In this week's paper, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jane Wiedlin of '80s pop-rockers the Go-Go's. I've been a HUGE fan of the band since high school, so getting a chance to talk to someone in the quintet was a thrill. They're playing at 7:30 at the Bottleneck Blues Bar at the Ameristar Casino in St. Charles on Thursday night (January 31). But sadly enough, it's sold out!
Soothe your sadness with some MP3s at the bottom of the post, but in the meantime, here are some interview outtakes from my chat with Jane. She now lives in Madison, Wisconsin, but continues to write, perform and create music. (Image courtesy of janewiedlin.com)
Are you working on any more solo stuff? I’m currently producing a band here in Madison called Whore du Jour. When I’m through with that, I plan to start my solo record. It should’ve been out already, but things keep getting in the way, so I keep pushing it back. But I am going to get there.
All of your old solo records go for insane amounts of money on eBay, I don’t know if you know that. I didn’t know that. That’s really funny. Nahhh, I don’t believe you.
Swear to God, I’ve seen the greatest hits CD go for $35. Oh my God! That’s so flattering.
I’m just like, "I didn’t even realize it was out of print." Everything I ever did is out of print – well, that's not true. The Go-Go’s records you can still get on CD. But all my solo stuff is…there’s just no copies. And I'm such a dork that I don’t even have my own copies.
Really? Yeah, I’m going to have to track those down someday, really.
So what is the biggest misconception about you, that you've heard from other people? People always think I’m tall -- and I’m not, I’m really short. People often think I’m stupid because I have a cartoon voice – but I’m not! [laughs] I guess those would be the two biggies.
Sometimes I just don’t want to know what people think about me. I’d rather remain blissfully ignorant. Oh I know, it’s horrible. I made the mistake of Googling myself once. I’ll never do it again. It was so horrifying. The first thing that came up was a white supremacist site, and they had me on one of their hate lists.
What? Yeah, I’m on a white supremacist hate list site. And it’s for being Jewish – and I'm not even Jewish! So it’s like, God, not only do these people hate me, but they hate me for something I’m not even! I mean, I would be happy to be Jewish, but I’m not. [laughs] It's really bad.
Actually, my life is really fun and easy and nice. I look at young women now that are just getting famous in this century, and what a nightmare that is, with all the paparazzi and everything. I never could have handled that in the ‘80s when we were popular, if that's how life was. I would have lost my mind.
People seem a lot meaner, too. Because of the Internet, people seem like they can say anything, because they’re hiding behind a different voice. I’m the same way. It’s like, you gain five pounds, all of a sudden you're fat. When I heard that people were calling Jennifer Love Hewitt fat, I’m like, "Are you guys on drugs?" One thing that I love about the Midwest, is -- [and] I didn’t really even notice it until I left, but in L.A. literally if you’re not a size two, you’re fat. And here, people are just normal. There’s even – shockingly – people that have a little bit of weight on them. And people don’t make a big deal about it.
What's your hair looking like thse days? Well, I’ve been trying to grow it, and I'm just getting to that point where I’m fed up and I’m probably going to cut it all off again. It’s chin-length, but even when it gets chin-length, it feels so weirdly long to me. I guess I’m just a short-hair girl.
MP3: Jane Wiedlin, "Rush Hour"
MP3: Jane Wiedlin with Sparks, "Cool Places"
MP3: The Go-Go's, "Johnny, Are You Queer?"
MP3: The Go-Go's, "Our Lips are Sealed"
MP3: The Go-Go's, "Skidmarks On My Heart"
MP3: The Go-Go's, "Head Over Heels"