Jane Wiedlin: Wikis


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Jane Wiedlin

Jane Wiedlin in Philadelphia in 1988
Background information
Birth name Jane Marie Genevieve Wiedlin[1]
Also known as Jumping Jane Drano
Born May 20, 1958 (1958-05-20) (age 51)[2]
Origin Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Genres Pop rock
Occupations Musician
Instruments Rhythm guitar
Years active 1978[3]–present
Labels EMI/Manhattan Records
I.R.S. Records
Painful Discs
Associated acts The Go-Go's
Website www.janewiedlin.com

Jane Wiedlin (born May 20, 1958, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin)[2] is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and actress. She is best known as the rhythm guitarist of the all-female multi-platinum New Wave band The Go-Go's in the 1980s. Wiedlin's songwriting skills and unusual voice (typically used in harmony with Belinda Carlisle) contributed to the Go-Go's signature sound.



The Go-Go's

As Wiedlin describes it, she was around "pretty much from the beginning"[4] of the Los Angeles punk scene. "Jane Drano"—as she came to be known then[5]—started out designing punk-style clothing sold at “Granny Takes a Trip,” a Sunset Boulevard store.[4] She became part of a scene that spawned bands like X, The Germs and The Weirdos.[3] 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.

Their pop punk sound didn't emerge until later, after Charlotte Caffey joined on lead guitar and keyboards, and Bello was replaced on drums by Gina Schock. After a 1980 tour in England, the band returned home, adding Kathy Valentine on bass and signing 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 (song) (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 17 years; the album, originally titled Vision of Nowness, got its title and concept based on an idea from Wiedlin.[6]

The Go-Go's continue to tour off-and-on.

Acting career

Wiedlin has also acted in movies and provided the voice for several characters on TV and the big screen, including a one-liner role in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Her other roles include Joan of Arc (with no spoken lines in English) in the time travel comedy Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, an ill-fated singing telegram girl in the cult comedy/mystery film Clue and the White Fairy in Golan-Globus's Sleeping Beauty. She also played one of Bruce Wayne's girlfriends in an episode of The New Batman Adventures.

In a St. Petersburg Times online interview, Jane said this about her acting career in the 80s: "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.[6]

She appeared as herself on the fourth season of VH1's The Surreal Life in 2005, 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, 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, and cult icon Mink Stole, Stuck! was filmed in Macon, Georgia and is due for a release in 2010.[10]

Wiedlin has done voice acting work, such as appearances on the animated program Mission Hill as Gwen, Andy's girlfriend. In 2009, Wiedlin provided the voice of the evil doll Baby Oopsie Daisy in the horror film, Demonic Toys: Personal Demons.

Other work

Wiedlin contributed quotes to Girls Against Girls by author Bonnie Burton.[11] In April 2009, Wiedlin was shot by photographer Austin Young as Bettie Page, for the "Heaven Bound" art show.[12]

Personal life

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.[13] She is friends with PETA's Dan Mathews.[6]

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.

In 2005 and 2006, Wiedlin supported the fight against breast cancer by promoting and participating in "Bowling for Boobies", a fund-raising event. For 2006, Wiedlin auctioned off three positions on her team on eBay, allowing fans to bid online for a chance to participate on her team.[14]

Wiedlin calls herself a tightlacing fan and told one tightlacing website that she has been part of the fetish scene since 1996.[15] When Rolling Stone asked in 2000 about "those Jane Weidlin S&M Dominatrix stories that came out over the summer", Wiedlin was less straightforward:[6]

Well, it all kind of happened around the same time, which is kind of why that story came out. I mean that story was just a joke I was having with my friend Dan Mathews. He writes this comedy column for a gay magazine, and I gave him this funny story about, "Yeah, I just got off my dominatrix gig." So he prints it, and then, because he's also the head guy at PETA, he decides to use it for his PETA campaign — "You can be a dominatrix without using leather!" And the whole thing just got absolutely out of hand. But, if people want to believe I'm a dominatrix in my spare time, that's fine with me — I mean, I'm definitely happy to smack people around if that's what they really want [laughs].

Wiedlin currently spends half of her time living in Madison, Wisconsin with her dogs Peanut and Jeordie, and the other half working in Los Angeles. 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, basically Jane herself, being abducted by aliens and turned into a cyborg superheroine, or as she puts it, "a super-rad rock chick cyborg."

Solo discography



Year Title U.S. Hot 100 U.S. Dance U.K. Singles
1983 "Cool Places" (with Sparks) 49 13 -
1985 "Blue Kiss" 77 30 -
1988 "Rush Hour" 9 - 12
"Inside a Dream" 52 - 64
1990 "World on Fire" - - -

Other releases

  • 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. ^ Biography from IMDb
  2. ^ a b "The Go-Go's Biography". Musicianguide.com. Net Industries. Archived from the original on January 2, 2010. http://www.webcitation.org/5mTcvoYQr. Retrieved January 2, 2010.  
  3. ^ a b Go-Go's Biography from the Go-Go's website
  4. ^ a b Interview with: Jane Wiedlin conducted by Alice Bag in September 2005, from Bag's website
  5. ^ A photo of Wiedlin taken by Alice Bag during her "Jane Drano" days is available on Flickr here.
  6. ^ a b c d Jane Wiedlin Goes Solo and Go-Go from a November 2000 article in Rolling Stone
  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). http://www.stucknoir.com.  
  11. ^ Burton, Bonnie. Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change. ISBN 097901736X.  
  12. ^ Wolfson, Julie. LAist.com "Lenora Claire on her 'Bettie Page: Heaven Bound' Art Show" April 30, 2009
  13. ^ Milestones: 1989 from the PETA UK website
  14. ^ Bowl with Go-Go's Jane Wiedlin for Breast Cancer Charity “Bowling For Boobies” 2006, a 2006 press release at prweb.com
  15. ^ Singer Jane Wiedlin from the website of the Long Island Staylace Association

External links

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