Joan Jett To Play Some Dates With Blackhearts

Rocker will take a break from Broadway 'Rocky Horror' role to strap on electric guitar for gigs with her group in April, May.

Joan Jett will be hitting stages soon, and she's trading in those sweet transvestites for some Blackhearts.

Taking a break from her Broadway role as the coquette Columbia in "The Rocky Horror Show," the singer/guitarist will return to her old job for some good ol' rock concerts, beginning next month.

Jett, who will be joined by her group the Blackhearts for the shows, said she's eager for the switch, adding that part of the incentive for taking the Broadway gig was to keep her role as bandleader exciting.

"I wanted to do the 'Rocky' thing to distance myself from what I've been doing for the past 20 years — just to try to rekindle the fire, the passion for it," Jett said from Queens, New York, on Tuesday (March 27). "Not that I'm ever not passionate — it's just that I don't want things to get boring."

Five dates have been announced so far, including stops in New Jersey and Wisconsin in April and three California dates in May. Though the shows will continue throughout the summer, Jett is reluctant to call the engagements a tour, as she's doing no more than two or three gigs at a time.

"When I think of touring, I think of going out for eight months in a row and not coming back until you're done," Jett said. "I'm not really into doing that too much anymore. I've been doing that my whole life, since I was 15, and I want some semblance of a home life now. I want to hang out with my cats. I want to discover New York. I want to hang out with my friends."

Jett will draw on material from her entire career in the concerts, including such early classics as "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," all the way up to a new tune or two.

"The Rocky Horror Show" has delayed plans for the next Joan Jett & the Blackhearts record, though Jett has continued to work on new material since the release of 1999's Fetish. She said she has about 30 songs written for the disc.

Jett said she doesn't want to make any promises about when the effort will hit shelves, as she's not sure how long her "Rocky Horror Show" run will continue.

Though the play dominates her time these days, Jett said she's having "a blast" playing the role of Columbia.

"I grew up with the movie — it coincided with the forming of my first band, the Runaways," she said. "I remember going to see the movie many times in Hollywood when I was a teenager. It's really a lot of fun to perform these songs and perform the play, but it's a lot of hard work. It's different than playing in a band on every level — the singing is different, the way you use your body is different. It's really taxing but a lot of fun."

Jett has recorded an electronic version of "Science Fiction Double Feature" from "Rocky Horror," with producers Ulf Sommers and Tony Bruno. The song will not appear on the upcoming new cast album for "The Rocky Horror Show" but will be placed elsewhere, possibly on Jett's next studio album, according to her manager, Kenny Laguna.

Joan Jett tour dates, according to her publicist:

  • 4/21 - Asbury Park, NJ @ Stone Pony

  • 4/28 - Green Bay, WI @ Oneida Casino

  • 5/4 - Los Banos, CA @ Merced County Spring Fair

  • 5/5 - San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill

  • 5/20 - Long Beach, CA @ Shoreline Park