Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation NationJoan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation
Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Bad Reputation Nation

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Page updated on March 5, 2015
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A history of JOAN JETT in Cleveland: The RUNAWAYS rock The Agora in 1976

low resolution image Not Enlargeable CLEVELAND, Ohio - It's only fitting that Jett should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month when the ceremony takes place at Cleveland's Public Hall.

The female rock icon's legendary career has featured numerous performances in Northeast Ohio right from the very beginning.

Jett's first show in Cleveland came as a member of The RUNAWAYS. The all-female band played The Agora on July 19, 1976. It was one of The Runaway's earliest performances and one of its most talked about in fan message boards.

Here's a setlist for the show:
California Paradise
Cherry Bomb
Take It or Leave It
You Drive Me Wild
Wild Thing
Don't Abuse Me
Rock 'n' Roll
Is It Day or Night?
Johnny Guitar
Dead End Justice
Because the show is such a favorite amongst fans, there are several recordings of it floating around the Internet. In the first clip, the band kicks things off with a performance of "California Paradise."

You can hear a young Jett (she wasn't even 18 yet) introducing the band's song "Secrets."


Meet the BLACKHEARTS who will be inducted with JOAN JETT

low resolution image Not Enlargeable CLEVELAND, Ohio - JOAN JETT will not be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. As the Rock Hall's own website points out, JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS consisted of a four-piece lineup that crafted some of the most memorable rock anthems of the 1980s.

Of course, Jett spent her early career as part of The RUNAWAYS and released "Bad Reputation" prior to forming the BLACKHEARTS. Yet, she'd probably be the first to tell you the most successful run of her career couldn't have happened without these three men:

Gary Ryan
Ryan, who was a fan of The RUNAWAYS growing up, joined the BLACKHEARTS after answering an ad in L.A. Weekly. He was just 15 years old when he auditioned. Prior to that, Ryan was immersed in the L.A. punk scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Once joining Jett's band, Ryan became essential to some of the group's biggest hits, including "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" and the cover of "Crimson and Clover." It's hard to find anything on Ryan these days. He left JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS in 1986. Internet message boards suggest he became a teacher and no longer goes by the name Gary Ryan.

Ricky Byrd
The formation of the classic four-piece that became JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS can be traced back to Byrd replacing original guitarist Eric Ambel after the first recording session for "I Love Rock 'n' Roll." Byrd brought the big power riffs the song needed. Byrd played with JOAN JETT for 12 years, collaborating on all of her majorhits. He went on to become guitarist for Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, and play with artists like Roger Daltrey and Ian Hunter. Byrd released his solo album, "Lifer," in 2013.

Lee Crystal
Drummer Lee Crystal joined JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS after the band's first European tour in 1981 and stayed on board until leaving in 1986. During his time with Jett, Crystal memorable drumming beats the tone for the albums "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" and "Album." Post BLACKHEARTS, Crystal and Ryan played together in bands in New York City for a brief time. During a 2006 interview with Modern Drummer, Crystal said, "JOAN JETT was what I needed. I wanted to play real rock 'n' roll." Crystal took up residence in New Jersey later in his life and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1993. He sadly passed away in 2013.

Win a VIP Trip With Klipsch to the Rock Hall Induction | Loudwire
from: loudwire.comBR

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Green Day, JOAN JETT and … you! That’s right, you could be in Cleveland on April 18 for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony thanks to a new contest with Klipsch Audio, Loudwire and Ultimate Classic Rock. Klipsch Audio, the leading global speaker and headphone manufacturer, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have partnered up to unite two music industry legends founded on shared principles of heritage, respect, independence and expression.

This impressive contest package includes two tickets to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 18, two tickets to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, round-trip coach airfare for two, transportation to and from the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, two nights at the Westin Cleveland Downtown plus a bevy of bonuses from Klipsch. You’ll also get access to the Klipsch VIP Lounge at the Westin, Klipsch GiG Portable Wireless Speaker and two pairs of Klipsch R6i In-Ear headphones.

Just think, you could be there to see Green Day and JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS be inducted and perform, and also see the inductions of legendary acts like the late Lou Reed, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Bill Withers and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Plus, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr will receive the award for Musical Excellence, while the 5 Royales have been chosen for the Early Influence Award.

Green Day’s Billie Armstrong stated, “We’re in incredible company and I’m still trying to make sense of this. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has always held something special for me because my heroes were in there.” Meanwhile, JOAN JETT added, “It’s surreal and very humbling. It’s a culmination of all you’ve dreamed about doing as a musician.” So, to say the least, this is an event you don’t want to miss and thanks to Klipsch, you could be there.

So how do you enter to win this trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony? Simply enter your details in the form provided at the top of this post.


2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees: 11 greatest JOAN JETT songs.

low resolution image Not Enlargeable Counting down JOAN JETT's best song, from "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" to "Bad Reputation" and more.

1. "Bad Reputation"
The title track from Jett's 1980 album was the one that set the stage for everything to come. "Bad Reputation" finds Jett at her most punk rock, channeling The Ramones on a scathing track that lasts less than three minutes. Jett would have bigger hits, but never anything that left such a lasting impact. The song became a rebellious anthem for future generations, used as the theme for "Freaks and Geeks," covered by contemporary acts and used as the intro song for UFC champions.

2. "Cherry Bomb"
The success of Jett's solo career has perhaps overshadowed the impact of her first group The RUNAWAYS. Yet, "Cherry Bomb," a song Jett still performs live, is one of the most influential hard rock songs of all time. The track pushed girl power to a new level in the 1970s, a time when men dominated the hard rock scene.

3. "I Love Rock 'n' Roll"
It's easy to forget that Jett's biggest hit is a cover song. Rock band Arrows originally recorded "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" in 1975. However, when Jett & the BLACKHEARTS took hold of it in 1982, the song took on new life and became an epic pop-rock anthem. The single went platinum and ranks on both Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and 100 Greatest Guitar Songs.

4. "I Hate Myself For Loving You"
Jett had put together a successful early 1980s run. But by the end of the decade it had been a few years since she scored a top-10 pop hit. That changed with "I Hate Myself for Loving You," a brilliant arena anthem. The song is very much in the vein of the 1980s hair-metal scene, but it kicked aside just about everything else that was out there with a soaring hook and thunderous drums.

5. "I Love Playin' With Fire"
Jett wrote The Runaway's crisp guitar anthem form "Queens of Noise" by her lonesome. But the band surely added oomph to it. The song features a sinful theme driven home by an infectious hook and an amazing guitar solo by Lita Ford. Jett re-recorded the song later in her career, but The RUNAWAYS version remains the standard.

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