Joan Jett to rock the park at 2012 Heritage Fair
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 12:58

‘80s hitmaker to take the stage on Day 2 of Fair

by Nicole Rodman

    Anticipation has been mounting for months, ever since she was announced as one of the headliners of the 2012 Dundalk Heritage Fair.
    Now, there are just days left until classic rocker Joan Jett and her band, The Blackhearts, take to the fair’s Shipway stage on Saturday, June 30.
    Beginning at 8 p.m., Jett and her band will rock the park with such well-known hits as “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “Crimson and Clover,” “I Hate Myself for Loving You” and “Bad Reputation.”
    Originally known as Joan Marie Larkin, Joan Jett was born in Philadelphia on September 22, 1958.
    In 1967, Jett moved to Rockville, Md., attending Wheaton High School.
    It was during this time that she got her first guitar, sparking a lifelong love of music that continues today.

After relocating to California to pursue a musical career, Jett began to mold the rocker persona for which she became known.
    In 1975, Jett joined the all-female band, The Runaways, with fellow rockers Sandy West, Micki Steele, Jackie Fox, Lita Ford and Cherrie Currie.
    Together until 1979, the band produced five albums. Though they found some success abroad, they were unable to crack the U.S. charts.
    In 1979, she first recorded an early cover of The Arrows’ “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.” The single would be released in 1982.
    Following her work with the Runaways, Jett sought out a new band. After putting out an ad seeking “three good men,” Jett hired bass player Gary Ryan, guitarist Eric Ambel and drummer Danny O’Brien.
    Together, the new band was known as Joan Jett and The Blackhearts.
    Today, The Blackhearts consist of Jett, her collaborator Kenny Laguna, guitarist Dougie Needles and drummer Thomas Price.
    The band quickly shot to superstardom in 1982 with the release of their hit album, “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
    The album’s title track became one of the anthems of 1982, spending seven weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
    Even today, “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” remains on  Billboard’s list of top songs of all time at number 56.
    Performing throughout the ‘80s and into today, Jett has produced two platinum and one gold album during her more than three decades in the music industry.
    Often called the “Godmother of Punk,” Jett’s edgy image and hard-rocking music has made her one of the most famous female rockers of all time.
    In 2003, she was named one of Rolling Stone magazine’s top 100 guitarists of all time, one of only two women on the list.
    In addition to her musical career, Jett has appeared in a number of television shows and films, including “Walker, Texas Ranger,” “Highlander: The Series”, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “Repo! The Genetic Opera.”
    Joan Jett and the Blackhearts will perform at the Dundalk Heritage Fair on Saturday, June 30, at 8 p.m.
    For more information, visit the web at