Jane Wiedlin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jane Wiedlin
Jane Wiedlin in Philadelphia in 1988
Background information
Birth name Jane Marie Genevieve Wiedlin
Also known as Jane Drano, Jumping Jane Drano, and Reverend Sister Go-Go
Born (1958-05-20) May 20, 1958 (age 56)
Origin Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, U.S.
Genres Punk, pop rock, new wave
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, actress
Instruments Rhythm guitar, vocals
Years active 1978[1]–present
Labels EMI, IRS, Painful Discs
Associated acts The Go-Go's, FroSTed, Sparks
Website janewiedlin.com

Jane Marie Genevieve Wiedlin (born May 20, 1958) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and actress best known as the rhythm guitarist and secondary vocalist of the all-female new wave band The Go-Go's. Wiedlin has also led a solo career.

Early life[edit]

Jane Wiedlin was born in Oconomowoc, Waukesha County, Wisconsin, the daughter of Betty Jane (née Herro) and Robert Wiedlin, Sr.[2][3] 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 Wiedlin was six, her father took a job with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs at a VA Hospital in Los Angeles and her family followed in tow.[citation needed]

As a child, Wieldlin 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. 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!" Wiedlin attended William Howard Taft High School in Los Angeles from 1972 until 1976.[citation needed]


The Go-Go's[edit]

As Wiedlin describes it, she was present "pretty much from the beginning"[4] 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.[4] She became part of the scene that spawned bands like X, The Germs and The Weirdos.[1]

Wiedlin 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 Fun Boy Three and the song was 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.[5]

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.[6] 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."

Solo career[edit]

Solo albums are listed below.

Acting career[edit]

Her early acting credits include a brief appearance as an officer seen on a Starfleet Command video screen in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986, she is credited as Alien Communication Officer but the script listed her as Officer Trillya), an ill-fated singing telegram girl in Clue (1985), the White Fairy in Golan-Globus's Sleeping Beauty (1987), and as Joan of Arc in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989).

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."[7]

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.[5]

In 2005, she appeared as herself on the fourth season of VH1's The Surreal Life, wherein she talked about her interest in BDSM.[8]

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.[9]

In April 2009, Wiedlin 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.[10]

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.[11]

Other work[edit]

Wiedlin contributed quotes to Girls Against Girls by author Bonnie Burton.[12] In April 2009, Wiedlin was shot as Bettie Page by photographer Austin Young for the "Heaven Bound" art show.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Wiedlin is a long-time animal rights activist, and has worked with PETA since at least 1989 when she performed as part of a "Rock Against Fur" concert in New York City.[14] She is a close friend of PETA's Dan Mathews.[5]

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",[7] a song on which Hall has co-writer credits.

Wiedlin has been married twice; once to Ged Malone (from 1987 to 1999) and once to David Trotter (from 2004 to 2005).[15] 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.[16] She has no children.

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.[17]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions
1985 Jane Wiedlin 127
1988 Fur 105 48
1990 Tangled
  • Release date: 1990
  • Label: EMI America
2000 Kissproof World
  • Release date: October 31, 2000
  • Label: Painful Discs
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album details
1993 The Very Best of Jane Wiedlin: From Cool Places to Worlds on Fire
  • Release date: 1993
  • Label: Alliance Records, EMI


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US Dance
1985 "Blue Kiss" 77 30 Jane Wiedlin
1988 "Rush Hour" 9 31 12 Fur
"Inside a Dream" 57 64
1990 "World on Fire" Tangled
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Featured singles[edit]

Year Single Artist Peak chart positions Album
US US Dance
1983 "Cool Places" Sparks 49 13 In Outer Space

Other releases[edit]

  • 1990 Pretty Woman soundtrack (EMI, re-released 2006, with bonus disc)--"Tangled"
  • 1996 Cold (Geffen Records) – as froSTed
  • 2002 The Specials vs. The Untouchables: Ska's Greatest Stars (Big Eye Music) – Rearrangement of "Our Lips Are Sealed", with The Specials
  • 2006 80's New Wave Hits (Big Eye Music) – Rearrangement of "Our Lips Are Sealed", with The Specials


  1. ^ a b Go-Go's Biography from the Go-Go's website
  2. ^ http://www.livinglifeboomerstyle.com/2012/04/30/jane-wiedlin/
  3. ^ http://www.macyandson.com/obituary/Betty-Jane-Wiedlin/McMinnville-OR/507788
  4. ^ a b Interview with: Jane Wiedlin conducted by Alice Bag in September 2005, from Bag's website
  5. ^ a b c Jane Wiedlin Goes Solo and Go-Go from a November 2000 article in Rolling Stone
  6. ^ "Message from Jane". June 14, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b 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
  8. ^ Wiedlin reveals (and demonstrates) her BDSM predilections in the Surreal Life episode "I'm With Cupid". First aired February 20, 2005. Prod Code: SL406.
  9. ^ Ebert's Best 10 Movies of 2005: Special Jury Awards from Roger Ebert's website
  10. ^ "Stuck!" (movie website). 
  11. ^ Credits to "Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost"
  12. ^ Burton, Bonnie. Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change. ISBN 0-9790173-6-X. 
  13. ^ Wolfson, Julie. LAist.com "Lenora Claire on her 'Bettie Page: Heaven Bound' Art Show" April 30, 2009
  14. ^ Milestones: 1989 from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals UK website
  15. ^ Jane Wiedlin – Biography
  16. ^ Rich Albertoni (October 24, 2008). "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 2010-05-07. 
  17. ^ "Website advertising fee-based services". 
  18. ^ "Jane Wiedlin Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  19. ^ a b "Chart Stats – Jane Wiedlin". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Jane Wiedlin Album & Song Chart History – Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Jane Wiedlin Album & Song Chart History – Dance/Club Play Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  22. ^ "charts.org.nz – New Zealand charts portal". Hung Medien. charts.org.nz. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 

External links[edit]