Sunday, March 20, 2011

We love rock 'n' roll

In a 1984 Bam magazine interview Joan Jett talked about the connection she makes with people through her music.

"We played a show for the Olympic athletes (in L.A.). An athlete from Sudan saw me, he was walking down the street in Olympic Village, and he yelled 'I love rock 'n' roll!' I don't think he even spoke English. The feeling that gave me, it's hard to explain to other people."

We get it.

We don't know why producer Mickie Most didn't like "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" when Jake Hooker and Alan Merrill brought the song to him.  Or why it was originally released as a B side for their band the Arrows.  Or why Jett's all-girl band the Runaways didn't fall in love with the song when they saw the Arrows perform it in Britain.

But none of those events dissuaded Jett, who enjoyed a monster hit after recording it with the Blackhearts.  "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" spent seven weeks at No. 1 in 1982. Here was the Billboard Top 5 on this day:

1. I Love Rock 'n' Roll, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
2. Open Arms, Journey
3. Centerfold, J. Geils Band
4. That Girl, Stevie Wonder
5. Sweet Dreams, Air Supply

Of the dozens of videos on YouTube we chose the sweatiest, grittiest version we could find from a concert in Passaic, New Jersey. 'Cause that's rock 'n' roll, and we like it.

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