Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Confessions of a Jett Groupie

Today in Music History:

In 1977, Alice Cooper's boa constrictor, a co-star of his live act suffered a fatal bite from a rat it was being fed for breakfast. Cooper held auditions for a replacement and a snake named 'Angel' got the gig.
Last week the island enjoyed it's first full week of warmish weather of the year. Finally summer is about to arrive. Also last week I managed to score a CD that I have been looking for ever since I lost my copy. With the disc and the warm weather I couldn't help but revisit one homercat's most enjoyable summers. 1983, the year this album originally came out. Homercat had just finished college and had entered that mythical land of legal drinking age. Still working a common labour job and not exactly ready to grow up just yet. I hung out with a core group of friends, that remain to this day the best friends I ever had. Keggers, lawn dart tourneys, trying to decide on which concert we were going to see next. MTV still showed music videos and we would watch it incessantly.

Joan JettThat was the year Joan Jett and the Blackhearts released Album. Simple cover, Joan with her Gibson in mid jump against a yellow background wearing rec converse runners. I was already a huge fan from her Runaway days and prior two albums. I bought this album the week it came out and was amazed at how good it was. On this her third album the stylistic reference point is early-Seventies Rolling Stones, as evinced by the chugging rhythm-guitar hooks of "Secret Love" and "Coney Island Whitefish" or the punchy horn charts that top "The French Song" and "Handyman." We found out Joan was going to tour that summer behind the album and I was on board. Much to our surprise she was hitting many towns in our area. Meaning within a 2 hour drive to be more precise.

So that summer we managed to catch six different shows and each one was better than the one before. Three of those shows homercat managed to get in the front row, as all the shows we attended were outdoor shows with festival seating. The very first one we went to we were first in line at the gates and waited hours for the gates to open. As the time approached for the gates to open, we were literally being crushed against the gates as people kept trying to surge forward. After all this was every man for himself as soon as the gates opened. When they finally opened I ran like a man possessed to secure my front row spot. It was an insane thing to witness and be a part of and almost scary. I think it was the third show when I swear I actually made eye contact with her and screamed out, I love You Joan. To this day I still say she smiled straight at me when I screamed that. Who knows if she really did or not. All in all it was a great summer following Joan around.

This album has sadly been in and out of print thru the years. Looking online I find conflicting evidence that it's still in print. One place has it, one doesn't, I have found it in prices ranging from 15 to 60 dollars. This particular copy I found is a two disc release containiing two albums. Album and Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth containing a multitude of bonus tracks on each , plus 4 separate concert footage segments in the enhanced mode. Apparently released by Blackheart records in 2006. I found it at our best new and used record store here in town for a modest price. I felt like I had just found this huge treasure. Listening to it again I had forgotten how really good this album is. A true gem that should be scooped up if you can manage to find it. Now for some choice cuts.

Album by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts 1983
Coney Island Whitefish
Everyday People(dance mix)
Who Can You Trust
Buy It for the other 14 tracks on this album.

Funny Toon