Jane Wiedlin

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Jane Wiedlin

She is and was the Go-Go girl who lost herself in the “Rush Hour”, but what has Jane Wiedlin been up to since?

Jane Wiedlin (born 1958) kept herself very busy in the 1980’s, first as one quarter of American group The Go-Go’s, then as an actress and finally establishing her own solo music career, but unlike her bandmate Belinda Carlisle, found success outside of the group short lived. The Go-Go’s formed in 1978 with four friends Margot Olavarria, Elissa Bello, Belinda and Jane, but quickly underwent a number of line up changes with Charlotte Caffrey joining in 1979, Gina Schock replacing Bello in 1980 and Kathy Valentine replacing Olavarria in 1981. The group enjoyed their biggest success with their debut album, “Beauty And The Beat” in 1981 which went to No.1 in America and included their best known single, “Our Lips Are Sealed”, which reached No.20 on the singles chart.

The follow up, “We Got The Beat”, made No.2 and remains their most successful. The Go-Go’s achieved one further US top ten hit in 1982 with “Vacation” (No.8), which came from the top ten album of the same name, although the band’s success has chiefly come from their home country and Canada, The Go-Go’s found is more difficult to find a wide audience internationally. “Our Lips Are Sealed” peaked at No.47 in the UK with only the album “Vacation” just showing its face inside the top 75 before disappearing without trace. The band released a third album in 1984, “Talk Show” (US No.18) and the single “Head Over Heels” (US No.11), before splitting up and pursuing solo projects.

Caffrey became an in-demand songwriter as well as forming the band The Graces in 1988. Schock also pursued a songwriting career and formed the band House Of Schock in 1987. Carlisle stayed in music and recorded her debut album, “Belinda”, in 1986, which sold over 500,000 copies Stateside and kick started an illustrious career that continues to this day (see separate articles). Caffrey would later work with Carlisle on her second, global smash hit album “Heaven On Earth” including the single “Love Never Dies” and would also turn up on her 1989 album “Runaway Horses” and her 1991 release “Live Your Life Be Free”. At this time Jane immersed herself in a number of different avenues including films where she became a useful cameo extra, most notably as the singing telegram who is shot dead on the doorstep in the hilarious, multi-ending comedy ‘Clue’ (1985), The White Fairy in ‘Sleeping Beauty’ (1987) and as Joan Of Arc in ‘Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ (1989).

Jane released her self-titled debut album in 1985, the first Go-Go to do so. It was preceded by the single “Blue Kiss”, which made it to No.77 Stateside and No.62 in Canada. The album completely flopped. But after her acting career kept her profile high, she returned in 1988 with a second long player, “Fur”. It was the lead single from this album that not only became her signature tune but also a big hit worldwide, maybe in the wake of co-Go-Go Belinda Carlisle‘s chart topper earlier that year, “Heaven Is A Place On Earth”? Whether it was or wasn’t, “Rush Hour” was exactly what everyone wanted that Summer and the spunky rock anthem made its way to No.9 in America and No.12 in the UK. Sadly the album didn’t do as perhaps expected, reaching No.105 in the US and No.48 in the UK, while the second single, “Inside A Dream” (a personal favourite), made No.57 Stateside and No.64 in the UK.

Jane released her third album, “Tangled”, in 1990 along with the single “World On Fire”, neither of which startled anyone at all, before reuniting with The Go-Go’s in 1991 for a greatest hits tour and an accompanying album (which has sold over 400,000 copies in America). Three years later, the band were back again with another hits album, this time called “Return To The Valley Of The Go-Go’s” and a new single, “The Whole World Lost Its Head”, which charted at No.29 in the UK, their highest ever singles chart position! At the dawn of the 21st century, The Go-Go’s reunited for a third time, this time to record a brand new album of material, their first for seventeen years. The album, “God Bless The Go-Go’s”, was a mid-charting hit in the US and featured the single “Unforgiven”.

Since then, the ‘girls’ have toured America roughly every ten years, while Carlisle has still pursued a solo career, releasing albums in 2007 and 2017 as well as touring extensively, particularly in the UK, where she has always enjoyed for more success and recognition than the band from which she came. Jane has continued with her acting career including roles in TV series Frasier, many TV dramas and as a voice actress for cartoons and films. She is an animal rights activist and later confessed to a “short but romantic affair” with Terry Hall of The Specials and later Fun Boy Three, with whom she co-wrote “Our Lips Are Sealed”, that later became a UK top ten hit for The Specials in 1983. The Go-Go’s are back on tour this Summer again across America, playing twelve dates during June and July, catch them if you can!

Jane Wiedlin

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