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Joan Jett

Discussion in 'Punk Rock/Garage Rock/Indie Rock' started by rtbuck, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. rtbuck

    rtbuck Senior Member

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    Joan Jett


    When thinking of the 1980’s era of music the one song that almost immediately should pop in your head is “I Love Rock & Roll” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. It didn’t matter if you were in a punk club, a rock club, an 80’s hair band club, listening to top 40 radio, FM Rock radio, new wave/punk radio, or watching the brand new video hits television channel MTV you were sure to hear “I Love Rock & Roll” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. The song is actually a cover song by a band called the Arrows & the story goes that Joan Jett was in the UK with her band the Runaways back in the mid ‘70’s & happened to catch an episode of ‘The Arrows Show’ which was a short lived TV show the band hosted. The Arrows played the tune on that episode & Jett loved the song. Joan brought the song to manager Kim Fowley & the rest of the band in hopes of covering the tune on an upcoming album but it was rejected. In 1979 after the Runaways had split Joan recorded a demo of the song with Paul Cook & Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols & then rerecorded it with her band the Blackhearts in ‘82(the original version did surface on Jett’s 1993’s ‘Flashback’ album which is an album of demos & cover tunes).




    My history of Joan Jett started around ‘76/’77 while she was in the Runaways. I was playing ice hockey every Thursday evening & on my way to play my father always had on WKBW 1600AM radio. The station would do a Top 10 countdown on my way to the rink & usually in the top 3 was “Calling Dr. Love” by Kiss & somewhere near the bottom of the top 10 was “Cherry Bomb” by the Runaways. For some reason I couldn’t take the song serious & would laugh when it came on. One day while reading an issue of Creem I saw what the Runaways looked like & immediately fell in love with Joan Jett who was eating an ice cream cone in the picture. I didn’t hear much more on the Runaways & kind of forgot about them until 1981 when it was announced the day of the concert on WZIR 98.5 that Joan Jett would be opening for Triumph & Diesel. After the announcement they played a tune from Joan Jett’s debut album ‘Bad Reputation’. The song was “Too Bad on Your Birthday” & I loved her version (I previously had a version by Ram Jam off of their debut which I also liked, so I knew the song). All of a sudden that Creem magazine photo stuck in my head & I was psyched for the show. At the concert the lights went down & they announced Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. My friends & I went nuts cheering & then we noticed we were the only ones cheering everyone else was booing. People began throwing stuff at us but I kept cheering especially when she played a cover of the Stones “Star Star”. Finally, Jett had enough especially when she tried getting the fans to sing “Yeah…Oh Yeah” during “Do You Want to Touch Me” & the fans response was a chorus of ”You …F You!”. This show was all I needed (especially with the cover of “Star Star”!!!)
    to become a Joan Jett freak & I have seen her many times since & have never been disappointed. One great show I seen was in 1987 when I was in the front row for Joan Jett & opening the show was Chuck Berry.



    Jett started her career at age 16 when she, drummer Sandy Fox, & producer Kim Fowley had the idea of an all girl rock band. They added bassist Mickie Steele (later the Bangles) & the trio played a few dates on the club circuit in L.A.
    Mickie Steele left the band & the band added Lita Ford & Cherie Currie to the lineup but went through a few other bass players before finally deciding on Jackie Fox. Jett & Currie loved the whole glam rock craze that was happening with Bowie, Slade, NY Dolls…etc while West & Ford were heavy into the metal scene of Deep Purple & Black Sabbath so right from the start there was a bit of a musical clash. The band released 2 studio albums & one live album. The band wasn’t really taken too seriously & was more or less looked at as teenage jailbait despite how serious these girls took their music. Before long Jackie Fox was out & eventually, dissention among the band caused Currie to leave along with her ego & substance abuse problems. Jett, Ford, & West tried to continue on with a couple of different bass players before deciding on Vickie Blue & the band released 2 excellent studio albums ‘Waiting for the Night’ & ‘And now…the Runaways’. By 1979 the band wasn’t going anywhere & there were still internal problems so they split & went their separate ways. There is a movie about the Runaways starring Kristin Stewart, Dakota Fanning, & Scout Taylor-Compton coming out in 2010 & after reading the script all I can say is that it should be pretty wild. There was an awesome & heartbreaking documentary movie about the band called ‘Edgeplay’ a few years ago that is definitely worth seeing.




    Joan Jett’s solo career has released 14 albums & has charted many singles such as “I Love Rock & Roll”, “Bad Reputation”, “Crimson & Clover”, “Do You Want to Touch Me”, “I Hate Myself for Loving You”, “Fake Friends”, “Dirty Deeds”, & “AC/DC”. It’s tough for me to say what I think her best album is because they all have their moments but I would say my favorite is 1983’s ‘Album’ which is a solid rock album featuring “Fake Friends”, Sly & the Family Stone’s “Everyday People”, Bobby Lewis’s “Tossin & Turnin’, “The French Song”, a great cover of the Runaways “I Love Playing w/ Fire” & the Stones classic “Star Star” which originally, the record was recalled & this track was removed because of complaints by department stores who refused to carry the album unless it was removed.(it remained on the cassette release). ‘Naked’ is a pretty decent album which was the original Japan release of ‘Sinner’ with a few other tunes including a cool cover of Donovan’s “Season of the Witch”. ‘Sinner’ from 2006 & ‘Naked’ does show that Jett has not mellowed with age & shows she can still as always Kick Ass. The one thing I’ve always loved about Jett is how she keeps up with the trends yet sticks to her roots for example on her ‘Up My Alley’ album she had a huge hit with the almost “Hair Metal” “I Hate Myself For Loving You” (in fact Jett’s high teased up hair definitely fit in with that genre) & most of the album had that same feel yet she shows her roots by covering a rare Chuck Berry tune called “Tulane” & makes the classic Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” her own. In the 90’s when alternative seemed to be taking over she cut off her long dark hair & released ‘Pure & Simple’ & that album was anything but pure & simple as it’s filled with up tempo punk sounding tunes. 1995 she joined up with Seattle punk band the Gits & released ‘Evil Stig’ (Gits Live). The Gits were originally led by singer Mia Zapata who was brutally murdered in ‘93. Joan Jett worked hard trying to help the investigation donating the proceeds from the album to the investigation & pushed for National exposure on shows like ‘America’s Most Wanted’ & ‘American Justice’ to name a few. Eventually in 2001 the killer was arrested & convicted in 2004. The new millennium had Jett playing the Warped Tours which had gotten rave reviews.
    Ian Hunter has a song called “That Girl is Rock & Roll” & whenever I think of that song title I can’t help but think of Joan Jett because that girl is Rock & Roll.







    Bucky
     
  2. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    I absolutely love Joan. She is the iconic first lady of rock. I caught her at Warped Tour a few years back (which was one of the last years it actually had a decent lineup) and she put on a better show than the brats half her age. :heheh:
     
  3. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    That was quite a post Bucky, even by your standards. I know a lot more about Joan now than I did before. The two songs she released that have stuck with me are the obvious ones, "I Love Rock 'n Roll" and "Crimson & Clover".

    Give me your personal list of her best albums in order when you get time please.:tup:
     
  4. Dave78

    Dave78 Dave's not here, man

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    Joan Jett had some great tunes back in the 80's. She was like a more successful Suzy Quatro of the 70's. :)

    Here's Joan's cover of "Louie Louie".

     
  5. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    Well tis the season so....

     
  6. METALPRIEST

    METALPRIEST Senior Member

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    Joan Jett is awesome in the Runaways and solo!!!

    Here is acouple examples...a favorite Runaways song for me (with a hot Lita Ford) and a cool Jett Tommy James cover!!



     
  7. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    ^^^That is ton of information on Joan Jett, Bucky!!! Outstanding write up.

    [​IMG]

    Bad Reputation (1981) would be my fave album. She was raw, angry, and on a female mission. The only drawback to this album would be it has a lot of covers.





    A Gary Glitter cover

     
    nedkelly likes this.
  8. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    As much of a cliche as it probably is my favorite album by Joan is "I Love Rock N' Roll".
     
  9. METALPRIEST

    METALPRIEST Senior Member

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    Cliche' or not that album smokes!! :grinthumb
     
  10. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    Yep, I think so. ^^
     

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