Gary Ryan

Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame inductee Joan Marie Larkin could care less about her bad reputation -however she knows the importance of her bass players. Of the innumerable, potent versions of Joan Jett’s Blackhearts on record and on stage (especially with Kasim Sulton, Kenny Aaronson, and Joe Vasta) – to my ears, the classic line-up of guitarist Ricky Byrd, drummer Lee Crystal, and bassist Gary Ryan was definitive. Unlike present day one-note punks, Ryan's lower register passages exuded  harmonic and rhythmic movement within the constraints of three basic chords and a no-frills back-beat as evidenced on Album (1983) and Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth (1984).  Kudos to Ms. Jett for her dedication, consummate work ethic, songs, and purist rock ‘n’ roll attitude. However it must be noted that her Blackhearts rhythm sections (including drummer Thommy Price) have elevated Ms. Jett to artistic levels her legions could never attain. She represents the pinnacle of her genre despite the fact that her followers have sold more records.

Thomas SemioliComment