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I met Jane Wiedlin at the Entertainment Media Show held at London's Earls Court in October 2011. I was there to photograph the event for the show's organisers.
Jane Marie Genevieve Wiedlin was born on May 20, 1958, in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. She is of Lebanese descent, and is one of five children, with a sister, Meg, and three brothers, Bob, Matt & Andy. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1964 when Jane's father (an oral surgeon) took up a position at one of the hospitals there. Jane attended William Howard Taft High School in Los Angeles from 1972 until 1976 and then went on to study fashion design at LA's Trade-Technical School. She was especially
especially interested in punk-style fashion, and sold her creations at a store on Sunset Boulevard called Granny Takes a Trip.
Using the stage name 'Jane Drano', she became involved with a Los Angeles punk band called Sparks before joining forces with Belinda Carlisle to form the rock band The Go-Go's in 1978. Initially, the band consisted of Belinda Carlisle (vocals),
Jane Wiedlin as a teenager
(vocals), Jane Wiedlin (guitar & vocals), Margot Olaverra (bass), and Elissa Bello (drums). They made rock history as the first all-womanwoma
Jane Wiedlin in her punk days
Jane Wiedlin in 1981
woman band in pop music that played their own instruments, and wrote their own songs, to top the US charts with a No.1 album.
The Go-Go's pop punk sound really developed after Charlotte Caffey joined as lead guitarist and keyboards, and Gina Schock
Schock replaced Bello on drums. Kathy Valentine (on bass) joined the band after its UK tour in 1980. They signed with IRS Records in 1981 and became the most influential all-female 'New Wave' rock bands of the 1980s. Their first trend-setting album was Beauty and the Beat.
Some of The Go-Go's albums
In 1984 Jane, who had written The Go-Go's hit song Our Lips Are Sealed (1981) left the band to start a solo career. She went on to release four successful solo albums, Jane Wiedlin (1985), Fur (1988), Tangled (1990) and Kissproof World (2000), scoring Top 10 hits with songs such as Rush Hour &
Jane Wiedlin's solo albums
After a brief reunion in 1990 and again in 1994, the group decided to continue full-time. After a successful tour in 2000, they released their comeback album, God Bless the GoGos
In the mid-1980s, Jane tried her luck at acting, making her feature film debut (as a singing telegram) in the cult comedy/mystery film Clue (1985). She played Trillya, an alien communications officer, in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986); the White Fairy in a feature-length, musical version of Sleeping Beauty (1987) and Joan of Arc in the time travel comedy Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989), starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter. recent
Jane Wiedlin as Trillya in
Jane Wiedlin in Clue
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Her more recent film roles include Ursula, the bus station lady wearing a neck brace, in the crime drama Firecracker (2005), Princess in the women's prison drama
Jane Wiedlin as Joan of Arc in
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Jane Wiedlin as Dottie in
Doggie Boogie - Get Your Grrr On
Jane Wiedlin as Princess in Stuck!
drama Stuck! (2009) and Dottie in Doggie Boogie - Get Your Grrr On (2011). On TV, Jane Wiedlin landed a regular role in 20 episodes of the series
series Spyder Games (2001) as Gretel Barnes the owner of a trendy coffee house. She has also done some voice-over work, startingwiththetelevision
The Go-Go's were due to begin their "Happily Ever After" tour in July 2010. However, it was cancelled when Jane Wiedlin badly injured her knee in a fall, and the tour rescheduled for 2011. This celebrated the 30th anniversary of their hit album Beauty and the Beat. As part of the tour, the band were presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Their star is placed in front of the site where once stood The Masque, the club where the band played its debut concert.
In April 2009, Jane Wiedlin was one of a number of celebrities photographed as the model, Bettie Page, by Austin Young. This was for the Bettie Page: Heaven Bound artshow
starting with the TV series Batman: Gotham Knights (1998). Later voice credits for television include the series King of the Hill (1999), Mission Hill (1999-2002), and The Wild Thornberrys (2000).
art show, held in Los Angeles, which featured over 20 years of 'Bettie-inspired' work.
Jane Wiedlin on the 2006 tour
with The Go-Go's
Jane Wiedlin photographed as
the model Bettie Page
The Go-Go's with their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
(l - r) Kathy Valentine, Charlotte Caffey, Belinda Carlisle, Gina Schock & Jane Wiedlin
Jane's latest project is a publication called Lady Robotika which she co-created with the comic-book writer & artist Bill Morrison. The stories are about the adventures of a woman who has been captured by aliens and turned into a cyborg.
Jane Wiedlin is known as a long-time animal rights activist and has often worked with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). In 1987, she was arrested during protests
Jane Wiedlin advertising Lady Robotika
protests against the wearing of animal furs, and spent five days in jail for her actions. She is also an ordained minister (known as Reverend Sister Go-Go), who mainly officiates at weddings.
Reverend Sister Go-Go
Jane Wiedlin, whose nickname is 'Empress Jane', has been married twice. She married her first husband, Ged Malone, in 1987 but they later divorced in 1999. She remarried in 2004 to a chef, David Trotter, but they separated in 2005. In 2008, Jane returned
returned to Wisconsin to set up home in Maple Bluff, Madison, with recording engineer Travis Kasperbauer.
Go-Go's, the following year. In 2006, the girls went on tour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Beauty and the Beat, The Go-Go's debut album.
I took this photograph of Jane Wiedlin
at the Entertainment Media Show