Jane Marie Genevieve Wiedlin (born May 20, 1958) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and actress. She is best known as the rhythm guitarist of the all-female New Wave band The Go-Go's.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Jane Wiedlin was born in Oconomowoc, Waukesha County, Wisconsin. Her father, an oral surgeon, was born in Chicago, Illinois, and her mother was from Oconomowoc; they met at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Wiedlin spent her early childhood growing up in West Allis, a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is one of five children, with a sister and three brothers.
When Jane was six, her father took a job with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs at a VA Hospital in Los Angeles, California and her family followed in tow. Soon after arriving in California, Wiedlin's mother cut Jane's waist-long hair to her signature pixie cut hairstyle, due to Wiedlin's becoming an active swimmer now that she lived in a warmer climate. Wiedlin loved watching Star Trek with her family when it first aired on television and is a lifelong fan to this day.
As a child, Jane liked to listen to 1960s pop music, especially songs by The Beatles and The Monkees. By the time she was a teenager, Wiedlin was a fan of Sparks. Years later, she would record "Cool Places" with them, as well as turn down a marriage proposal from Russell Mael, the band's co-founder. Jane Wiedlin stated, "I remember my childhood as extremely idyllic." Wiedlin also mentioned her teenage adolescence with angst and hope by saying, "I would definitely be a less-depressed teenager. I thought life was completely pointless when I was in high school, but just a few short years later I was having the adventure of a lifetime in a successful rock band!" Jane Wiedlin attended William Howard Taft High School in Los Angeles from 1972 until 1976.
Career[edit | edit source]
The Go-Go's[edit | edit source]
As Jane Wiedlin describes it, she was present "pretty much from the beginning" of the Los Angeles punk scene. While attending college in the Los Angeles area, for fashion design, Wiedlin worked at a fashion design house where she created song lyrics by scribbling down ideas on the clothing patterns. "Jane Drano," as she came to be known, would later design punk-style clothing that she sold at Granny Takes a Trip, a store on Sunset Boulevard. She became part of the scene that spawned bands like "X", The Germs and The Weirdos. She and Belinda Carlisle formed The Go-Go's as a punk band in 1978, with Margot Olaverra on bass, and Elissa Bello on drums. In 1981, Wiedlin and [Terry Hall of the Fun Boy Three and The Specials co-wrote "Our Lips Are Sealed." The song peaked on the Billboard charts at No. 20 and remained on the charts until 1982. Hall also recorded the song with his band and the song was quite popular, hitting No. 7 in the UK.
The Go-Go's pop punk sound did not emerge until after Charlotte Caffey joined on lead guitar and keyboards, and Gina Schock replaced Bello on drums. After a 1980 tour of England, the band added Kathy Valentine on bass. They signed with IRS Records in April 1981. Wiedlin remained part of The Go-Go's until October 1984, when she left to pursue a solo career. "Rush Hour" (1988) was her most successful single – having done well in both the American and British charts. The song was taken from her second album, Fur.
After a series of reunions during the 1990s, Wiedlin, Carlisle, Caffey, Schock, and Valentine re-formed the band again in 2000 to record God Bless the Go-Go's, their first studio album in seventeen years. The album, originally titled Vision of Nowness, had a title and concept based on an idea from Wiedlin.
In 2010, the Go-Go's announced their Happily Ever After Farewell Tour. Although scheduled to begin in July, the tour was cancelled due to ACL tears Wiedlin suffered in both knees after a fall she took while on a nighttime hike. She recovered and the band rescheduled the tour for 2011, no longer billing it as a farewell tour and changing the name to "Ladies Gone Wild."
Acting career[edit | edit source]
Her early acting credits include a one-line role in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (she is credited as Alien Communication Officer, but the script had her as Officer Trillya), Joan of Arc in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, an ill-fated singing telegram girl in Clue, and the White Fairy in Golan-Globus's Sleeping Beauty.
In a St. Petersburg Times online interview, Jane said this about her acting career in the 1980s: "It turned out to be much harder than it looks, and as much as I enjoyed those experiences, I don't think I'm very good at it."
In 2000, she sang in the choir on the Frasier episode "They're Playing Our Song". In 2001, she had a regular role in MTV's Spyder Games, playing the "ex-rock chick who runs the local coffee house" where everyone hangs out.
In 2003, she guest-starred as Hope Rodgers in an episode of As Told By Ginger.
Wiedlin also appeared as the bus station lady wearing a neck brace in Steve Balderson's 2005 surrealist crime drama Firecracker, a film Roger Ebert named on his list of the year's best films.
In April 2009, Jane reconnected with director Steve Balderson for Stuck!, an homage to film noir women in prison dramas. Co-starring Karen Black, Pleasant Gehman, Susan Traylor, Starina Johnson and cult icon Mink Stole, Stuck! was filmed in Macon, Georgia and was released in 2010.
Wiedlin has also provided voices for several characters in television and film. Her voice acting credits include one of Bruce Wayne's girlfriends in an episode of The New Batman Adventures, Gwen on Mission Hill, and Dusk, a recurring character in the Scooby-Doo franchise. In 2009, Wiedlin provided the voice of the evil Baby Oopsie Daisy in the horror film, Demonic Toys 2.
Jane will appear in the season finale of RuPaul's Drag U for the second season
Other work[edit | edit source]
Her latest project is a comic book entitled Lady Robotika which she co-created with artist Bill Morrison. The series concerns the adventures of a woman being abducted by aliens and turned into a cyborg superheroine. To promote the comic series and her related projects, Jane appeared at the March 2011 WonderCon where she greeted fans, posed for pictures, and signed autographs.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Wiedlin is a long-time animal rights activist, and has worked with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals since at least 1989 when she performed as part of a "Rock Against Fur" concert in New York City. She is a close friend of PETA's Dan Mathews.
Wiedlin had what she called a "short but dramatic romance" with Terry Hall of The Specials during their 1980 tour in England; Hall later sent her some lyrics prompted by their relationship, inspiring Wiedlin to write "Our Lips Are Sealed", a song on which Hall has co-writer credits.
Wiedlin has been married twice; once to Ged Malone (from 1987–1999) and once to David Trotter (from 2004–2005). Her first marriage was the subject of her 2000 song "The Good Wife." Her current domestic partner is musician Travis Kasperbauer, whom she met at a Wisconsin music festival.
Wiedlin is an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church, a mail-order religious organization that offers anyone semi-immediate ordination as a ULC minister, free of charge. Wiedlin identifies herself as "Reverend Sister Go-Go", serving primarily in the capacity of officiating at weddings.
Bisexuality[edit | edit source]
|“||I've never been one to label myself. I am full of dualities and like to think of myself as ultra-open when it comes to all things. Having said that, I realized many years ago that people need to hear that there are plenty of perfectly nice citizens of Planet Earth that don't fall into the strictly-heterosexual category.
I have had sex with men and women, and although I tend to be a serial monogamist with men, I feel no shame in admitting to have had wonderful experiences with both sexes. "Bisexuality" is such a loaded term. There are a lot of people with pretty negative feelings about those of us that refuse to choose one team! My whole life is riddled with other examples of being a dual-natured person, from my being ambidextrous, to my political views (progressive but very individual), to being an agnostic, to my BDSM identity (switch). And no, I don't feel a bit confused! I am totally OK with myself.
References[edit | edit source]
- Interview with: Jane Wiedlin conducted by Alice Bag in September 2005, from Bag's website
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- Jane Wiedlin Goes Solo and Go-Go from a November 2000 article in Rolling Stone
- Message from Jane (2010-06-14).
- The beat goes on for the Go-Go's, a February 2008 interview with the "Stuck in the '80s" blog on the St. Petersburg Times website
- Wiedlin reveals (and demonstrates) her BDSM predilections in the Surreal Life episode "I'm With Cupid". First aired February 20, 2005. Prod Code: SL406.
- Ebert's Best 10 Movies of 2005: Special Jury Awards from Roger Ebert's website
- Stuck! (movie website).
- Credits to "Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost"
- Burton, Bonnie. Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change. ISBN 0-9790173-6-X.
- Wolfson, Julie. LAist.com "Lenora Claire on her 'Bettie Page: Heaven Bound' Art Show" April 30, 2009
- Milestones: 1989 from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals UK website
- Jane Wiedlin - Biography
- Rich Albertoni (2008-10-24). Go-Go's guitarist and Wisconsin native Jane Wiedlin falls in love, buys a house and whips up a Madison band - Isthmus | The Daily Page. Isthmus. Retrieved on 2010-05-07.
- Website advertising fee-based services.
- An Interview with Jane Wiedlin - AfterEllen.com
[edit | edit source]
- Jane Wiedlin.com - Pay No Mind To What They Say..., Official Website
- The Go's-Go's.com, Official Website
- Jane Wiedlin: 'When The Go-Go's Started, We Were Terrible Musicians'
- "Interview with: Jane Wiedlin," Alicebag.com, September 2005
- "Jane Wiedlin from the Go-Go`s," Songfacts.com, 10/22/07
- "A Talk With Jane Wiedlin," RetroJunk.com
- "Go-Go's guitarist and Wisconsin native Jane Wiedlin falls in love, buys a house and whips up a Madison band," by Rich Albertoni, The Daily Page, 10/24/2008
- William Howard Taft High School (Los Angeles, California) Official Website
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