Music You Need To Know: Joan Jett
Driving home the other day, the song “I Hate Myself For Lovin’ You” came on the radio. And once again, my passion for straight-at-you rock and roll was in full gear. Whether it’s the Ramones, Chuck Berry, the Clash, Bob Seger, George Thorogood, the Animals, Elvis, James Brown, Springsteen or so many others, it’s rock and roll. And this song is by Joan Jett (who, believe it or not, is 53). I’ve always had a fascination with rock and roll women, especially ones who play the guitar and play it well. (In 2003, Jett was named in the Rolling Stone greatest 100 guitarists of all time at number 87.She was one of only two women in this list, the other being Joni Mitchell at number 72.)
Jett makes hard-edged, hard beat songs (a bit lusty, I’ll admit) with lyrics featuring themes of lost love, heartache, a quest for authenticity, as well as the blue-collar life of a rocker. In short, great rock music. No label wanted her, so she started her own and sold records from the trunk of her car. But she finally made it big. Watch the video and relive the glories of the 80s when driving rock and roll was in somewhat short supply. It’s hard not to be mesmerized by Joan Jett.
If you can find it, look for and watch the film “Light of Day.” Jett made her acting debut in the 1987 Paul Schrader film which co-starred Gena Rowlands and Michael J. Fox. It’s a great movie and Jett is quite good in her role.
At Cal Ripken Jr.’s request, she sang the national anthem at the Baltimore Orioles game in which he tied Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played. Following The Dave Clark Five’s induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, on March 10, 2008, Jett, as part of the ceremony, closed the program with a performance of the DC5’s 1964 hit “Bits and Pieces.” She was introduced by actor Tom Hanks, who said, “Ladies and gentlemen — at one time, if I had been lucky, one of the most beautiful ‘Mrs. Tom Hanks’ you can imagine, but I’m not complainin’ — Joan Jett!”
Some other Joan Jett songs—-enjoy