Nothing is more dangerous than a woman with her own agenda. Throughout the decades, Joan Jett has always been a woman who paves her own road in whichever direction she wishes. The cherry bomb was selected to be the 6th annual Sunset Strip Music Festival honoree. Not only is she the first female to receive the Elmer Valentine award, but Jett will also be the first honorary to perform at their own ceremony. Jett received the award at the House of Blues, recognizing her mark in music and her mark on the Sunset Strip. Jett’s talents, adamancy and standing in the music industry broke ground for young females everywhere.
Through all the lights, cameras and revived eighties attire, the House of Blues was transformed into a night all about this icon. The red carpet featured a giant Gibson guitar with the rock star’s face printed on the body, so guests could take photographs with it. The guest list consisted of music industry stars, famous personalities and fans alike. Renowned tattoo artist Kat Von D was not only there to support and congratulate Miss Jett, but she also provided some goodies. Female guests received goodie bags stuffed with a liquid eyeliner set, an eye shadow pallet and Von D’s signature red lipstick, all from her Sephora makeup line. Jack Daniel cocktail waitresses weaved their way through the private event handing out classic, good ol’ Jack and Cokes.
All nestled within the downstairs of the House of Blues, bodies stirred toward the stage as guest speakers shared heartfelt stories. Jett sat above the crowd, surrounded by her closest friends and family as she humbly absorbed the praise. Comedian Margaret Cho, a friend of Jett’s, looked up and confessed how inspiring the star was to her growing up– how, even with failed attempts to copy the icon’s ragged ‘do, Cho felt closer to knowing herself because of Jett. Carmen Electra spoke of her own pride in calling Jett a friend and her admiration for what her status means for women.
There is nowhere else on this planet where you could witness a mayor and councilmember decked out in full rock attire. Abbe Land, mayor of West Hollywood, and councilmember John Heilman sent their blessings up to Joan Jett for still believing in rock ‘n roll, even when rock ‘n roll momentarily did not believe in her. With that said, Land was happy to announce on behalf of the City of West Hollywood that August 1 would be proclaimed as Joan Jett Day. The stream of guest speakers was touching. This woman has moved a wide variety of people.
Soon enough, lights illuminated the stage. Nick Adler, owner of the Roxy Theatre and Mikael Maglieri, owner of the Rainbow Bar & Grill, presented the Elmer Valentine Award to the guest of honor. Rodney Bingenheimer, KROQ’s radio legend, also presented Jett a stunningly beautiful white Gibson guitar, similar to the giant one on the red carpet. Humble and delighted, Jett then got the show on the road, opening up with Bad Reputation. The crowd pushed forward and lights flashed as Jett rocked the stage with the Blackhearts playing not only classic tunes, but also performing some new material from their new album Unvarnished, out October 1st. In her vibrant red jumpsuit, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts ripped the stage with guitar riffs only a legend could pull off.
All in all, one thing was certain: the importance of Joan Jett, not only to the music industry, but to women the world over. Joan Jett has forever stood for equality within the rock scene and within society. Joan Jett is an inspiration, always instilling hope in rock ‘n roll. From her days with The Runaways to leading rock and roll on the Sunset Strip, Joan Jett– we don’t give a damn about your reputation.
The Sunset Strip Music Festival, sponsored by Jack Daniels, was held on August 1 – 3, 2013. Follow Jack Daniels on Twitter and Facebook! For more on the festival, visit: http://www.sunsetstripmusicfestival.com