Jane Wiedlin

Jane Wiedlin

Jane Wiedlin in Philadelphia in 1988
Background information
Birth name Jane Marie Genevieve Wiedlin
Also known as Jane Drano, Jumping Jane Drano, Reverend Sister Go-Go, Empress Jane, Lady Robotica
Born (1958-05-20) May 20, 1958
Origin Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, United States
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 backup vocalist of the all-female new wave band, The Go-Go's. Wiedlin has also had a solo musical career.

Early life

Jane Wiedlin was born in Oconomowoc, Waukesha County, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee.[2][3] Her father, Robert Wiedlin, Sr., an oral surgeon, was born in Chicago, Illinois, of German and German-Swiss ancestry. Her mother, Betty Jane (née Herro), was of Lebanese heritage, from Oconomowoc, where many immigrants, from Lebanon, settled around Milwaukee. Wiedlin's parents met while students at Marquette University and later, married. Jane spent her early childhood growing up in West Allis, another suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 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 her family followed in tow.

As a child, Wiedlin 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.


The Go-Go's

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 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 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

To date, Jane Weidlin has released four solo albums (details are listed below). In addition, from 1995-1998 she was a member of the band FroSTed, which released one album, Cold, in 1996.

Acting career

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]

In October 2011, Jane also had a cameo in Steve Balderson's next film, Culture Shock, starring Starina Johnson, Holly Hinton, Damien Gerard, Mark Booker and Nic Roewert.

In February 2015, Wiedlin officially joined the cast of HoneyBee, a horror movie currently in pre-production.[11]

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.[12]

Other work

Wiedlin contributed quotes to Girls Against Girls by author Bonnie Burton.[13] In April 2009, Wiedlin was shot as Bettie Page by photographer Austin Young for the "Heaven Bound" art show.[14]

Personal life

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.[15] She is a 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 identifies as bisexual.[16][17] She has been married twice; once to Ged Malone (from 1987 to 1999) and once to David Trotter (from 2004 to 2005).[18] Her first marriage was the subject of her 2000 song "The Good Wife."

Wiedlin is an atheist and also a 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", serving primarily in the capacity of officiating at weddings.[19]


Studio albums

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

Compilation albums

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

Other releases


  1. 1 2 Archived March 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. "Betty Wiedlin Obituary, McMinnville, OR | Obituaries | Macy & Son Funeral Directors, McMinnville, Oregon". Macyandson.com. Retrieved 2015-10-31.
  3. 1 2 Archived July 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. 1 2 3 Rodman, Sarah. "Music News | Latest in Rock, Indie, Hip Hop and More". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015-10-31.
  5. "Message from Jane". Ladyrobotika.com. June 14, 2010.
  6. 1 2 Archived April 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. Wiedlin reveals (and demonstrates) her BDSM predilections in the Surreal Life episode "I'm With Cupid". First aired February 20, 2005. Prod Code: SL406.
  8. Ebert, Roger (2005-12-18). "Ebert's Best 10 Movies of 2005 | Roger Ebert's Journal | Roger Ebert". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. Retrieved 2015-10-31.
  9. Archived October 18, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. "HoneyBee (2015)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-10-31.
  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 (2009-04-30). "Lenora Claire on her 'Bettie Page: Heaven Bound' Art Show". LAist. Retrieved 2015-10-31.
  14. Archived July 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. Voss, Brandon. The Advocate, May 21, 2011, Jane Wiedlin: Go, Jane, Go!". Accessed November 26, 2016.
  16. Merrick, Bob. Out, January 2, 2005, A Go-Go's Surreal Life". Accessed November 26, 2016.
  17. "Jane Wiedlin Biography". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-10-31.
  18. "Married By Jane!". Married By Jane!. Retrieved 2015-10-31.
  19. "Jane Wiedlin Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  20. 1 2 "Chart Stats – Jane Wiedlin". chartstats.com. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  21. "Jane Wiedlin Album & Song Chart History – Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  22. "Jane Wiedlin Album & Song Chart History – Dance/Club Play Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  23. "New Zealand charts portal". Hung Medien. charts.org.nz. Retrieved December 6, 2010.

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