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 12:20 PM ET

JANE WEIDLIN THE GOGOS 1 X390 | ADVOCATE.COMSo you won’t be pounding shots between songs.
No, but I’ve never really been a shot person. I think I’m just too short, because one shot puts me under a table. Maybe a glass of wine — it’s a lot more refined and dignified. [Laughs] Not really. I’m actually not much of a lady.

And yet the new tour is called Ladies Gone Wild, which sounds very classy.
Yes, it’s definitely meant to be funny. Wait until you see the picture of us on our backstage passes — we’re all riding those little motorized scooters that old people ride.

Belinda released her memoir, Lips Unsealed, last year. Have you thought about writing a memoir?
Well, there are a couple reasons I haven’t. First, I have a terrible memory. Honest to God, I can barely remember what I ate for breakfast, so me trying to remember 30 years ago is too daunting. And as a compulsive truth-teller, I think it would be very hard for me to tell my story without hurting anyone’s feelings, and I don’t want to do that, because I love everybody. I’d rather get on with my life than dwell in the past.

Did you take issue with anything in Belinda’s book?
I actually thought her book was incredibly diplomatic, and I don’t know how she managed to do that. I was pretty impressed with that aspect of it, because it could’ve been some horrible thing with her calling people out and stuff. She called us when she was writing it and said it was really going to be her story, and it was her story. Kudos to her for doing it right.

When did you first become aware of the group’s gay following?
I don’t remember gay guys being a big part of things in the early ’80s. It was after we broke up for a little bit and then got back together in the ’90s that we really started developing our gay following. A lot of guys we met in the ’90s said, “Yeah, I was a big fan in the ’80s, but it wasn’t really cool for boys to like the Go-Go’s.” So it turns out that there were a lot of Go-Go’s lovers in the closet. [Laughs] Over time, it’s just gotten bigger and bigger, and it’s fantastic, because gay guys have always been my people and who I identify with. I’ve had a relationship with the gay community going back to the fifth grade, when all my friends were gay boys who didn’t even know they were gay yet. I’ve just always been drawn to gay men. I love me the gays. And it’s the best audience you could ever hope to have, because — let’s face it — gay guys have the best taste. If the gays love us, we must be cool!

When did you notice your lesbian groupies?
Oh, from the beginning, even in the ’80s. Lesbians have always loved the Go-Go’s, which makes sense because we’re five women. But the support from that community doesn’t seem to have taken off the way the support from gay men has.

Did you ever hook up with a groupie?
No. I was always in a relationship, so I wasn’t that type of rock star.

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