 News

Page updated on July 31, 2017
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JOAN JETT: Exclusive '''Dinosaur :The Movie'' w/ Fred Carpenter

"Dinosaur" is a dramatic thriller about a day in the life of John Halmo, a veteran police officer who is trying to juggle his turbulent home life, the daily stresses of his job, and the apparent inevitable biker war that's about to engulf his hometown. While struggling through a particularly tough day, he finds himself on a collision course with Frank LaCarver, the leader of a violent biker gang who is obsessed with avenging the murder of his brother. These are two men from different sides of the tracks, with different missions, but with one things in common: an old fashioned code of honor.

Edward Asner, JOAN JETT,Chuck Zito, Robert Clohessy, Robert Funaro, Kevin Brown,Ciaran Sheehan, Paul Vario, Donna DeCianni


Disparate rockers Boston, JOAN JETT meet in Hyper Space at KeyBank

low resolution image Not Enlargeable It would be fun to hear what JOAN JETT and Tom Scholz talk about backstage, other than their shared vegetarian lifestyle.

The two stars come from such different worlds, Jett having been a rough, tough glam-rock chick in a girl band and Scholz being an MIT grad who was meticulously recording Boston's first album in his basement while working for Polaroid.

It's a long way from "Cherry Bomb" to "More Than a Feeling," but they crossed paths on the radio in the late '70s/early '80s and 40 years later here they are on the 2017 Hyper Space Tour that landed at the KeyBank Pavilion on Friday.

Jett, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, played the same stage with the BLACKHEARTS last year, in between Cheap Trick and Heart. This was a bigger challenge, playing to a smaller, more scattered crowd that was far from warmed up. What she never does, though, is leave a crowd cold, because, you know, she's a rock goddess with great songs.

Jett, at 58, challenged the crowd right away to get up and then brought thrashy punk-rock fury to "Victim of Circumstance," The RUNAWAYS' "Cherry Bomb," "Do You Wanna Touch Me" and "Bad Reputation."

"Yo, yinz," the Philly native said to the fans, explaining, "I spend the first six years of my life here, that's how I knew 'yinz.' " She added that she lived on Maytide Street.

The set was similar to last year's with a new twist being a cover of "Love Is All Around," the "Mary Tyler Moore Theme Song," once done by Husker Du. Her keyboardist/manager KENNY LAGUNA explained that when they started the BLACKHEARTS it was "a radical idea for a girl to play guitar" and noted that Moore was another groundbreaking inspiration for women. It was interesting that the high part in the chorus was handled by guitarist DOUGIE NEEDLES because Jett's voice is more of a barking growl.

With the crowd firmly in her grip, she kept the energy level up and the hits coming with "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," "Crimson & Clover" and "I Hate Myself for Loving You," vintage rock 'n' roll that never gets old. As she did last year, Jett, who was impeccable taste in covers, capped the show with a inclusive statement, rocking through Sly Stone's "Everyday People."


"Do You Wanna Touch Me & Bad Reputation" JOAN JETT@BBT Pavilion Camden, NJ 7/27/17


The Top Five Uses of JOAN JETT Songs in Movies

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Many of JOAN JETT's hits are covers of songs she's loved by other writers. When interviewed for Rolling Stone, Jett noted that as a fan of so many classics, she said she is familiar with every detail which makes the music stand out. That's why she felt that her covers really couldn't "equal the original". But loving the songs is why she wanted to perform them, and her style has produced completely original versions. Her covers have been so completely blow-you-away renditions that they've turned up in all sorts of movies. They have been used to highlight specific scenes; sometimes taking center stage musically, or providing some cool background music.

It's interesting that in the beginning, Jett sent out songs to record labels all the time. They were rejected, so Jett started BLACKHEART RECORDS herself. The four rejected songs were Bad Reputation, Crimson and Clover, Do You Wanna Touch Me, and I Love Rock 'n' Roll. Those songs have gone on to have lives of their own in multiple movie soundtracks. For example, Crimson and Clover has been used in the soundtracks for the films Monster and High Fidelity, while Long Live the Night was used in Days of Thunder starring Tom Cruise. The Godmother of Punk and Queen of Rock 'N' Roll knew what she was doing.

Here's some stellar movie appearances of Jett's hit songs:

Bad Reputation in Shrek


Review: JOAN JETT gives Jones Beach a masterclass in rock and roll

low resolution image Not Enlargeable "Welcome to Joan's Beach," a message displayed on the giant televised screen, with red graphics. As Jett took the stage, her presence was met with a royal New York welcome, earning her and The BLACKHEARTS a standing ovation.

A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Jett kicked off her set with the mid-tempo "Victim of Circumstance," where she showed some attitude and the growl in her voice. It was followed by the classic "Cherry Bomb," where archived images of Jett were displayed on the screen, which resonated well with the audience, as red lights dimmed from the stage. "How we doing Jones Beach?" she asked, and the response in unison was "yeah!"

"We're The BLACKHEARTS from New York too," Jett said. "We've got some singers and dancers don't we? Don't she shy," she added, encouraging everyone to sing and dance along with them.

During "Do You Wanna Touch Me," she had the audience sing "oh yeah" with her, where video footage of The BLACKHEARTS in Coney Island were played in the background. She reminded everyone to take "breaths" in this performance.

They continued with the fan-favorite and upbeat tune "Bad Reputation," where she complimented the fans on their vocals, for doing a "nice job." "Thank you very much," she said.


JOAN JETT, Boston, Pat Benatar: 5 shows to see this week (July 23 to 29)

low resolution image Not Enlargeable SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Between Oswego Harborfest acts and the Lakeview Amphitheater, this week's music scene will bring classic rock fans back a few decades. Enjoy the free shows outside in Oswego, or head down the Thruway to check out the contemporary synth sounds of Glass Animals in Cooperstown.

1. The Family Stone at Oswego Harborfest
The Family Stone will bring classic soul and funk music to one night of the 2017 Oswego Harborfest. Sly and the Family Stone joined the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. They're known for hits like "Everyday People" and "Dance to the Music."

Billed as the first-ever interracial, inter-gender mainstream rock band, The Family Stone is led by original members Jerry Martini and Greg Errico, with Alex Davis and Phunne Stone, who goes by Ray Syl, on vocals. (Phunne is the daughter of original frontman Sly Stone and trumpeter/vocalist Cynthia Robinson.)

They will also perform at the New York State Fair on Aug. 24.
Where: NRG Lakeview Stage at Oswego Harborfest, Breitbeck Park.
When: Thursday, July 27 at 9 p.m.
How much: Free show.
2. Pat Benatar, Neil Giraldo at del Lago
Pat Benatar and her husband Neil Giraldo will perform at the 2,400-capacity entertainment in Waterloo, N.Y., on July 28. Benatar is a four-time Grammy winner best known for '80s hits "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and "Love is a Battlefield." Guests must be 21 or older to attend all shows at The Vine.

Where: del Lago Resort and Casino at 1133 NY-414, Waterloo.
When: Friday, July 28 at 8 p.m.
How much: Individual tickets range from $35 to $75.

3. Night Ranger at Oswego Harborfest
Rock group Night Ranger will headline Oswego Harborfest on Friday and will perform signature hits like "Sister Christian", "Don't Tell Me You Love Me" and "When You Close Your Eyes." With more than 17 million albums sold worldwide and over 3,000 live shows rocked, Night Ranger celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. Also, 2017 marks 30 years of Harborfest, the annual free music festival.

Where: NRG Lakeview Stage at Oswego Harborfest, Breitbeck Park.
When: Friday, July 28 at 10 p.m.
How much: Free show.


Concert review and photos: JOAN JETT and Boston unleash timeless hits in Alpharetta

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Among the summer tour pairings of classic rock artists (Steve Miller and Peter Frampton, Styx and REO Speedwagon, Def Leppard and Poison), the union of Boston and JOAN JETT is a solid one because really, sometimes all you want is a loud, fun, rock ‘n' roll show.

At Verizon Amphitheatre Wednesday, Jett opened the night of three-plus hours of music with the 1981 throwback "Victim of Circumstance" and, with her trusty BLACKHEARTS flanking her, relentlessly tore through her anthemic catalog for the next 50 minutes.

Wearing a skintight, age-defying jumpsuit and a black, shaggy hairdo not much different than her alluring MTV-era look, Jett, 58, proved dependably fierce as a guitarist and singer.

As drummer THOMMY PRICE thundered the intro to her hit version of Bruce Springsteen's "Light of Day," Jett flashed her trademark half-grin -- or snarl, depending upon the moment -- while scenes from the movie with her pal Michael J. Fox flashed on the screen behind the band.

Even though the majority of Jett's hits are covers -- the thumping "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)" courtesy of Gary Glitter, the soft-loud dynamics on Tommy James & The Shondells' "Crimson & Clover," the eternal pool hall anthem "I Love Rock & Roll" from The Arrows -- have you ever really thought of them as anything other than JOAN JETT songs?

Her sound, a combination of downtown New York sleaze, New Wave catchiness and pure rock grit, makes even her spunky version of one of the greatest TV theme songs ever, Sonny Curtis' "Love is All Around" from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," churn with energy.


JOAN JETT - Toronto - July 11, 2017 - Crimson & Clover, I Hate Myself & Everyday People

JOAN JETT Detroit 2017 Cherry Bomb


low resolution image Not Enlargeable Jett and the BLACKHEARTS now sharing the bill with top tier classic rock acts.

When JOAN JETT hits the stage at TD Garden Thursday night, KENNY LAGUNA will be standing inconspicuously to her right, near the back of the stage, behind the drummer and outside of the spotlight while playing keyboards and providing backup vocals. It's a role he knows well. As producer, songwriting partner and keyboard player, Laguna has been backing up Jett for the past 38 years, ever since he stepped in to co-write and produce some songs she owed her record company from her time with the groundbreaking teenage girl rock group, the RUNAWAYS, which led to them collaborating on iconic hits like "Bad Reputation," "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," "I Hate Myself for Loving You" and so many others.

It was never easy, but they kept at it, and in 2015, Jett, Laguna and her band the BLACKHEARTS were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, receiving recognition from their peers in an industry that has not been very accepting of female rockers who don't conform to standards.

So, why has Jett and Laguna's relationship endured while so many others have crashed and burned, or at least been severely strained? While tossing in a few references to Lennon and McCartney and Jagger and Richards, Laguna makes it sound simple. "We don't compete with each other. I think that's a big thing. We like the same music. We like the same politics (left and strongly anti-Trump). We're both vegetarians. So, that helps," said Laguna during a telephone conversation while occasionally being corrected or supported by a voice that sounded suspiciously like the interview-shy Jett.

In simple terms, they just get along and really care about one another as friends, as well as working partners. And, it has been that way since 1979 when the already-successful Laguna (Tommy James and the Shondells, Jonathan Richman, Darlene Love and Bill Medley to name a few collaborators) produced "Bad Reputation," Jett's first solo record featuring a mix of originals and cover songs.

Although the album was recorded, at first record companies were not supportive. About two dozen rejected it, but Laguna spent his daughter Carrie Anne's (now the president of BLACKHEART RECORDS) college money to finance enough pressings to sell the LPs from the trunk of his Cadillac at shows and events. Eventually, Jett was signed to a deal with Boardwalk Records and they released it. It did well with several hits, and they were off and running. The second album featured the number one hit "I Love Rock 'n Roll," a song that virtually everyone knows, and they just kept moving forward from there.



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