Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

February 2018 News

Page updated on February 28, 2018
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JOAN JETT is a rock and roll pioneer and icon. From her teenage years with the legendary RUNAWAYS and right up to her brand new album, 'Unvarnished,' Jett has been rocking full throttle for the better part of 40 years now, and is showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.

Whether as writer or interpreter, Joan knows her way around a good song. Drawing on inspiration from her beloved Glam era of Sweet, Slade and Gary Glitter, she crafted her own songs that sit proudly alongside those of her heroes. We salute Miss Jett with nods to the RUNAWAYS, her solo material as well as many of the cover songs that she claimed for her own. Get down ladies (and gents) you got nothin' to lose with out Top 10 JOAN JETT songs.

10. 'Do You Wanna Touch Me?'
From: 'Bad Reputation' (1981)

The ugly (and self-created) problems over the last several years have cast an irremovable shadow over the fact that in his prime, Gary Glitter made some great rock and roll singles. Jett was a big fan, and took this classic Glitter hit, gave it a bit of 80s gloss and took it into the U.S. Top 20. The Glitter original flopped in the U.S., but had been a massive hit in the U.K. in early 1973, coming just shy of the No. 1 slot.

9. 'Activity Grrrl'
From: 'Pure and Simple' (1994)

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS issued an album in 1994 called 'Pure And Simple,' which should have brought the band back to the top of the charts. Yes, it was that good! But sadly, the album kind of sunk without a trace. Maybe Jett's style of rock and roll was out of sync with the angst ridden 90s rock scene, or maybe someone dropped the ball in promoting it, but regardless, it is an album full of great songs like 'Activity Grrrl.' The song is a nod to the 'Riot Grrrl' movement that included such bands as Bikini Kill. In fact, Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill co-wrote this one with Miss Jett. It's a fired up rocker and one of the standout tracks on the LP.


Babbling April revisit JOAN JETT's "Reputation"
low resolution image Not Enlargeable Since its release as the title track from JOAN JETT's 1980 solo debut, "Bad Reputation" has been one of the rock veteran's signature hits -- and for years, professional fighter Ronda Rousey has used the song as her walk-out music before delivering hits of her own. Now that Rousey is making the jump from UFC fighter to WWE star -- a transition she's poised to make official with her in-ring debut at Wrestlemania in April -- she'll be walking out to "Bad Reputation" in front of an even broader audience, all while continuing a long association with Jett that, although it started out through necessity, has become a source of pride for both women.

"Lots of professional fighters want their walkout song to sound like the Rocky theme -- you know, regal and inspiring," Rousey told the Wall Street Journal regarding her walkout song aesthetic. "I'm more on the theatrical side, so I needed something gritty, with a lot of attitude."

The song that originally fit the bill during Rousey's earlier UFC appearances was "Sex and Violence" by the Exploited, but when she found herself forced to find a replacement in order to fit with broadcast standards, her godson recommended "Bad Reputation" -- a choice that obviously stuck.

"The song was perfect," she explained. "If you're constantly stressing over trying to get everyone to like you, you're giving them the power to control your well being. For me it's better to embrace the role of the heel and chase after being disliked. It's an element of control and leaves room for error."

As for Jett, Rousey's choice is nothing short of flattering. "I'm really amazed when people utilize our music to represent them and something they do," she said in a 2014 interview. "I think it's so great she walks out to it."

"Bad Reputation" obviously hasn't lost any of its appeal as a touchstone for Jett fans, either -- as evidenced by its use as the title of the new documentary about her life and career that debuted at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Since acquired by Magnolia Pictures, it's due for a theatrical release later this year.

Babbling April revisit JOAN JETT's "Reputation"

The four-man band known as Babbling April describe their music making style as a DIY affair. Fusing 90s styled alternative rock, pop with shoe-gaze sensibilities, the band made up of lead vocalists Dave New, Vivi Machi and rhythm section players Ben Medina, Ben Melrod deliver something beautiful with their own rendition of JOAN JETT's classic tune "Bad Reputation" single. While this version definitely took a lot of liberties with the arrangement and changes the chords, tempo, melody, and lyrics, the band still evokes the same spirit of the original to an extent. The lead duo trade vocal duties on the record, Vivi delivers her part with a soft, angelic tone over the multi-layered backdrop as Dave softly croons in the background adding some sort of psychedelic ambiance to the song.

Recorded and mixed in Dave and Vivi's basement, the band's newest EP, Holy Gold, is a testament to the joy Babbling April imbue their music with. Acoustic-meets- shoegaze guitar pop ambiance echoes across each track as fevered bass lines and distinct vocal textures weave through. The compositions tend to change tempo and morph beneath the ear-wormy melodies, conjuring up the work of Yo La Tengo, Built to Spill and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, amongst a wealth of alternative bands of the '90's. "The songs are often bittersweet snapshots of the ephemeral nature of life" Dave reflects. "Friends grow apart, places are never the same, but a few perfect memories will always remain."

"Reputation" is the single off of Babbling April's new EP, "Holy Gold," to be released digitally and on vinyl 3 March 2018.

JOAN JETT, Styx Plot Expansive North American Tour
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JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS and Styx will co-headline a North American tour this summer with heavy metal outfit Tesla serving as support.

The trek kicks off May 30th at the FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine, California and includes stops in Denver, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston, Toronto, Detroit, Chicago and Pittsburgh. The tour wraps July 15th at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey.

Tickets for most shows will go on sale February 16th at 10 a.m. local time via LiveNation. The exceptions are tickets for the concerts in Irvine, Concord, Sacramento and Bristow, Virginia, which go on sale February 23rd; and tickets for the shows in Atlanta and Denver, which won't be available through LiveNation. Styx and Tesla will be selling VIP packages through pre-sales they'll be hosting on their websites starting February 14th. JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS will also be offering VIP packages through VIPNation.

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS released their last album, Unvarnished, in 2013. The beloved singer-guitarist is also the subject of Kevin Kerslake's new documentary, Bad Reputation, which recently premiered at Sundance. As for Styx, the prog rockers released a new album, The Mission, in 2017, marking their first LP since 2005.

May 30 â€" Irvine, CA @ FivePoint Amphitheatre
June 1 â€" Concord, CA @ Concord Pavilion
June 2 â€" Sacramento, CA @ Toyota Amphitheatre
June 4 â€" Salt Lake City, UT @ USANA Amphitheatre
June 5 â€" Denver, CO @ Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre
June 7 â€" Oklahoma City, OK @ Chesapeake Energy Arena
June 9 â€" Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Presented by Huntsman
June 10 â€" Dallas, TX @ The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
June 12 â€" Nashville, TN @ Ascend Amphitheater
June 13 â€" Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion
June 14 â€" Raleigh, NC @ Costal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
June 16 â€" Atlanta, GA @ Verizon Amphitheatre
June 17 â€" Tampa, FL @ MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
June 27 â€" Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
June 28 â€" Syracuse, NY @ Lakeview Amphitheater
June 29 â€" Wantagh, NY @ Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
June 30 â€" Hershey, PA @ GIANT Center
July 3 â€" Montreal, QUE @ Place Bell at Laval
July 4 â€" Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage
July 6 â€" Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
July 7 â€" Chicago, IL @ Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
July 8 â€" St. Louis, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
July 10 â€" Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Theatre
July 11 â€" Indianapolis, IN @ Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
July 13 â€" Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live
July 14 â€" Pittsburgh, PA @ KeyBank Pavilion
July 15 â€" Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center

Styx & JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS with special guest Tesla
from: STYX YouTube Channel

Legendary Rock Group STYX To Collaborate With JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS For U.S. Summer Tour
low resolution image Not Enlargeable Legendary rockers STYX and JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS are teaming up with TESLA for a summer U.S. tour that kicks off May 30 in Irvine, CA at the FivePoint Amphitheatre.

Tickets for various cities of the tour, produced by Live Nation, will go on sale starting Friday, February 16 at 10am local time STYX and TESLA will be offering VIP packages via their own exclusive pre-sales beginning Wednesday, February 14 at 10am local time at and Fans can explore JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS VIP packages available at the time of ticket purchase and at

STYX: Tommy Shaw (vocals, guitars), James "JY" Young (vocals, guitars), Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboards), Todd Sucherman (drums) and Ricky Phillips (bass), along with the occasional surprise appearance by original bassist Chuck Panozzo-would eventually transform into the virtual arena rock prototype by the late '70s and early '80s, due to a fondness for big rockers and soaring power ballads. Over the course of their 40-year career they've released 15 studio albums, six best-of compilations and four live albums, garnering eight Top Ten singles. STYX has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. Throughout their illustrious career, they've performed more live shows since 1999 than all of the previous years of its career combined. Two Super Bowl appearances, Pollstar box office chart-topping tours with Def Leppard, Journey, Boston, and Bad Company (to name only a few), two more studio albums. September 2, 2016 marked the long-awaited release date ofSTYX: LIVE AT THE ORLEANS ARENA LAS VEGAS on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Formats via Eagle Rock Entertainment. It captures the band performing in July 2014 such fan favorites as: "Too Much Time On My Hands," Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)," "Renegade," and more. It also includes a special surprise visit from Don Felder-formerly of the Eagles-for a rousing performance of "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)." It was released on CD July 24, 2015. After 14 years, STYX's sonically sweet 16th studio album and its most ambitious, most challenging, and most rewarding album to date, THE MISSION, was finally released June 16, 2017 on the band's label, Alpha Dog 2T/UMe. It debuted on various Billboard charts, including: #6 Top Rock Albums, #11 Physical Albums, #11 Vinyl Albums, #13 Current Albums, #14 Billboard Top Albums, #16 Retail, #17 Mass Merch/Non-Traditional, #29 Digital Albums, and #45 Top 200 Albums (includes catalog and streaming).

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS: JOAN JETT is an originator, an innovator, and a visionary. As the leader of the hard-rocking BLACKHEARTS, with whom she has become a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, 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." Her independent record label, Blackheart, was founded in 1980 after she was rejected by no less than 23 labels. Blackheart is one of the longest running indie labels and continues to give voice to new bands. As a producer, she has overseen albums by Bikini Kill, Circus Lupus, as well as the Germs' LA punk masterpiece, GI. Jett's music has become a permanent force in mainstream culture. Jett and the BLACKHEARTS released their latest record, UNVARNISHED, in 2013 and continue touring the globe with headline shows alongside fellow rock icons like The Who, Green Day and the Foo Fighters. Additionally, Jett has acted and appeared in movies & television, including the film Light Of Day. Jett was also 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 Dakota Fanning as Currie. Jett was close to the project, serving as executive producer. In January, the documentary film based on Jett's life, "Bad Reputation," - produced by Blackheart's SVP Carianne Brinkman and directed by Kevin Kerslake - premiered to critical acclaim at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, with the New York Post hailing that "'Bad Reputation' does it right, tracing Jett's trailblazing path as one of the first, and still the hardest-rocking, women."


Bad Reputation Red Carpet

JOAN JETT Sundance Documentary ‘Bad Reputation' Acquired By Magnolia
low resolution image Not Enlargeable Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to Bad Reputation, Kevin Kerslake's feature-length documentary about rocker JOAN JETT that bowed last month at the Sundance Film Festival. A 2018 theatrical release is planned.

The pic centers on Jett's early years as founder and backbone of the RUNAWAYS, her seminal 1970s punk band, and then meeting collaborator KENNY LAGUNA in 1980 to catapult her as a solo act.

Joel Marcus wrote the pic, which was produced by Peter Afterman and Carianne Brinkman, and executive produced by Dan Braun of Submarine, and Justus Haerder and Kathy Rivkin-Daum for BMG, which solely financed. Magnolia's Dori Begley and John Von Thaden made the deal with Dan Braun and Josh Braun of Submarine on behalf of BMG.

JOAN JETT's ‘Bad Reputation' Documentary Lands at Magnolia
low resolution image Not Enlargeable Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to director Kevin Kerslake's JOAN JETT documentary, "Bad Reputation."

Magnolia plans a 2018 theatrical release for the film, which premiered last month at the Sundance Film Festival.

The movie follows Jett from her early years as the founder and backbone of the all-female band the RUNAWAYS during the 1970s punk scene. The film title comes from her 1981 solo hit of the same name.

She was frontwoman for the band JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS, which saw "I Love Rock ‘n Roll" become a number-one hit in 1982. Her other popular songs include "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)", "Light of Day", "I Hate Myself for Loving You" and "Dirty Deeds." She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.

"JOAN JETT has a pure rock and roll heart and her influence, both musically and as a role model to a generation, has been profound," Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles said. "Kevin's film beautifully realizes her journey."

Kerslake adds, "It's so rewarding to have a film about an independent spirit like JOAN JETT to be picked up by Magnolia, which has such a remarkable history of releasing challenging films and supporting independent efforts."

From a script by Joel Marcus, "Bad Reputation" was solely financed by global music company BMG. The film is produced by Peter Afterman and Carianne Brinkman, and executive produced by Dan Braun of Submarine, and Justus Haerder and Kathy Rivkin-Daum for BMG. Co-producers are Alessandra Pasquino and Margaret Yen.

The deal was negotiated by Magnolia's Dori Begley and John Von Thaden, with Dan Braun and Josh Braun of Submarine on behalf of BMG.

JOAN JETT Doc 'Bad Reputation' Goes to Magnolia Pictures
low resolution image Not Enlargeable Magnolia is targeting a 2018 theatrical release.

Bad Reputation, the feature documentary about rocker JOAN JETT, has been acquired by Magnolia Pictures for North America.

Kevin Kerslake directed the doc that had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. It follows Jett from her early years ripping it up onstage as the founder and backbone of hard-rock legends The RUNAWAYS and first meeting collaborator KENNY LAGUNA in 1980 to her enduring presence in pop culture as a rock 'n' roll pioneer.

Joel Marcus wrote the feature, which was produced by Peter Afterman and Carianne Brinkman. Dan Braun of Submarine exec produced, along with Justus Haerder and Kathy Rivkin-Daum for music company BMG, which solely financed the project. Co-producers are Alessandra Pasquino and Margaret Yen.

The deal was negotiated by Submarine on behalf of the filmmakers. Magnolia is targeting a 2018 theatrical release for the film.

Long Island Music Hall of Fame launches website
low resolution image Not Enlargeable Long Island Music Hall of Fame has launched a brand new website; one that it hopes will grow their organization.

The site features artist biographies, with links to custom-made Spotify playlists for each artist inducted since 2006. Additionally, the website includes a comprehensive event calendar that the organization aims use to include every concert or musical event happening on Long Island.

The Hall of Fame hopes the calendar, which also includes links to ticket purchasing websites for each event, will serve as a directory for those searching for local concerts to attend.

"As an avid concert goer, I have always wanted to be able to go to one website to find out who's playing where and when on Long Island," said Chairman of Long Island Music Hall of Fame Ernie Canadeo in a written statement.

The site allows bands, event producers and venues in the region to submit their event directly to the site via a form to be included in the directory.

Located in Melville, the LIMHOF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, dedicated to honoring famous local artists. Founded in 2005, some of their most notable inductees include music icons Mariah Carey, JOAN JETT, Twisted Sister, Tony Bennett, Blue Oyster Cult, Barbara Streisand, and Billy Joel, among other famous artists.


Legendary Long Island Alternative WLIR Documentary Set To Premiere On Showtime
low resolution image Not Enlargeable NEWSDAY reports "New Wave: Dare To Be Different," a documentary on the former influential LONG ISLAND Alternative radio station WLIR, will have its TV debut MARCH 30th at 8p (ET/PT) on SHOWTIME.

Directed by L.I. native ELLEN GOLDFARB, the film depcits how the now-defunct alternative station helped define the sound of the '80s and introduced a generation to such musical acts as DURAN DURAN, SIMPLE MINDS, BLONDIE and THE FIXX. Members of those bands, along with LONG BEACH rocker JOAN JETT and the station’s former PD, DENIS McNAMARA, are also interviewed.

The film premiered at the TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL last year and then had a sold-out, three-night run at the GOLD COAST FILM FESTIVAL.

"It’s been a labor of love," GOLDFARB told NEWSDAY at the time. She originally got the idea for the documentary from seeing all the FACEBOOK groups dedicated to WLIR and the music from the era. "In my life, the music and the DJs helped me. It gave me a place to escape to. It brought peace and harmony in my life."

Go see JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS after the Admirals game on Saturday
low resolution image Not Enlargeable This Saturday night, the Queen of Rock 'N Roll is singing in Milwaukee. JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS will perform a live show from the Summerfest Stage at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena after the Admirals' 7:30 p.m. game against the San Antonio Rampage, by far the highlight of the team's 2018 concert series.

The show is free to attend with a ticket to the game. According to the Admirals, there are still a limited number of on-ice passes available, which cost $20 and allow exclusive access to watch the concert from directly in front of the stage. On-ice passes must be purchased in addition to a game ticket and are available at

The Rock 'N Roll Hall of Famer's appearance is the second of four shows in the 2018 Admirals Concert Series. Country music stars Brothers Osborne performed postgame on Jan. 19; fellow country music singer Hunter Hayes will play the Summerfest Stage on March 9 and pop stars All-Time Low will finish off the season on April 14. The concert series is sponsored by Toyota, Lee Jeans, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino and Coors Light.

Fans can purchase tickets for the hockey-music doubleheader at the team's office, located at 510 W. Kilbourn Ave, over the phone by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or clicking here. Tickets are also available at the Panther Arena and Milwaukee Theatre Box Office.

A singer, songwriter, composer, musician, record producer and occasional actress, Jett is best known as the frontwoman of the BLACKHEARTS, with whom she became a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. She has had eight platinum and gold albums and nine Top 40 singles, including classics like "Bad Reputation," "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," "I Hate Myself For Loving You," and "Crimson and Clover."

Bad Reputation Spills on What It's Like to Work With JOAN JETT

JOAN JETT, Jon Hamm and Vivian Bang Celebrate 3 Sundance 2018 Premieres #Sundance #BadReputation #Beirut #WhiteRabbit #MoviePremieres
low resolution image Not Enlargeable JOAN JETT, Jon Hamm and Vivian Bang celebrated their 2018 Sundance Film Festival movie premieres at the DIRECTV Lodge presented by AT&T that was located at 660 Main (former Zoom restaurant) in Park City, Utah, last week. This lodge was a major movie party hub with indoor and outdoor film events during the ten-day festival (Jan 18-28).

JOAN JETT (Bad Reputation) had fun at the Craig Pop Up Dining Experience at the DIRECTV Lodge, where she met Craig's LA owner Craig Susser. Joan's new documentary uncovers her behind-the-scenes life as a rock star. The film was praised for providing a lot of insight and old footage that told the story of this rock legend.

JOAN JETT celebrated the premiere of "Bad Reputation" at the DIRECTV Lodge presented by AT&T by enjoying Craig's Pop Up Dining Experience (with Craigs LA Owner Craig Susser, Photo from @CraigsLA Instagram) After seeing Bad Reputation, Screenwriter Laurie Stevens reflected, "I knew almost nothing about JOAN JETT and her background before this. Just her music. She's extremely humble for a rock icon. The film was sad, funny, poignant and very real. At one point, she couldn't hear someone's question, and she herself ran up with the microphone to the person. And she stood there, and answered them. She comes across as very approachable with basically no ego. She just loves music."

Craig's Pop Dining Experience had a delicious menu that included four main entree choices: sesame salmon with brown rice broccoli and ginger sriracha aioli, Meldman's honey truffle chicken with corn pancake and spinach, spaghetti squash primavera or double-cheeseburger and fries. When we were fortunate to meet Craig's LA owner, Craig Susser, he confessed, "It's tough to cook in a kitchen that is 30 degrees, but we're making it work." And yes, they made it more than work.


From Sundance: Badass JOAN JETT

From Sundance, I had the chance to interview the pioneer, the survivor, the badass, JOAN JETT. Along with Kevin Kerslake, the director of the film on her life, Bad Reputation, Joan tells of the obstacles for women in rock 'n' roll...then and now. Listen in! This pod is inspiring as much as it is informative. For more information, visit

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