I caught the early show of Joan Jett’s performance at the NY State
Fair. The crowd was huge, even if a disproportionate number were
there only to hear “I Love Rock & Roll.” I thought the band handled
that phenomenon fairly well. They played the song late in the set,
but not last. They didn’t intro the number or play it up at all.
Then they sailed into the next, the equally sappy cover of Crimson and
Clover that the fans probably also recognized.
The rest of the show was great. It doesn’t get much better than the
opening trio of “Bad Reputation”, “Cherry Bomb” and “Light of Day.”
Maybe the crowd wasn’t all that bad because even the family guy next
to me was telling his wife and young kid that “Cherry Bomb” was
originally done by Joan’s 1970’s group The Runaways—the first
notable all-girl band playing their own instruments. With hot guitar
by Lita Ford and Jett, the band really did inspire the riot grlll
movement that followed.
Of course, the highlight for me was “Light of Day.” The song was
written by Bruce as a favor to writer/director Paul Schrader.
Schrader had shown the working script to Bruce of a movie tentatively
titled “Born In The USA.” Bruce knicked the title for a little ditty
he subsequently released, so he wrote this song for the movie as an
apology/favor to Schrader. The song was used in the movie, sung by
Joan Jett, who starred in the film with Michael J. Fox.
The new songs she played show that Joan Jett is still kicking hard and
is probably one of the best people to weather the implosion of the
record industry–after all, she was the first notable success with a
self-produced, self-released album. Her first album was rejected by
28 record companies and thus was born Blackheart Records. Rock on Joan.
One question though. Jett was born in Philly and came to stardom out
in L.A. So why did US Senator Chuck Schumer introduce her as a New
Yorker? Chuck better keep his day job.
Second question. Did Hillary Clinton get to introduce the Spinners yesterday?