Jane Wiedlin: Go, Jane, Go!

Out on tour again with the Go-Go’s, Jane Wiedlin talks gay groupies, bandmate Belinda Carlisle’s memoir, and activist alter ego Reverend Sister Go-Go.

BY Brandon Voss

May 27 2011 11:20 AM ET

Why did the Go-Go’s cancel last summer’s tour? Blame Jane Wiedlin and a fall that left the guitarist-singer-songwriter with two seriously injured knees. Then you can thank her, because what was originally planned as a farewell tour for the pioneering all-women rock band has been rechristened as the nonfinal Ladies Gone Wild tour, which kicks off Friday in Las Vegas. The new North American tour celebrates the recently released 30th anniversary remastered reissue of the group’s debut album, Beauty and the Beat. Wiedlin, who has also found success as a solo artist and actress, opens up about her surreal life as a bisexual minister, sci-fi geek, and honorary queen on the San Francisco drag scene.

Advocate.com: The Go-Go’s had their farewell tour scheduled last summer, but it was canceled after you injured your knees when you fell off a cliff during a light-saber battle on a midnight hike. Cut to a year later and the tour is back on, but it’s no longer a farewell situation. Do you think there was some sort of destiny or divine intervention at work in your otherwise unfortunate accident?
Jane Wiedlin: [Laughs] I don’t know about all that. But it is nice when something bad happens and something good comes out of it — it eases the pain a bit. I’m really happy we’re not calling it a farewell tour this summer, which means there’s the possibility for more fun and games for the Go-Go’s.

After Cher’s fake-outs, the idea of a farewell tour lost its punch anyway.
I totally agree. When artists say it’s a farewell tour, no one believes it, so what’s the point?

You had said in interviews last summer that it was being called a farewell tour because Belinda Carlisle wanted to move on. So Belinda basically reconsidered her position during the past year?
Yeah, she has. At this point we’re all just open to the future, as opposed to making the firm decision that this is it. It’s hard to walk away completely from the Go-Go’s. We all have lots of other stuff going on in our lives, and the Go-Go’s aren’t our primary job or even hobby anymore, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to get together and have fun in the future.

When you’re out on tour, do you plan to party like it’s the old days?
Onstage we still rock it out, but it’s definitely more subdued offstage. We’re not up to our old antics. Most of the band has been sober for a long time now, so those of us — me — who aren’t, have become very moderate in our habits. You might even call it boring.

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