JOAN JETT:

BIOGRAPHY [1979-2007]

JOAN JETT unarguably was the Punk element within the infamous THE RUNAWAYS, the all-female Rock band managed by svengali Kim Fowley that shot the girl to international recognition. In spite of the impact made by THE RUNAWAYS, it has only really been JETT and LITA FORD from the band that have broken away into successful solo careers. JETT in particular will be forever known for her global hits of the mid 80's most well known being 'I Love Rock 'n Roll', her perennial trademark track which encompassed the globe and has seen numerous charting re-releases.

JETT's career took an upward turn when she hooked up with new manager Kenny Laguna. Her 1981 album, 'I Love Rock n' Roll' went mega platinum off the back of the title track, which hit Number One in America and was equally a huge hit in Europe. The title track held onto the US number one spot for a tenacious eight weeks building album sales up to the ten million marker. ‘Crimson And Clover’ would chart too and her version of GARY GLITTER’s 'Do You Wanna Touch Me? (Oh Yeah!)' also scored well on radio. Of note is that the original pressing of the record included the seasonal Christmas song 'Little Drummer Boy', replaced on re-pressings by 'Oh Woe Is Me'.

1983's follow up, simply entitled 'Album', also sold well, boosted by a rash of hit singles with 'Fake Friends' and 'Everyday People'. Spanish variants of the 1984 'Glorious Results Of A Mispent Youth' opus would be retitled 'I Need Someone'. Jett took out a lawsuit against 'Playboy' magazine for publishing a nude photo that the title claimed was of Joan pictured in a bathtub. The identity of the female in question later turned out to allegedly be ex-THE RUNAWAYS bassist Laurie McAllister.

Joan contributed 'Gotcha Where I Want Ya' to the soundtrack album of 1985's 'Gotcha' movie. The album was issued through Curb / MCA Records.

The 1987 album 'Good Music' caught Jett paying homage to her mentors. Included are covers of the BEACH BOYS 'Fun, Fun, Fun', featuring backing vocals from the BEACH BOYS themselves, and JONATHAN RICHMAN's 'Roadrunner'. For this latter song the band re-recorded the vocals no less than 60 times to include reference's to different US cities. This resulted in a swathe of localised radio promo releases. Whilst the album itself was not particularly successful, JETT contented herself with winning her first acting role in the Michael J. Fox movie 'Light Of Day'. The title track, a JETT composition, cracked the Top 40 in the wake of the film's good reviews.

The 1988 album 'Up Your Alley', marking the introduction of new studio rhythm section bassist Kasim Sulton and drummer Thommy Price, boasted ex-ROLLING STONES guitarist Mick Taylor on the opening track 'I Hate Myself For Loving You', a Desmond Child co-write and another international hit which broke the top ten in the USA. The follow up 'Little Liar' would also fare well, going top twenty and pushing 'Up Your Alley' into the million seller league. Besides her outing with The Blackhearts, Joan also racked up a fairly lengthy list of contributions to records by other artists. Those on her CV included THE BANGLES' "Hazy Shade Of Winter', KEEL's 'Final Frontier', DESMOND CHILD's 'Discipline' and she also co-wrote 'House Of Fire' with ALICE COOPER.

In March of 1990 JOAN JETT's new album 'The Hit List', another top forty record, comprised entirely of reworked covers. Included would be NAZARETH's 'Love Hurts', AC/DC's 'Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap)', SEX PISTOLS 'Pretty Vacant', THE DOORS 'Love Me Two Times' and a second crack at JONATHON RICHMAN's 'Roadrunner'. She also bravely tackled ZZ TOP's 'Tush'. Oddly, despite tracks from 'The Hit List' garnering healthy radio attention, JETT's next outing, the ballad heavy 'Notorious' in 1991, failed to chart in America. In 1993, she released the 'Flashback' album on Blackheart Records, an assembly of rare material from her formative years. Maintaining her public appeal, Jett was cast as the villainous Felicia Martins in the TV series 'Highlander'.

She found a new audience in the early nineties with the explosion of Grunge and the Riot Grrl movement, many of the latters leading figures holding Jett up as an icon figure. As such, Jett soon became embroiled in the scene, gaining production credits with CIRCUS LUPUS and BIKINI KILL. Her 1994 outing 'Pure And Simple' duly reflected this, witnessing a return to back to basics Rock n' Roll and seeing stalwarts guitarist Tony Bruno, bass player Kenny Aaonson and Thommy Price on drums alongside guest contributors Kathleen Hanna from BIKINI KILL, Kat Bjelland of BABES IN TOYLAND, Mike Howe and John Marshall from METAL CHURCH and the L7 pairing of Donita Sparks and Jennifer Finch. Despite the raw edge the album also boasted songwriting contributions from hit makers Jim Vallance and Desmond Child. Fans were also keen to seek out alternative formats as the cassette version added an exclusive track 'Hostility' co-written with Donita Sparks whilst vinyl variants added a further unique song, 'Here To Stay' co-written and performed with Kat Bjelland.

JETT united with members of renowned Seattle Punk band THE GITS to create EVIL STIG. This record, issued in 1995, was actually fired by the outrage felt by the musical community at the brutal rape and murder of THE GITS singer Mia Zapata. Fronting EVIL STIG, JETT turned in an admirable tribute to Zapata with some of her toughest Punk work to date. Featured was guitarist Joe Spleen (real name Andy Kessler), bassist Matt Dresdner and drummer Steve Moriaty. Both Spleen and Moriaty were also members of SPEED QUEEN.

Her 1997 'Fit To Be Tied' compilation proved noteworthy too, adding the previously unreleased track 'World Of Denial'. New Jersey Punk band ELECTRIC FRANKENSTEIN covered 'Bad Reputation' on their 'Sod The Odds!' album. Jett got into the covers game in 1998, donating a version of 'I Wanna Be Your Dog' to the IGGY POP tribute 'We Will Fall'. By 1999, guitarist Doug Cangialosi had superseded Bruno in The Blackhearts band for the hard hitting 'Fetish' album. Seeing JETT with a shaved head and lyrically delving into bondage themes certainly maintained her media presence.

The Millenium brought about renewed rumours of a reunion for THE RUNAWAYS. Although the idea was mooted the former members eventually decided against the idea. More prominently for JETT 'Bad Reputation' would be used heavily in the 2001 hit movie 'Shrek' courtesy of an overhaul by Boston's HALFCOCKED. The following year JETT's bank account would no doubt receive a welcome influx of funds when reigning Pop queen BRITNEY SPEARS covered the perennial 'I Love Rock n' Roll' as a single.

Recently the seemingly ageless JETT has shed her trademark black hair and leather image and toured sporting close cropped blonde spiked hair and military fatigues. JETT’s new image lent itself well to her role as a vicious contract killer on the TV show ‘Walker: Texas Ranger’ and a global tour of US military bases. More adventurously JETT would play the part of a bald usherette Columbia in the infamous ‘Rock Horror Picture Show’.

Live dates across the USA in the Summer of 2004 would see former HANOI ROCKS man Sam Yaffa (real name Sami Takamaki) handling bass guitar. Joan's live band for 2005 saw David Zablidowsky installed on bass guitar, a man citing credits with Z02, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA and OCTOBER THORNS.

The band joined the gargantuan 2006 'Warped' festival tour that summer, this trek lasting through June 16th in Columbia, Maryland, winding its way through the USA and Canada and concluding on August 14th in Montreal. To promote the new album 'Sinner' an upfront single, 'A.C.D.C.', a cover of THE SWEET tune, was marketed with a video featuring Carmen Electra. October and November US shows would be partnered with EAGLES OF DEATH METAL.

copyright by: Rockdetector database [http://www.rockdetector.com]