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Rock Pioneer Joan Jett Headlines Wingstock 2012

Great food and rock-and-roll on tap Saturday at Blue Claws Stadium in Lakewood

When Joan Jett was looking for a recording deal to start her solo career in 1980, she was rejected by no less than 23 major record labels.

Undeterred, Jett formed her own company, Blackheart Records, and self-financed her debut album. She was the first female artist to own and operate an independent record company.

Thirty-two years and 10 million album sales later, it’s clear that Jett’s self-confidence and perseverance were well placed. The pioneering rocker headlines Wingstock 2012 on Saturday at First Energy Park, home of the Lakewood Blue Claws.

“I’ve had a blessed career," Jett said on her website, www.joanjett.com. “I consider myself so lucky to have been able to do things my own way.”

Jett is best-known for her No. 1 anthem, “I Love Rock 'n' Roll,” which features the singer-guitarist’s trademark punk snarl and an instantly recognizable guitar riff.

Other standout Jett moments include the hyper histrionics of “Bad Reputation,” a seductive cover of Tommy James’ “Crimson and Clover,” and the tough swagger of “I Hate Myself for Loving You.”

“To say we’re proud to welcome her to our big bash is the understatement of the year,” said Barbara LaRue, on-air personality at Jersey Shore Classic Rock Radio 105.7 The Hawk, which is co-sponsoring Wingstock with the Blue Claws.

“We consider ourselves so lucky to have her grace the stage at Wingstock 2012,” LaRue wrote on www.1057thehawk.com, and “to remind us why we all love rock and roll!”

Jett started her professional career in 1975 at age 15 as a founding member and driving force behind The Runaways, a raw and rowdy all-female group. The band was immortalized on celluloid in the 2010 biopic, “The Runaways,” with Kristen Stewart portraying Jett.

Jett takes the Wingstock stage at 9:30 p.m. Gates open at 4 p.m. Also performing are funk legends George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic, Bobby Bandiera, Boccigalupe and the Bad Boys, Mazz Force, and Monkeys in The Dark.

The day’s festivities include a who’s who of the Jersey Shore’s best restaurants competing for the title of “King of the Wing.” Participants include Jersey Shore BBQ of Belmar, Tommy’s Coal Fired Pizza of Brick, Red Bank and Oakhurst, and Shore House Bar & Grill of Point Pleasant.

Tickets are $29, $39 and $105 for a VIP package, which includes food, a private cash bar, access to party decks, a close up section in front of the stage and a limited edition Wingstock 2012 T-shirt.

To purchase tickets, visit www.blueclaws.com or call 732-901-7000  and press 2. For more information on Wingstock 2012, visit http://alturl.com/nnhs5

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