Jane Wiedlin

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Jane Wiedlin
Jane Wiedlin in Philadelphia in 1988
Jane Wiedlin in Philadelphia in 1988
Background information
Birth nameJane Marie Genevieve Wiedlin
Also known asJane Drano, Reverend Sister Go-Go
Born (1958-05-20) May 20, 1958 (age 62)
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, U.S.
GenresPunk, pop rock, new wave
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, actress
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1978[1]–present
LabelsEMI, IRS, Painful Discs
Associated actsThe Go-Go's, FroSTed, Sparks
Websitejanewiedlin.com

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

Early life[edit]

Wiedlin was born May 20, 1958 in Oconomowoc, Waukesha County, Wisconsin.[2] Her father, Robert Arthur Wiedlin, Sr., an oral surgeon of German and Swiss ancestry, was born in Chicago. Her mother, Betty Jane (née Herro),[3] was of Lebanese heritage, from Oconomowoc, where many immigrants from Lebanon settled. Wiedlin's parents met while students at Marquette University and later married. She spent her early childhood growing up in West Allis, a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[4] She is one of five children, with a sister and three brothers, growing up in a Catholic family. 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 the family followed.[4]

As a child, Wiedlin listened to pop music, especially that of the Beatles and the Monkees. As a teenager, Wiedlin was a fan of Sparks, with whom she would record "Cool Places" years later.

Wiedlin has stated, "I remember my childhood as extremely idyllic." She has 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.[5]

Career[edit]

The Go-Go's[edit]

According to Wiedlin, she was present "pretty much from the beginning"[6] of the Los Angeles punk scene. While attending college in the Los Angeles area for fashion design, she worked at a fashion-design house where she created song lyrics by scribbling ideas on clothing patterns. Under the moniker Jane Drano, she would later design punk-style clothing that she sold at Granny Takes a Trip, a store on Sunset Boulevard.[6] She became part of the scene that spawned bands such as X, the Germs and the Weirdos.[1]

Wiedlin and Belinda Carlisle formed the Go-Go's as a punk band called the Misfits in 1978, with Margot Olaverra on bass and Elissa Bello on drums.[7] The Go-Go's pop punk sound emerged when 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.

In 1981, Wiedlin and Terry Hall of Fun Boy Three and the Specials co-wrote "Our Lips Are Sealed".[8] The song peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No. 20, where it remained until 1982.[9] Hall also recorded the song with Fun Boy Three, hitting No. 7 in the U.K.

Wiedlin remained part of the Go-Go's until October 1984 when she left to pursue a solo career. Her most successful single was 1988's "Rush Hour", which performed well in both the American and British charts. The song appeared on her second album, Fur.

After a series of reunions during the 1990s, Wiedlin, Carlisle, Caffey, Schock and Valentine reunited in 2000 to record God Bless the Go-Go's (originally titled Vision of Nowness), their first studio album in 17 years. The album's title and concept came from Wiedlin.[10]

In 2010, the Go-Go's announced their "Happily Ever After" farewell tour.[11] Although scheduled to begin in July, the tour was canceled because of ACL tears that Wiedlin had suffered in both knees after falling during a nighttime hike.[12] 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]

Wiedlin has released four solo albums: Jane Wiedlin in 1985, Fur in 1988, Tangled in 1990 and Kissproof World in 2000.[13] From 1995 to 1998, she was also a member of the band FroSTed, which released one album, Cold, in 1996. In 2017, Wiedlin teamed up with the American-born Italian multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Pietro Straccia to form a new psychedelic/pop/electronic duo called Elettrodomestico.[14] Their debut album, If You're a Boy or a Girl, was independently released on October 20, 2017.

Acting career[edit]

Wiedlin's 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), 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).[15] Of her 1980s acting career, Wiedlin has stated: "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."[16]

In 2000, Wiedlin sang in Frasier episode "They're Playing Our Song". In 2001, she had a regular role in MTV's Spyder Games, portraying the "ex-rock chick who runs the local coffee house" where the characters hang out.[10]

In 2005, Wiedlin appeared as herself on the fourth season of VH1's The Surreal Life, in which she talked about her interest in BDSM.[17]

Wiedlin portrayed the bus station lady wearing a neck brace in Steve Balderson's 2005 surrealist crime drama film Firecracker, which Roger Ebert listed among the year's best films.[18] She worked twice more with director Balderson, in Stuck! (2009), an homage to film noir women in prison dramas,[19] and in the 2013 action film Culture Shock.

In 2011, Wieldin played Tess in the independent movie I Want to Get Married.[20][21] She portrayed a mathematics teacher in the 2016 horror film HoneyBee.

Wiedlin has also provided voices for characters in television and film animation, such as Bruce Wayne's girlfriend in an episode of The New Batman Adventures, Gwen on Mission Hill and Dusk of the Hex Girls, a recurring character in the Scooby-Doo franchise.[22]

Other work[edit]

Wiedlin contributed quotes to Girls Against Girls by author Bonnie Burton.[23] In April 2009, Wiedlin was photographed as Bettie Page by Austin Young for the "Heaven Bound" art show.[24] A number of her songs were to be featured in the 2018 debut of the Broadway musical ‘’Head Over Heels’’, with a story suggested by Philip Sidney's Arcadia set to the songs of the Go-Go's and Belinda Carlisle.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Wiedlin is a long-time animal rights activist, and has worked with PETA since as far back as 1989 when she performed as part of a "Rock Against Fur" concert in New York City.[26] She is a friend of PETA executive Dan Mathews.[10]

Wiedlin had what she called a "short but dramatic romance" with Terry Hall of the Specials during a 1980 British tour. Hall later sent her some lyrics prompted by their relationship, inspiring Wiedlin to write "Our Lips Are Sealed",[16] a song on which Hall has co-writer credit. In the 2020 documentary The Go-Go's, bandmate Gina Schock stated that she and Wiedlin were "girlfriends" for a time until Jane broke up with her.

Wiedlin identifies as bisexual.[27][28] She has been married twice: to Ged Malone (from 1987 to 1999) and to David Trotter (from 2004 to 2005).[citation needed] Her first marriage was the subject of her 2000 song "The Good Wife."[citation needed]

In addition to acting and singing, Wiedlin is an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church, a mail-order religious organization that offers anyone semi-immediate, no-cost ordination as a ULC minister. Wiedlin identifies herself as "Reverend Sister Go-Go," primarily officiating at weddings.[29]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions
US
[30]
UK
[31]
Canada
[32]
1985 Jane Wiedlin 127
1988 Fur 105 48 88
1990 Tangled
  • Release date: 1990
  • Label: EMI USA
2000 Kissproof World
  • Release date: October 31, 2000
  • Label: Painful Discs
2017 Elettrodomestico
  • Release date: October 2017
  • Label: Self Release

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

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US
[33]
US Dance
[34]
NZ
[35]
UK
[31]
Can
1985 "Blue Kiss" 77 30 62 Jane Wiedlin
1988 "Rush Hour" 9 31 12 13 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
  • 2001 Josie and the Pussycats Original Soundtrack – Contributor on "You Don't See" and "Come On".
  • 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
  • 2017 Elettrodomestico (If You're a Boy or a Girl)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Biographies". GoGos.com. Archived from the original on March 7, 2008.
  2. ^ Holloway, Michael (April 30, 2012). "Spicy, Racy, Provocative". Boomer Style. Archived from the original on June 19, 2014.
  3. ^ "Betty Wiedlin Obituary, McMinnville, Oregon". Macy & Son Funeral Directors. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Albertoni, Rich (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. Archived from the original on February 11, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  5. ^ Doe, John; DeSavia, Tom (April 26, 2016). Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-82409-8. Retrieved January 20, 2018 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ a b Bag, Alice (September 2005). "Interview with: Jane Wiedlin". alicebag.com. Archived from the original on July 11, 2008. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  7. ^ "The Go-Go's | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  8. ^ "Our Lips Are Sealed - The Go-Go's | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  9. ^ "Cover Songs Uncovered: "Our Lips Are Sealed"". The Pop Culture Experiment. July 25, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  10. ^ a b c Skanse, Richard (November 16, 2000). "Jane Wiedlin Goes Solo and Go-Go". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  11. ^ Smyers, Darryl (June 21, 2010). "The Go-Go's Cancel Farewell Tour--Which Included An Upcoming Stop at The Granada". Dallas Observer. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  12. ^ "Message from Jane". Ladyrobotika.com. June 14, 2010. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011.
  13. ^ "Jane Wiedlin | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  14. ^ "If you're a boy or a girl". elettrodomesticoband.com. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  15. ^ "Jane Wiedlin". IMDb. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  16. ^ a b Spears, Steve (February 5, 2008). "The beat goes on for the Go-Go's". TampaBay.com. Archived from the original on April 7, 2008. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  17. ^ Wiedlin reveals (and demonstrates) her BDSM predilections in the Surreal Life episode "I'm With Cupid". First aired February 20, 2005. Prod Code: SL406.
  18. ^ Ebert, Roger (December 18, 2005). "Ebert's Best 10 Movies of 2005". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  19. ^ "The Cell Block". stucknoir.com. Fall 2010. Archived from the original on February 8, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  20. ^ "I Want To Get Married (2011) - William Clift | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related". AllMovie. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  21. ^ "I Want to Get Married - 2011". Spielfilm.de (in German). Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  22. ^ https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/hex-girls-scooby-doo-oral-history-music-actors-queer-wicca-a9177596.html
  23. ^ Burton, Bonnie (2011). Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change. San Francisco: Zest Books. ISBN 978-0-9790173-6-0.
  24. ^ Wolfson, Julie (April 30, 2009). "Lenora Claire on her 'Bettie Page: Heaven Bound' Art Show". LAist. Archived from the original on September 30, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  25. ^ "Go-Go's Musical Head Over Heels Eyes Summer Broadway Bow at the Hudson Theatre". Playbill. January 10, 2018. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  26. ^ "PETA Milestones". PETA.org. 2003. Archived from the original on July 28, 2007. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  27. ^ Voss, Brandon (May 21, 2011). "Jane Wiedlin: Go, Jane, Go!". The Advocate. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  28. ^ Merrick, Bob (January 2, 2005). "A Go-Go's Surreal Life". Out. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  29. ^ "Married By Jane!". Married By Jane!. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  30. ^ "Jane Wiedlin Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  31. ^ a b "The Official Charts Company – Jane Wiedlin". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  32. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums - August 27, 1988" (PDF). Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  33. ^ "Jane Wiedlin Album & Song Chart History – Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  34. ^ "Jane Wiedlin Album & Song Chart History – Dance/Club Play Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  35. ^ "Search for: Jane Wiedlin". charts.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved December 6, 2010.

External links[edit]