Happy Anniversary, Light of Day!
Twenty-three years ago today, Joan Jett made her acting debut as Patti Rasnick in Light of Day, a film written and directed by Paul Schrader and starring Michael J. Fox, Jason Miller, Gena Rowlands, Michael McKean, and Cherry Jones.
Light of Day, for those who haven’t seen it, is a family drama centered around Patti and Joe Rasnick (Michael J. Fox), two siblings in Cleveland, Ohio, trying to keep their band, and their family, together. Joe is in charge of the family, which includes their religious parents and Patti’s 5-year-old son, Benji; Patti just wants to be in charge of the band. How’s that for conflict?
I was 10, almost 11, when this movie hit theaters, and unfortunately, I didn’t give a crap about any of that. I had just gotten over a huge crush on Michael J. Fox, and I really didn’t want to see it. (I can’t remember who I left him for. Robert Pattinson was only 9 months old, so it wasn’t him. 🙂 ) The trailer was all over TV, though, and I could not get the song “Light of Day” out of my head.
FOR DAYS. Just the one line too: “Just around the corner till the Light of Day yeah” over and over and over. I was ANNOYED. One day, as I was leaving music class (ironically), I moaned about it to one of my friends. She said, “Oh yeah, Joan Jett is in that.” I still wasn’t impressed, because I had no idea who Joan Jett was. The song eventually left my head and I forgot all about it. I didn’t hear Joan Jett’s name again until I saw the “I Hate Myself for Loving You” video, which is why 1988 is my Jetthead “born-on date” and not 1987.
I didn’t see Light of Day until 1989, when it aired on HBO. I loved it, and I cursed myself for not seeing it in a theater. It was the first time I had ever heard Joan talk. I bought it on VHS the same year, and it was the first VHS movie to ever enter my household. We didn’t get a VCR until 1990, so I would take it to other people’s houses to watch it!
I still have that VHS tape, and I still have a VCR to watch it on. The tape still plays, with pretty good quality for being older than Kristen Stewart. When I watched it on Joan’s last birthday, the label fell off. Someday, that tape is going to break, or wear out, or VCRs will stop being manufactured. So why don’t I just buy it on DVD? I’m glad you asked! I would love to! But I can’t. Because Light of Day does not exist on DVD.
I have seen a German DVD on Amazon, but that’s a different region disc and won’t play in my DVD player. I have made a backup copy of the tape on my DVD recorder, but it’s not the same. And what are new fans supposed to do?
Jettheads have been talking about this for years. We want to buy Light of Day on DVD. I’m sick of waiting for it to fall from the sky, so I’m doing something about it. I’ve been emailing a few companies to try to find out who owns the DVD rights so that I can target my campaign to the right people, but so far I haven’t gotten anywhere. But I’m going to keep trying. In the meantime, I found a cool site, eventful.com, that lets people create online demands for movies and artists to come to their hometowns, so I created one for Light of Day. It’s global. Please join the demand, it’s pretty painless. (Don’t forget to uncheck the “special offers” check box if you don’t want any special offers.) The site lets you easily share the demand on your MySpace, Facebook, website, Twitter, email, etc. Please pass it along.
If you own the DVD rights to Light of Day, or know who does, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This film, whether you like the acting or the plot or not, is important for Jettheads, and deserves to be released again. Jettheads quote lines from this movie to each other all the time, and when we watch it, we sing along to the performances. The Blackhearts still play “Light of Day” (written by Bruce Springsteen for the film) and it still sounds great: