Joan Jett influence spans decades

SINCE FOUNDING the pioneering all-girl teen punk band the Runaways in the '70s, Joan Jett has developed a "Bad Reputation" in the world of rock 'n' roll. She's helped launch the careers of a variety of artists, ranging from former Runaways opening acts like Cheap Trick and Tom Petty to contemporary punk bands like the Dollyrots and Girl in a Coma via her Blackheart Records label.

Her label originated out of the trunk of a car when other labels refused to release her music. But her determination not only paid off, it made her one of the first female record label owners and a legitimate rock icon.

It could easily be argued that had she not broken gender barriers, the '90s riot grrrl movement of bands like L7, Babes in Toyland and even the Courtney Love-fronted Hole might never have been.

After more than 30 years in the business, Jett is still going strong. In recent years she's toured the world with bands like Aerosmith, Motorhead and Alice Cooper, and impressed a younger audience on the 2006 Warped Tour. She continues to produce and collaborate with a wide range of artists, having recorded with electroclash originator Peaches and Atlanta's own glam-punk act the Heart Attacks.

In what seems like a bit of an odd pairing, Joan Jett proves that she can still win over rock fans of any genre this weekend as she opens for heartland balladeers REO Speedwagon.

While it might be a night of classic rock reminiscence for many, Jett certainly hasn't mellowed with age and will likely have the audience dancing in the aisles rather than waving their lighters in the air.

• THE 411: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts with REO Speedwagon. $33.50-$53.50. 8 p.m. June 29 (gates open at

6:30 p.m.). Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive N.W., Buckhead. 404-233-2227, www.chastainseries.com.

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