Jettheads have plenty to celebrate despite Rock Hall snub

When the official list of 2012 inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame circulated last week, without Joan Jett and the Blackhearts on it, we were all disappointed and sad. But I think I wallowed in it a little longer than I should have. The truth is, we Jettheads still have plenty to be happy about! For example:

1. THEY WERE NOMINATED. I still remember the blinding joy–and total surprise–I felt when I first found out that The Blackhearts were on the ballot. It’s now one of my favorite Jetthead memories, and I’m always going to carry it with me.

2. WE GOT THEM INTO THE TOP 5 OF THE ROCK HALL’S READERS’ POLL. This is the first year the Rock Hall has done one of these polls, although we knew the results would not affect the outcome. The Rock Hall hasn’t published the final results anywhere yet, and the poll has been taken down, but I watched that thing like a hawk up until the last day it was open, and I know Joan Jett and The Blackhearts were in 5th place. And this poll didn’t even allow multiple votes!

3. WE EARNED GOLDMINE MAGAZINE’S VOTE. Goldmine was the only official Rock Hall voter I heard of that gave its readers full reign over its ballot. Our votes in their online poll landed Joan one of the coveted spots. This poll didn’t allow multiple votes either. Great job!

4. WE ARE NOT ALONE. The haters are definitely out there (aren’t they always?), but Jettheads didn’t champion for Joan in a vacuum. Many blogs and articles expressed outrage at The Blackhearts’ exclusion. (,, and are among the most vociferous in defense of Joan.) Not that we need to care about random bloggers or journalists: Michael J. Fox and Lita Ford are on our side!

Lita’s interview from in October:

Q: What do you think of Joan (Jett’s) nomination for the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame?
Oh, it’s great! She absolutely deserved it.


But the best thing to be grateful for?

5. NEW MUSIC IN 2012 AND BEYOND!  Yeah, baby!!

Reality Mentality:


Hard to Grow Up:


Recap: Light of Day screening with Paul Schrader in Cleveland, March 18

[Warning: The following contains minor spoilers.]

A rare opportunity

I was about 10 years old when Paul Schrader made Light of Day, about two years before my awakening as a Jetthead, so I never had the opportunity to see it in a theater. I just assumed I never would.

But Light of Day’s 25th anniversary–which totally snuck up on me by the way–offered the chance of a lifetime last Friday when Paul introduced a special screening of the film and fielded questions from the audience at The Cleveland Institute of Art’s Cinematheque, just a 2.5 hour drive from my home. I took the day off from work, rescheduled a bridesmaid’s dress fitting, and hit the road. Continue reading

Special screening of Light of Day in Cleveland with director Paul Schrader

Next Friday, March 18, filmmaker Paul Schrader will present a special screening of Light of Day in the city it was filmed in, Cleveland, Ohio, to celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary and its influence on the city of Cleveland. After the screening, Paul will take questions from the audience.

The event starts at 7:30 PM EST at Cinematheque at The Cleveland Institute of Art. Tickets are $15.00 for non-members and can be purchased from Brown Paper Tickets HERE. You must be at least 13 years of age to attend.

Jettheads, if you have never seen Light of Day in a theater, and if you can get to Cleveland, NOW IS YOUR CHANCE! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

From the website:

Filmmaker Paul Schrader, whose screenwriting credits include Taxi Driver and Raging Bull and whose directorial credits include American Gigolo and Auto Focus, will appear in person on Friday, March 18 at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. Schrader will answer audience questions after a rare theatrical showing of his 1987 rock ‘n’ roll movie Light of Day, filmed in Cleveland with stars Michael J. Fox, Joan Jett, and Gena Rowlands. Tickets cost $15, Cinematheque members $10. Full-price tickets can be purchased in advance at

Twenty-five years ago Schrader was in Cleveland shooting a rock ‘n’ roll movie at the Euclid Tavern and other University Circle and east-side locations. Light of Day (the title comes from a Bruce Springsteen song written for the film) focuses on the on- and off-stage lives of the brother and sister lead performers in a working-class Cleveland rock band. He (Fox) is a factory worker who loses his job; she (Jett) is an impoverished unwed mother whose reckless lifestyle has alienated her from her deeply religious mother (Rowlands).

Though Schrader readily admits that the film is “flawed,” it is also fascinating—especially for Clevelanders. The Time Out Film Guide says that “what at first seems just another dreary blue-collar melodrama turns out to be something infinitely superior…Create(s) a powerful feeling of real lives being lived and lost.”

Click HERE for more. They have a nice picture of Joan and Michael J. too!

Visit Paul Schrader’s website HERE. And check out my Light of Day anniversary post from last year HERE.

Help get Light of Day released on DVD!

If you haven’t joined the movement to get Light of Day released on DVD yet, please visit the demand page I created on HERE. And, if you are so inspired, could you help me promote it? The demand only has 81 people so far. Thank you!!


The Light of Day Foundation documentary coming in 2010

I’m going to close out the Light of Day anniversary blitz on a serious, yet uplifting, note.

Light of Day isn’t just the movie that launched Joan Jett’s acting career. It’s also the name of the Light of Day Foundation, an organization dedicated to raising money and awareness for Parkinson’s and related illnesses. The shared name is no coincidence; the foundation took its name from the movie’s title song, written by Bruce Springsteen. They have raised nearly one million dollars since 1998.

The foundation’s concert series started in 2000 as a single benefit concert at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and has since evolved into a huge annual event that has been hosted in seven countries in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Read more about it HERE.

The organization and its founder, music industry veteran Bob Benjamin, who lives with Parkinson’s himself, are the subjects of a documentary made by Flat Broke Productions, called Just Around the Corner. Flat Broke is giving 100% of the profits from the film back to the Light of Day Foundation to help fund Parkinson’s research. Here is the trailer:


The film has a Facebook page. So far, the release date is listed as Spring of 2010. I’ll let you know when a definite release date has been set.

In 2003, the Light of Day Foundation produced a CD tribute to Bruce Springsteen called Light of Day: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen. The CD contains 35 Bruce Springsteen songs covered by various artists, including an awesome cover of “The River” by my fellow Pittsburghers The Clarks:


100% of the profits from this CD are split evenly between the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and the Kristen Ann Carr Fund, which funds research for Sarcoma, a rare cancer. You can buy it on Amazon and iTunes. You can also donate directly to Light of Day HERE.

Follow the Light of Day Foundation on Twitter: @lod_foundation. They have a MySpace page too. And while we’re at it, let’s show some love to the Michael J. Fox Foundation (@teamfox).

I think it would be really cool if whoever owns the rights to the Light of Day movie and soundtrack could re-release both of them and donate the profits to this wonderful organization.

Recent “Light of Day” articles

The 2010 Light of Day-palooza continues! If you think the only people who remember Joan Jett’s acting debut are a handful of Jettheads stuck in a time-warp, think again. These are all shout-outs that the movie has received on the internet recently.

1. “Happy Birthdays and On This Day in Music & History,” Ester Goldberg, February 6, 2010. Quick mention of the movie on an “on this day” list.

2. “On this Day/Joan Jett Acting Debut,”, February 6, 2010. Short, but cool, article in tribute to the anniversary of Joan’s acting debut.

3. “February 6, 2010 – On a Day Like Today.” Another “on this day in history” list.

4. “WATCH Joan Jett with Michael J. Fox in ‘Light of Day'”,, January 22, 2010. This is just a quick shout-out, but it includes a poll on the best female rock ‘n’ roll group. Vote for The Runaways!

5. “Today’s Top Five: Dad-E-O’s fave fake bands,” January 15, 2010. The Barbusters are number 2!

6. “Exclaim!’s Top Ten Rock Movies,” December 30, 2009. Light of Day makes the list alongside This is Spinal Tap and Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

7. “Joan Jett’s costars in ‘Light of Day’ win Emmys,” September 23, 2009. OK, this one is mine, but I still think it’s cool that both Michael J. Fox and Cherry Jones won Emmys in 2009.

8. “Why is Joan Jett playing Gyruss?” September 5, 2009. I think this is cool, even though I don’t understand all of the references. Joshuah Bearman talks about Joan’s love of video games in Light of Day. He links to a blog about the same subject by his friend, Brian McMullen, which is number 9 on my list:

9. “Joan Jett + Gyruss in Light of Day.” June 14, 2009. This guy enjoys Light of Day, especially Joan playing Gyruss, and also wants it to be released on DVD! He tells a funny story about trying to rent it from a video store.

Click here to demand "Light of Day" on DVD!

Click here to demand "Light of Day" on DVD! Don't forget to uncheck the "special offers" checkbox if you don't want them.

“Light of Day” interviews and reviews

How can we celebrate a Light of Day anniversary weekend without interview and review clips? Enjoy!


Rotten Tomatoes has a great Light of Day page with reviews from a bunch of different publications. Read them HERE. (But don’t believe the bad ones.  🙂 Roger Ebert liked it.)

“Light of Day” Anniversary, February 6, 1987

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. Continue reading

New Feature – Video of the Week

I’m experimenting with a new feature: Video of the Week. Every Saturday, I will post a different Joan Jett related video in my left-hand sidebar.


This week’s feature is a fan-made montage video of CSI character Greg Sanders set to “You Got No Place to Go” by Michael J. Fox from the Light of Day soundtrack. Enjoy! 🙂


Joan Jett’s costars in “Light of Day” win Emmys

I am a total freak for Light of Day, and I like keeping tabs on Joan’s costars from the film.

So I was super geeked on Sunday night, 9/20, when I saw Joe Rasnick and Cindy Montgomery both win awards at the 2009 Primetime Emmys.

Michael J. Fox won for his guest role as Dwight on Rescue Me, an award he received on 9/12 during the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony. He also presented the Outstanding Directing/Writing for a Drama Series awards with Ellen Burstyn during the 9/20 telecast. Here is a TVGuide interview after his win:


Cherry Jones won Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as President Allison Taylor on 24. Check out her acceptance speech:


Congratulations to both winners!