After the Runaways broke up in 1979 and Jett became a solo act, she tried to get a record label to distribute her new album. She was famously rejected by 23 different labels. She decided to do it herself and co-founded Blackheart Records in 1980, making her the first female artist to own and have direct control over an independent record company (awesome fact: in making her record, Bad Reputation, she got help from an unlikely source — The Who — who let Jett use their recording facilities).
Joan Jett and The Blackhearts New York City 1981
When Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, they could have asked any singer in the world to join them on stage. They asked Joan Jett. This is just one of many of examples of the importance of Joan Jett and The Blackhearts to rock and roll.
Here's some more: she has three albums that have been certified platinum or gold, she's hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, was the first American act of any kind to perform behind the Iron Curtain, and in 2015 Joan Jett & the Blackhearts were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame themselves. And she fought for every single one of those achievements.
Then a concert in the Spring of 1981 at the Palladium in New York City proved to be a turning point. It was described by music journalists as a "career-defining performance" by Jett, and it helped solidify a strong New York following for Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, which still exists to this day. As we kick off our series of prints for Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, we wanted to create a gig-poster for that Palladium concert where she showed the world (and those 23 record companies) there was a new force in rock and roll.