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The Almost Famous Joan Jett chat from Nestor’s youth

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When Nestor was the rock music critic at The Baltimore Evening Sun in the early 1990s, he interviewed hundreds of musicians. This is a long lost chat with Joan Jett that oozes her love of the Baltimore Orioles and Memorial Stadium.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

album, songs, playing, favorite songs, people, band, years, music, fun, anytime, talk, feel, sounded, perfect timing, work, cover, rock, robert plant, guess, months

SPEAKERS

Robin Maculey, Nestor Aparicio, Joan Jett, Michael Schenker, Nestor

Michael Schenker  00:01

This is gonna be about 10 minutes.

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Joan Jett  00:02

Okay, great. Yeah, that’s beautiful. Okay. Hello. Hi, how are you? I’m all right. I’m watching sports stuff. I’m getting ready for baseball.

Nestor Aparicio  00:15

I knew that you want to talk about baseball,

Joan Jett  00:18

and I’m screaming my head off because they’re picking the teams to win. And they’re not picking the horse? Not? Of course not. They’re picking Kansas City in Oakland. And I’m like, screaming my head off. Well,

Nestor Aparicio  00:29

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you know, it’s always better to be underdog and come back and you know, sort of catch them off.

Joan Jett  00:33

I don’t want all the attention on them. Anyway,

Nestor Aparicio  00:35

you just see the bird last year,

Joan Jett  00:36

I shared it. I sang the national anthem opening day,

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Nestor Aparicio  00:41

right? I remember that. But I mean, like, as far as down the stretch, and was getting exciting.

Joan Jett  00:44

I saw them. Yeah, I saw them. The last game I saw was actually my birthday was September 22. I think they were still in first place. That was about probably the last day, right around when they I think they lost that game too. And they might have fallen out of first place. But I don’t know, I’m, I believe with my heart and my soul that they’re gonna win. I just, you know, I just really did me having wishful thinking, I really believe they’re gonna win. I believe that I believe that they’ve got the talent. I think you know that they’re just, they’re just great. I think that they’ll when you

Nestor Aparicio  01:22

booked in here in the wrong time, you’re not going to get to catch a game this week. And when you try now, I know

Joan Jett  01:27

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it’s a real bummer. Because if things had been normal, I would have been in town, they would have been in town, or I’ll have to catch them on the road. I’ve seen them in many cities. So how long are you on the road? This time? We’ll be on the road probably through June or July, at least. So where do you live in New York? Now then I live in New York. Okay, because I wasn’t sure. I mean, like a lot of people right here still think you live in New Silver Spring or rockville, rockville. So I guess you came up a lot as a kid. And so it’s all the team. I think I remember reading a story about that. Like last year, when you did the national anthem, you did a big story in the paper here. Anyway, let’s talk about your album here. When you can see this idea to put a one album covers together well, with something that sort of happened by mistake, but it was something that was sort of spontaneous, because doing covers is something that I’ve always enjoyed doing to my whole career to the runaways and so it’s nothing new. And when we go into the studio to do our original albums, we usually like to do cover songs that we might want to try, we like to do them first, because it’s a good way to break the ice, you know, get comfortable in the studio, and stuff like that. So when we went in this time, we were ready to do our original album that we had six or seven covers that we wanted to try. And we just, you know, whip them with them off, put them down on tape. And everything sounded really good. You know, we had like six or seven songs that were complete. And sounded really interesting. So we just sort of expanded on that idea and said, Why don’t we just make a whole album like this? Something that was just a lot of fun. The time was right, we had the idea to do it. And we did it. I mean, there’s no like real ulterior motives really, other than just having a good time. So what happened to the original material yet? We still have it, it’s going to be it’ll be recorded, and it’ll be the next album.

Nestor Aparicio  03:23

So this stuff here, you would already these 10 songs you already you know, had all the risks down to what you were doing. As far as playing the songs you’ve been playing them before. You’d have to go in and learn costed you are well,

Joan Jett  03:36

not too much. I mean, you know, because it’s very easy song. And these are songs that a lot of times you know, you’ve either grown up with you played them trying to figure them out. They not none of them. We had to really sit down and learn learn totally and look up the keys and stuff. I mean, it was just something we just did you know, it was easy to do.

03:57

These you sound we’ve ever made them. Probably yeah, that was gonna ask you because I mean, you missed the time. You’d think that, you know, putting together 10 of your favorite songs to buy other people would probably be, you know, easy work, but maybe it’s more work than it sounds but

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Joan Jett  04:09

it was not necessarily my favorite songs. Oh, here we go. Oil. First skin city 230. Tomorrow, ESPN. Yep.

04:18

I’ll be living it. Well, here we get Jim Palmer Brooks Robinson announcing the game. That’s great. You’re talking to one yet?

Joan Jett  04:26

No.

Nestor Aparicio  04:28

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Well, Tim’s doing the play by play and he took a lot of abuse for not being quite up to snuff, but I don’t know. I liked him. I thought he got a lot better as the season went along. But he took abuse. He’s back though. A lot of question about that. Anyway, I’m a sports writer first. I’m not even rock music.

Joan Jett  04:50

No hitter 1969 against catfish hunter in the Oakland A’s that was the first ball game I ever went to. Okay, now I remember the story. I was right behind on play,

05:00

I was gonna say you right behind him play because I remember reading the story last year now. Well, anyway, you keep talking about this album here and then about whether it was not your favorite songs you said, necessarily, if

Joan Jett  05:11

I had to pick my 10 all time favorite songs, I think that’s, I don’t think I could ever do that. You know, I just don’t think I could narrow it down to 10 of my favorite songs. These are really songs that, that I like a whole lot. And that work with the band. Because there are a lot of songs that we try. We tried over 21 songs, and some of them just don’t work. You know, some of them just aren’t the right vibe for the band, or the music doesn’t work with the lyrics don’t work.

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05:37

What did you try that was popular that didn’t, that didn’t work. You probably

Joan Jett  05:40

laugh but just to give you an example, one that didn’t even make it to tape was misty mountain hop, Zeppelin. I mean, it was music sounded fine, but the lyrics and the vocals until you actually try some of these songs, you don’t realize, you know, what it entails in some of these lyrics. They’re only something like Robert Plant could sing, and get away with it. So you know, and we try to freeze all right now. This doesn’t work. There’s certain songs that just sound right. If it makes you cringe, right? If you go oh, God, forget about this. I love this song. But it just doesn’t work with this band.

Nestor Aparicio  06:21

So did you need permission to take some of the songs? Or? Oh, no,

Joan Jett  06:26

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I don’t think you need permission. Because you have to you. Obviously you don’t make any money off this because you’re paying. You’re paying the people who wrote the songs to use the songs. That’s what I’m saying money off of you make making the records. Now, but I didn’t need permission, anybody can really do that. But you have to pay. Yeah, you wind up paying money.

06:46

So you’re gonna make less money on this album because of that? Well, you know, I

Joan Jett  06:50

honestly, I never looked at music as a money making proposition anyway. So it doesn’t really matter to me.

06:57

Was this a risk commercially? I mean, it was the record company happy with this. Yeah.

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Joan Jett  07:02

Everybody was very pleased with it. I think. If anybody was worried about it, I probably was, you know, I just didn’t have any idea what the reaction of what the kids would think what the, you know, what the writers would think what anybody would think I wasn’t quite sure. And then after a while, I started not to care. Because, you know, if you sit there and analyze things too much. It just becomes not real anymore.

07:29

Do you think some people thought it was a cop out? You know, is there’s an easy way of getting this done? Or did you ever think, but

Joan Jett  07:35

I mean, that’s just totally untruthful. That’s just because they choose not to check it out. I mean, you know, I’ve written my own songs for close to 12 1314 years now. And I got 20 songs. It’s not, it’s got nothing to do with whether or not you run out of ideas. That’s got nothing to do with it. I’ve got tons of songs. And at this time, when I was doing the cover album, I wrote a song for Alice Cooper. So one of his last singles house of fire was a song that I wrote, but in real estate, yeah. So you know, it’s not something you do because you run out of artistic ideas or anything. This is just something that I thought would be fun to do. Does anybody else ever done it before? Yeah, I think like Bowie did it pinups. Always pinups was was a sort of the same sort of idea. So

08:24

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you’re out doing theaters on this go round? Do you like that better than opening for a big band last time I saw, I think, move plan when you were down here. I mean, do you do you like that better? Do you like having your own show and doing for stretching out a little bit?

Joan Jett  08:38

Well, both things are fun, you know, being honest, because we’re just about to start. Let’s see, April 17, we hook up with Aerosmith. And we do like about a month and a half with them. So we’re just about to go into one of those situations. And it’s a lot of fun. But it’s just a whole different situation. I mean, I like being in, I feel most comfortable when I’m close to the audience when there’s no crash barriers, when the kids are right up against the stage and you’re able to touch them, and they’re able to touch you and they’re able to get really close and you’re able to sweat on them and stuff. I think that that kind of physical connection is really, really important. And I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve grown up playing in bars and clubs are my life and that’s the way that’s the way it is there. And I got you know, I’m very comfortable that way. In the big Coliseum, you’re 20 feet from the crowd, right you know from the first row and it’s pretty, it’s pretty cold in these places. You know, it’s very windy up on stage and you can’t really break a sweat, which is very important to me because it’s like I feel very strange. Finally break a sweat. And when I do break a sweat I feel really loose. counsel. I know that’s all mental thing. But

10:03

I didn’t see you having any problem. I was like in the 10th row than I saw, he was planned. And I didn’t think he had any problem getting the crowd moving. Because I mean, you have the material and the familiarity. I mean, like, we’re some new band would come in there, and just not, you know, have a bad show, so to speak, because people don’t get up, they don’t dance, they don’t move, they don’t have the words. But I mean, God, you can get up there and play 10 songs that, you know, everybody knows. And

Joan Jett  10:28

in a certain sense, I guess playing for the bigger crowds, especially when you’re doing an opening situation, you play it, you’re playing for a lot shorter period of time. So you cut down your show. Therefore, the songs that are in the show are only songs that people know, you got I Love Rock and Roll hate myself for loving you liar, Crimson and Clover. So it’s bang, bang, bang, bang, bang songs that everyone knows. Whereas when you’re doing a headline set, there might be a few semi obscure songs in the show from various albums that you know, maybe only the hardcore fans might know. So it’s just a whole different situation is not more fun or less fun. It’s just a whole different way of approaching. And again, anytime

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11:11

you get on a double bill, you like when you play hammer jacks here, you usually just your own show, but you get on a double bill, you’re like, Yeah, Brittany Fosses? Yeah, I don’t think that’s terribly compatible or not, you know, it’s sort of there. But I think they draw a little bit of a harder audience than then you would say, you’re getting new fans, do you feel that happening?

Joan Jett  11:30

Wow. No, hard to say, hard to say. You know, I’m not noticing, you know, a different sort of audience, with Britney’s pulling in. I know, you know, maybe they’re pulling in probably a few more girls in many sports. But still, to me, it seems basically the same sort of thing. It seems like anybody that comes to see Britney has a good time watching us and vice versa. While

12:02

I’m saying I’ve seen you recently we Louis, as he delivered with you plant now you’re seeing Aerosmith, you’ve been out Britton Fox. I mean, that’s a big difference there. I mean, between Huey Lewis and Robert Plant, you know, so I’m saying you’re getting your music out to I mean, over the years,

Joan Jett  12:17

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towards the thing about Mainstream Rock and Roll most of the time that they can work with almost anything, you know, basic three, chord, rock and roll, meaning, you know, our kind of our kind of music is pretty compatible with almost anything. And most anybody that’s into whether they’re into heavy metal, or pop or whatever, basically, people still like to record rock and roll. And so hopefully, we don’t have too many problems. We haven’t over the years anyway. Can we use you have to delay today? I thought we’d see in another movie. Is that possibility or no? Oh, yeah, definitely possibility. It’s just a really matter of me finding that, that great script that I want to that makes it worth me taking off six months of music. So I haven’t really had anything that has blown my mind or nothing that’s really worked out yet. Anyway, but I definitely am looking to do another film. And I would love to do it. You know, it might take a few years, or it might never happen, but I definitely have my eyes open.

13:19

So many scripts have been thrown at you to sit through the X.

Joan Jett  13:25

God. I don’t even know I couldn’t even done anything number 1020.

13:32

So you’ve had plenty of opportunities. Yeah. Okay, because I just wasn’t sure about that, because I knew the reviews real good for the movie. All right. Well, I appreciate your attendance today and Dorial. Anything anything else? No, no, we’re, we’re done. We’re done. I just want to talk more about the new album because I think people were that’s the first thing I thought when I saw that dirty deeds video. I’m like, What is she doing? The whole album was he like this? Or you know, then I get the album and I see all this other stuff. Yeah, it was just, you know, it was just

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Joan Jett  14:01

a fun, stupid, silly idea. Just wanted to play these songs. And we did it really not thinking about what people would would say in the end, because really, we’re just there to have fun. And in the end, if people can understand that, they can fuck off. Quickly, you know what I mean? To go listen, goes into Huey Lewis, or whatever. But you know, I’m just trying to have a good time and play songs that people like we’re not we don’t change them a whole lot. You know, it’s very, I think representative of the original version. And you know, it’s just supposed to be a lot of fun. There’s no deeper meaning. No money involved, no artistic weirdness involved. Have a good time.

14:48

If you ask them to successful would you attempt to this, by the way you think, Wow,

Joan Jett  14:53

I can’t even say that’s

14:56

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tough to say. The last film I think brought you back back more We’re into the mainstream instead of the movie that I mean, over the last couple of years. But without those kinds of things, I mean, like, you know, a band just comes out would never attempt this, you know?

Joan Jett  15:11

You can look at it two ways. If the rally hadn’t done that, well, you could think well do the cover album, thinking that maybe people would like this better? Because obviously, if you’re not getting any hits off your original music, people don’t think it’s hit worthy. And one of the songs might be one of the cover songs. But I just don’t know you. We could have or we couldn’t have a question. I can’t answer because it didn’t happen that way.

15:41

Alright, well, have fun and enjoy the game tomorrow.

Joan Jett  15:46

Take care. See you when we get to Baltimore should be able to come on the show. It’s a possibility. come backstage and say hello. I love to talk to a Baltimore fan. Especially sports writer.

16:00

Well, I cover the hockey team, and you’re in here on Friday night. Oh, yeah. The hockey game is Friday night. So it might be tough. Maybe I’ll catch you when you come around with Aerosmith. Playing the shed? Is that where they’re going? Or I think you shed most birth for another month and a half. So alright, thanks a lot. Okay.

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