I was driving home from work just thinking abou the day when I Love Rock and Roll came on the radio. I turned up the volume. Louder. No, LOUDER!
When I was in college, one of my buddies, Dave D., was a major Joan Jett fan. Dave had every album and knew every song. I knew I Love Rock and Roll and had heard a few others. I would hear Joan coming out of Dave's room at all hours.
During our senior year, 1987, Joan was in a move with Michael J. Fox, The Light of Day that took place in Cleveland . The weekend of the release, Joan was appearing in a free concert . . . in Cleveland. Dave talked me into going.
As I said, the concert was free and we weren't locals, so we made this eight hour drive without tickets, with pretty much no way to know if we'd be able to score any. I had called the sponsoring radio station to find out if they had any tickets put aside, but no luck.
We left early and got to the concert hall at 3 pm for the 8 pm show. Within half an hour, we were able to score two tickets for 25 bucks. Seemed like a lot at the time, but by today's standards, that was nothing.We waited until the doors opened and were able to get seats in the 5th row.
The show was great. Played all of the songs that I had heard. Crimson and Clover, Good Music, Bad Reputation, Touch. The highlight of the night was the finale when Michael J Fox joined her on stage to sing the theme from the movie.
After the show, Dave and I got back into his truck and headed back to school. We spent 8 hours in Cleveland and 16 hours traveling there and back. Not a bad day!
Dave and I saw Joan ten or eleven times that year. (Did that make us groupies?) (Yeah, I guess so.) We drove to Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Boston and Baton Rouge to see her. We ran into her band all over the place and saw her after a show at U of Delaware in a Howard Johnson's Restaurant where she graciously gave us autographs. She definitely recognized us and we recognized a bunch of other Jett heads that we'd see at different shows.
Dave (left) and me (right) with Ricky Byrd, lead guitar in Pittsburgh.
That year, Dave and I saw about 60 concerts. We saw just about every rock show within a three hour drive of Baltimore from the Dead to Aerosmith to Bon Jovi. Billy Joel, Eddie Money and Bruce Hornsby. Rush, Yes, Boston, Bowie and Pink Floyd. We saw shows in Baltimore, DC, Richmond, Philly, E. Rutherford, NJ, Hershey, PA, Norfolk, VA and more.
I was young and had nothing keeping me home. Ahh to be young again!