Earlier this week I stumbled across (By mistake) a classic train wreck on television:
- Joan Jett singing a medley of her hits
- Her duet partner was MILEY CYRUS!!!!
- In the audience mouthing the words to “I Love Rock and Roll” was the host- OPRAH!!
It was like watching the train coming right at you with no way to get out of the way- except to dive for the remote and change the channel. Then….. last night, while I was working on a video shoot for PBS, the do-wop band that was performing sang “I Love Rock and Roll”.
So, time to tell a Joan Jett story. In the early days of her career, she didn’t allow anyone to photograph her. So, in those early days, I just snuck in and shot what I wanted and then licensed the images to any magazine that wanted them. I did this for about 5 years. Then one day, I got a call form her publicist at Epic Records. Seems her manager, Kenny Laguna, was inviting me to her upcoming show to shoot pictures! When I arrived at the venue (the same venue that the Do-wop band was playing in last night) there was a note asking me to come backstage before the show. Weighing the possibilities- either I would be welcomed with open arms, or I would get the crap beat out of me, I decided to take my chances. When I walked into the production office, Kenny saw me, came up and gave me a big hug, and yelled up the stairs- “Hey Joan, come down and meet that guys who has been sneaking pictures of you for the last 5 years! She came down and also gave me a big hug and told me she loved my pictures and we have been friends ever since.
The last time I saw her was a few years ago at the Vans Warped Tour. I was walking between the buses in 95 degree heat when a bus door opened and Joan leaned out and said- “Hey, come in and grab some air-conditioning!” We had a few laughs and I asked her if I could shoot some photos of her before she went on. She led me up to the side of the stage where I took some nice casual portraits. The last thing that happened before the set started was the best part. Her road manager walked out to the front of the stage, leaned down, and told the security guys to make sure to tell all the photographers that they could stay for the whole set. Now, that is why I love Rock and Roll!!!!