On November 15, 2011, Foo Fighters appeared with special guest Joan Jett on The Late Show with David Letterman and performed a scorching rendition of Jett’s “Bad Reputation”. I missed that show and, I must admit, I only just found out about the appearance recently, like last Thursday night. I was watching Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (since my furlough day is Friday) and Fallon mentiond that Jett would be appearing on the show next week. Awesome! However, I wondered what she was promoting and, while checking that out, I stumbled upon the Late Show clip on YouTube. Jett also performed the song with Foo Fighters two nights earlier (November 13, 2011) at Madison Square Garden where the band was performing on tour to promote their latest CD, Wasting Light.
Watch the Late Show clip here:
Dave Grohl injects a shot of modern rock adrenaline into Jett’s then 31-year-old(!) classic. Sure, the song is nearly perfect as it is, even timeless, but this version sounds amazing! And, it’s no surprise since Grohl and his band did the same thing for the Stones‘ classics, “19th Nervous Breakdown” and “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)”, when they performed with Mick Jagger on the season 37 finale of Saturday Night Live on May 19, 2012. A stunning performance. I love Foo Fighters and Dave Grohl. I mean how can I not? He was the drummer for, arguably, the most important rock band of the past 25 years. Nirvana is one of my all-time favorite bands, and Kurt Cobain was one of the greatest and most tragic artists in all of rock history. You can love Nirvana or hate them. Whatever. But, you can’t deny the impact they’ve had on rock music. And, Dave Grohl has risen far above being just the drummer of that influential band.
Listen to what Dave Grohl has to say about Joan Jett:
So, it’s also no surprise, to me, that Joan Jett, at 52 in 2011, sounds better than she did 31 years before that. Joan Jett, for me, gets better with age. Her most recent studio album, Sinner (2006), is my favorite, overall, of any she’s released, and her re-recorded Runaways tracks (“You Drive Me Wild” and “School Days”) on Greatest Hits (2010) are the hardest Jett’s rocked since Evil Stig (see Random Musings #12here). Now, Jett’s influence on rock music is as far-reaching as that of Nirvana if not as explosive. Joan Jett is a true rock goddess, the first riot grrrl, and every female rocker since has, at one time or another, found inspiration in Joan Jett’s music. And, Jett today, at 54 [55 next month], still matters to young female rockers hoping to realize their rock ‘n’ roll dreams, or any dreams for that matter.