March 15, 1987. Jim Norton and the Tale of the Multiple Joan Jetts - ON THIS DATE IN CITY GARDENS HISTORY

March 15, 1987. Jim Norton and the Tale of the Multiple Joan Jetts - ON THIS DATE IN CITY GARDENS HISTORY

The following is an excerpt from the book No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens by Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steven DiLodovico

Joan Jett – March 15, 1987

Jim Norton (City Gardens security): I hadn’t been working at City Gardens long. I was guarding the steps to Joan Jett’s dressing room to make sure no one went up there. A couple came up to me and handed me a note. They asked if I would give it to Joan Jett, and I said I’d try. I opened up the note. It said, “Dear Joan, we are your number one fans in New Jersey. We love your music very much. Would you please play 'Anarchy in the UK” for us tonight? Signed –Your Number One Fans in New Jersey: Anna and Cassie.” Or something like that. Even though it was a guy and a girl, they signed it as two women. They actually had the nerve to ask her to play a Sex Pistols song, because apparently her catalogue wasn’t deep enough for them. Maybe Joan did cover “Anarchy in the UK” once or twice, what the hell do I know? I went up and knocked on the dressing room door. A guy answers the door, the tour manager or something, and I went to hand the note to him and explained it was from some fans. He very graciously said, “Well, why don’t you give it to her yourself?” I thought that was sort of odd. The whole day had been about protecting her from people and now, maybe twenty minutes before her show, I’m walking up and handing her a note? I said okay and took a few steps in. It wasn’t super-crowded, but there were a good number of people there. I turned to somebody and said, “Uh, I’m sorry. Is Joan Jett around?” He motioned toward this couch that held four or five people. He said, “She’s right over there on the couch.” I walked to the couch and sitting there are five Joan Jetts! There’s Joan Jett on the left, a Joan Jett next to her, and a Joan Jett in the middle, a Joan Jett next to her, and a Joan Jett on the far right. They were identical, and the one in the middle had her arms around the two next to her. I scanned the couch and finally said, “I’m sorry… who’s Joan Jett?” And the one in the middle, as though I were the one with the problem, says, “What do you think?” She said it nicely—she wasn’t nasty about it all— but she was incredulous. I was thinking, I see five Joan Jetts. It was not a crazy question. I said, “This is a note from some fans,” and she took it. I said, “Have a good show,” and walked out. I really liked the fact that there were five Joan Jetts and she was hanging with four women who looked exactly like her. There’s something strange about that, but hey, whatever.

Bruce Markoff (City Gardens regular): This was right after the release of that terrible movie with Joan Jett and Michael J. Fox, Light of Day. She played, and after the show people were congregating at the bottom of the steps by the dressing room waiting for her to sign autographs. She was pretty big at that point. She came down with her little entourage, and a couple of people were shoving things at her to be signed. She was blowing them off, but it was one of those moments when somebody speaks and there’s dead silence. At least that’s how I remember it. This guy shouts above everybody else, “Hey Joan, do you think Michael J. Fox owns any Joan Jett records?” And she goes, “I don’t know, why don’t you come out to the bus and we’ll talk about it?” She grabbed his hand, and the whole entourage blew everybody else off and went out the front door. I was kind of jealous and pissed off at the same time.

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