Joan Jett is still the same hard rocker at 60 as when I saw her back in 1981. Her concert at PNC on the 15th was really upbeat with great energy. She opened with “Bad Reputation”, went right into”Cherry Bomb” acknowledging the crowd, she went into a great rendition of “Do You Wanna Touch”. Songs like “TMI” and “You Drive Me Wild” (her very first song ever) were played fast and hard. “Light of Day” was a real crowd pleaser, but no song brought the house down then “I Love Rock ‘n Roll”. She went on to play ” Crimson& Clover” and concluded with “I Hate Myself for Loving You” and oncored with Sly & The Family Stones “Everyday People”.
At a sold out concert at PNC, it is evident that Joan Jett, a rock ‘n roll Hall of Famer is still one of the most influential musicians of the punk rock genre.
Her band,”The Blackhearts” were as good last night as they were when they first stared playing with Joanie. They’re hard driving punk beat made the band flow for over an hour and a half. One song after another, “The Blackhearts” gave the PNC crowd their monies worth.
“The Blackhearts” will continue touring throughout the summer in various locations around the country. If you have not seen this band, or haven’t in a while, I recommend doing so.
Joan Jett ( Joan Marie Larkin), was born in the main line of Philadelphia. He family soon moved to Rockville Maryland where she began to take piano and guitar lessons. In the 70’s, her family moved to Los Angeles and soon after their move, her parents divorced. She began to follow glam rock bands in Los Angeles California with great attention. Not long after,she formed The Runaways as the lead singer and guitarist . The band had some success with songs like “Cherry Bomb. With limited success she became a member of The Blackhearts. With a women leading the band, the Blackhearts could not get a record deal, so they formed Blackheart Records. The band had limited success until a concert at New York Cities Paladium in 1981 vaulted the band to both critical acclaim and notoriety of the band’s frontperson, Joan Jett. From there, Jett went on to do film, produced, and wrote many of the bands songs. In the early 80’s her hard driving punk beat and good looks made her both a fan favorite as well as a pin-up. The band began to reap the rewards of success by warming up groups like Aerosmith and Tom Petty. In 2015, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts were inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band has recently released some new material and is the closing act with Tesla and Styx as The Blackhearts warm up bands.
The three other members who were inducted into the Hall of Fame were: Gary Ryan, Ricky Bird and Lee Crystal. Gary Ryan is not on tour currently with the band. He left the band in 1986 and became an elementary school teacher and has also changed his name.
Like Ryan, Byrd also let the band. Even though Byrd collaborated on all the majorities, he went on to become the guitarist for South Side Johnny & The Asbury June’s. His resume also includes playing for Roger Daltry and Ian Hunter. In 2013, he released a solo album called “Lifer”.
Lee Crystal joined the band in 1981. As a drummer, he was the back beat of this hard charging band. He credits Joan Jett for being allowed to play real Rock and Roll. After his departure from the bank he lived in New Jersey until 2013 where he passed away from multiple sclerosis. Unfortunately, he was never able to see his band inducted in 2015 to “The Hall”.
Joan Jett with her great success was not be inducted into The Hall of Fame as a solo artist only with The Blackhearts.