Friday, May 23, 2014

Jane "Drano" Wiedlin chats with MIT (1992)

The following excerpts are from a brief exchange w/Jane Wiedlin that was originally published in the hard copy edition of Marks in Time zine circa 1992. Interview conducted by MIT coeditor Eden Felt (aka, John Dillani) at the time and provided to our online readers now for the first time:
Jane Wiedlin: "In 1977 when I first started liking punk, a friend and I were discussing what punk names we could use if we ever started a band. He chose Donny No Doze and I decided on Jane Drano....Living in the Canterbury was exactly how the lyrics of Luxury Living described it - Margo, Belinda and I all lived there in different apartments....We liked the Slits but not that much because we thought they were scary. Early LA bands I especially liked included: The Weirdos, X, Levi & the Rockats and Wall of Voodoo."
As an aside, MIT would like to give an additional shout out to Ms. Wiedlin for not only assisting us at the time of our original publishing, but most of all for providing our zine with almost all of the band's earliest punk lyrics that until then had never before been published. Before this point (pre-internet days!) we'd only managed to find lyrics for Blades, Screaming and a few other tracks so it was it was a great asset to have her assistance in the project. Thanks again for your contributions Jane!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

1979 Masque rehearsal session - DON'T HANG UP

A minute-twenty-seven of musical bliss, a post-pubescent piece of pop-punk perfection. 

Don't Hang Up, penned in 1978 by Jane Drano, Margo Go and Belinda, is characteristic of the band's early aptitude for composing lyrics reflective of ill-fated teenage romance and post-adolescent angst. Musically the girls keep it simple here - virtually all rhythm, no melody - but with percussion this formidable, melodicism hardly seems necessary (no guitar solos, no problem!). The track's arrangement has been
significantly altered since it's original hardcore interpretation*, now equal parts pop and punk, maximized distortion on the guitars are now replaced by cleaner chords a la The Undertones, the drum patterns are far tighter, the arrangement more nuanced. Equally noteworthy, Belinda and Jane have begun utilizing their distinctive vocal interplay on the chorus, an attribute which would also feature prominently in much of the band's later material.

Although the lyrics could hardly be described as Dylan-esque or
in-depth, the song's outro ends on a triumphant note, clearly these girls are not the emotionally-tortured girl-group victims of the 1950's/60's.

"Go on hang up/

Now that you've listened/
And I've explained the way that I feel/
You reached the end of the line." 

**** 1/2

~Eden Felt

Go-Go's - Don't Hang Up (live 1979)

(Wiedlin / Olavarria / Carlisle) (1978)

It's not so bad that I can't see you
To say what I've been thinking about
You're still the toughest boy around
What you've been up to has made me doubt

Don't hang up
Just listen
Got to explain the way that I feel
Stay on your end of the line

The telephone's the cowards way
But please listen anyway
I can't be with you anymore
So don't come knockin' at my door

Don't hang up
Just listen
Got to explain the way that I feel
Stay on your end of the line

No, I won't come running back
No, I'll never change my mind
All along I've been a fool
I've gotten smarter
I know your kind

Don't hang up
Just listen
Got to explain the way that I feel
Stay on your end of the line

Go on hang up
Now that you've listened
And I've explained the way that I feel
You reached the end of the line

Chapter 7 of Marks in Time, pages 61-70

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Go-Go's by Louis Jacinto (Starwood, 1979)

Louis Jacinto began photographing in Los Angeles in 1975 and is noted for his iconic images of the Punk Rock music scene in Los Angeles from the late 1970’s. While several books from that seminal period in American music have since appeared, Jacinto’s images captured highly influential, yet overlooked musicians including Nervous Gender, The Know, The Go-Go’s with original member Margot Olivera, and The Bags, among others.

Both Jacinto and the East Los Angeles art collective, ASCO crossed artistic paths throughout the 1970’s and 80’s, most notably in Jacinto’s series of photographs documenting an art exhibit and Punk Rock music show, “GRONKPATSSIPARTY”, curated by ASCO artists Patssi Valdez and Gronk on October 31, 1978. Three images from that limited edition series are featured in the ASCO Retrospective which opened in 2011 as part of the regional Pacific Standard Time: Art In Los Angeles 1945 – 1980. In 2014 an exhibition of photographs by Jacinto of “GRONK/HERRON: ILLEGAL LANDSCAPES” is planned. These rare photographs from 1980 capture the artwork by ASCO co-founders Gronk and Willie Herron III at the Exploratorium Gallery on the campus of California State University Los Angeles. Of historic note is a performance by Herron’s punk band Los Illegals with the original line-up.

In 1981 and 1982 Jacinto was the official photographer for the Sunset Junction Street Fair in Los Angeles. His images captured a neighborhood coming together – gang involved youth and the gay and lesbian community – and working side by side for the betterment of all Los Angeles.

In 1988 Jacinto began a series of photographs of the word “Los Angeles” as it appears in the environment. One image from this series was given an award at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in 1989. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s Jacinto participated in the art collective LA ART.

Since 2006 Jacinto has published several books of his photographs including PUNKROCK LOSANGELES, Edge of the World: Self-Portraits 1976 – 2007, GRONKPATSSIPARTY, The Bags, Hope Fading, The Beatles In Los Angeles, The Umbrellas Project, Patti Smith ‘78 and Angela - a series of photographs taken of Angela Davis in 1978.

Since 1980 Jacinto has exhibited throughout the greater Los Angeles area as well as at the American University Museum, Washington, D.C.; El Museo de las Artes, Guadalajara, Mexico; Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery; Claremont Museum of Art, Claremont, California; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts; Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles, California; University Museum of Contemporary Art, Mexico City.

In 2011 Jacinto launched onodream MAGAZINE. Each issue features one artist speaking in depth about their work. onodream MAGAZINE. One Artist. One Conversation.

Jacinto continues to exhibit both his historic images as well as his current work.

MIT : Louis, please give us some background on these photos you took.
Louis : The GoGos were playing at the Starwood and I don't remember if other bands were playing, I'm sure they were. Possibly The Know, the band that Gary Valentine started after he was kicked out of Blondie. I just walked backstage, and they were hanging out before they went on. Belinda did not want to have her pix taken as she was not ready yet, so she covered her face with the paper and her name on it. They were lot's of fun and very open to have me back there taking their pix.


 Interview of Louis Jacinto by Ryan Leach for Razorcake

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lobotomy - The Brainless Magazine interview (Vol.II, No.3 April/May 1979)

The Go-Go's were formed by Margot around Halloween, 1977, but their debut was at The Dickie's going-away party last May. They played 3 songs, 2 of which were the same song. Since then, Charlotte has joined, and they've gotten to be one of the best bands in Hollywood. The line-up is-Belinda, vocals, Margot; bass, and Charlotte and Jane, guitar and rhythm-guitar.They all sing back-ups,too. Elissa, the Go-Go's beat-girl, wasn't present for the interview……….

Lobotomy: How do people react to you on the street?
Margot: Someone once yelled that me and Belinda were the "Rooster Sisters".
Jane: Well, that's better than the geeks who whistle at you on Hollywood Boulevard! 

Lobotomy: What are your techniques for picking up men?
Margot: Put Tuinals in their beer!
Charlotte: I don't have to pick up men, they pick me up!
Belinda: Pull my pants down,and spread big beavers!
Jane: I show them my new underwear - that's always good.

Lob:What do your parents think of the band?
Char: My mom wants us to play Eugene, Oregon.
Jane: My parents like us.They always come and see us-they especially like like us now that we know how to play. because at first, all we did was make noise. They still hold their ears, though, we're too loud for them.
Mar: My parents think it's good I found something I like.

Lob: What kind of jobs do you have, outside the band?
Mar: I do telephone sales.
Jane: She's got a good job, she can have green hair at it.
Bel: I do paste-ups at TEEN magazine.
Lob: REALLY!? Then do you know all the latest dirt on John Travolta and Leif Garrett and stuff?
Jane: I think when she's working, she should just slip some stuff in about the Go-Go's. I bet you could get away with it.
Lob: Yeah, " ... wined and dined with the Go-go's at Cyrano'ss."
Mar: Try TOP TACO! (laughter) 

Lob: Do you get lots of boy-groupies?
(unanimous wail) NNNNOOOOOOOO!!!!
Jane: Some nights, Iotsa people come up to me and tell me they loved it, and some nights, nothing.

Lob: What was high school like?
Bel: Oooh, it was crazy! I was a cheerleader in high school. and senior princess...
Bel: But I didn't keep any of my year-books.
Jane: But she's got all these great uniforms at home, with a letter on the chest and "Belinda" across the front. I think she ought to wear them on stage.
Lob: What about you, Margot?
Mar: Oh. I went to Catholic schools all my life...
Char: Well, that explains everything,then.
Lob: Reallv. everyone that I've known that went to Catholic school has been a total loony.
Char: HEY! I went to Catholic school, ya know.
Lob: Are you implying that you're not a lunatic? (laughter)
Jane: I was a total glitter-rocker in high school - everybody hated me. I always used to get real drunk and take drugs during school. And I was always trying to kill myself.
Lob: Belinda, you went to school with Lorna Doom, right?
Bel: Yeah,she changed my life! 

Lob: I remember what you looked like when I first met you - frizzy hair, little quiana pant-suits... and you used to go to the Rainbow every night!
Bel: NNNOOO!!! GOD, don't print that - DON'T print ANYTHING about the Rainbow!
Jane: Yes, print it! We used to go to the Rainbow every night after Rodney's.
Mar: My mother wouldn't allow me to go to Rodney's. I had to stuff my bed to get out at night!
Jane: I told my mother that I was going to a movie and then sleeping over at a girlfriend's house. My parents thought I saw every movie about a million times!! "Ma, I'm going to see 'Tommy' for the 14th time"...

Lob: Did you ever read STAR MAGAZINE?
Jane: MMMM-HMMM! It was GREAT!
Lob: They had movie reviews, and they told the whole plot, so you could go to a movie with a guy, and make out the whole time, and then you'd know the whole plot,in case your mother got suspicious and asked what it was about.
Jane: God, that magazine was out to DESTROY American youth. All the stories on groupies, and the make-up hints on how to look slutty.
Bel: YUCK---- I just thought that I have laundry to do.
Jane: Living at home has it's advantages---my mother does all my laundry. 

Lob: Did you all used to live at the Canterbury?
Mar: Except Elissa and Charlotte. Belinda was in 414, Jane was in 205, and I was in 301.
Lob: That's like... such a piece of history.
Jane: Yeah, it was such an important part of The Go-Go's. At first, it was really fun, but towards the end, it got real weird and scary.
Mar: The last manager they had, he pulled a gun on me. And he was always drunk. The one before that was in a crime-ring, he had people stealing from the tenants.
Jane: And there were ghosts there. My apartment was definitely haunted... 

Lob: Have any of you ever had your palms read?
Bel : Yeah, they always say I'm going to have two kids.
Mar: I was fascinated by witchcraft when I lived in London. My neighborhood had all these cats missing, like someone was stealing cats for sacrifices and rites.
Bel: I was reading the Satanic bible - it was really, really sick. Interesting though.... 

Lob: Who do you want to play with the most?  
(All, wistfully): THE CLASH! THE BUZZCOCKS!
Bel: Hey, lookit my straw, it's got this slobber hanging off it.
Char: Oh, God. Out of nowhere, she comes up with that.

Lob: Who are your favorite bands?
Jane: I love the Buzzcocks.... I LOVE Rockabilly... Gene Vlncent-Oo'Ol+! And I like X, and Levi & The Rockats. Oh, yeah, and I love the Beatles.
Char: I love the Beatles. My record collection is mostly old stuff, I love that.
Mar: Me and Belinda have the same taste - we like reggae and the Clash. And the Deadbeats. 

Lob: What kind of movies do you like?
Jane: B-MOVIES!!! Tacky science fiction movies. Horror movies!!
Bel: Mexican horror movies. The really shitty, dubbed ones... and anything with... (whispering reverently) ROBERT DENIRO! I LOVE ROBERT DENIRO!
Mar: I like teen-films. And foreign 60's movies, with the tinny soundtracks. Gosh, I'm tired... 

Char: Yes, Margot's had a very exciting weekend. Why don't you tell them about Jail?
Mar: No, it was boring. it was jail as usual.
Lob: C'mon, c'mon, we heard all about the hookers at first saying, "Don't cry baby, don't cry, it's alright". Then 45 minutes later....
Mar: They were screaming "Why dontcha shut up already ??!??" (laughter) I had to go to the bathroom, and this little deputy in a min-skirt came and took me, and I took a real long time to piss her off. Yuck, they searched me with rubber gloves, it was disgusting!
(Leonard of The DICKIES walks in)

Lob: What was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
Bel: This was like in the 6th grade. There was this guy I really liked, I had the biggest crush on him, and he lived right down the street .I was walking to school, and him and his friend were walking right behind me. Uh..... My laundry was all dirty, and so I had to wear a pair of my mother's underwear, and they were too big. (giggles) SO,my panties were falling down, and I didn't want to tug them up, because I didn't want to seem stupid or anything.... so I kept walking, and pretty soon the underwear was down around my KNEES! (shrieks of laughter) I kept on walking, and they saw it, and were laughing at me - GOD, I was crying! I'll never forget that, lemme tell ya!
Jane: I can't remember ....
Bel: Cutting farts at Girlscout camp....
Leonard : When Charlotte's dad caught me eating out her mom!
Char: When I had my first physical, they didn't tell me to put the little robe on, and I was stark naked... it didn't matter, the doctor was a homo anyway, I found out. Wanna know the Go-Go's secret? Who we're all in love with?
Lob: I'm scared ....
Lob: Wasn't he on H.R. Puff'n'stuff?
Jane: NO! That was Jack Wild! Leonard, why don't you say what you always say to Charlotte, and she tells us, and we get excited...
Leonard: Well, you see, I would like to see The Go-Go's join together under one common cause, to bring them closer, and to raise the morale of the band.
Char: Yeah, it's called group sex.
Lob: Well, I guess it's time for you to say your parting words...
Jane: GOODBYE!! Everyone send me sexy underwear!
Lob: Send Belinda your mother's underwear!
Belinda: Hi, Robert Deniro!
Mar: Come and see us at the Whisky on Mother's Day!

Rumple's notes:

Rick Wilder was the singer with The Mau-Mau's and the term "UGLY" does not do him justice.I saw him in LA in 2000 and his condition has not improved in the last 25 years. I sure hope Charlotte was joking but then she had a fling with Leonard of the Dickies and he ain't no Tyrone Power either.

Re: Margot's jail time: In the gossip section of this "Lobotomy",there is a report of her being jailed for drunk and disorderly along with Dennis Crosby (Bing's grandson) and Brian Tristantjater known as Kid Congo of The Cramps and Gun Club). While there they ran into fellow jailbird, Pat Smear.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Early Go-Go's songs contest : the winner is Blades !

Blades (Starwood, 12th feb 1980)

(Belinda Carlisle / Jane Wiedlin / Margot Olavarria)

I'm being artistic
I'm drawing lines
My body is my canvas
I'm making marks in time

Feel the cold edge
Feel nothing inside
Caress the smoothness 
And watch it slide

Uh-oh, here I go
Playing with blades
Again and again
Uh-oh, here I go
Playing with blades
Again and again and again and again

No one seems to notice
I don't seem to care
It's my decision, my own life
And I don't intend to share

It's not a question of sanity
Or reaction to something said
No desire to analyse
Fascination with red

Uh-oh, here I go
Playing with blades
Again and again
Uh-oh, here I go
Playing with blades
Again and again and again
and again and again and again