The Go-Go’s practically lived on my turntable in the ’80s. Well, their poppy, new wave records did — however, my 14-year-old self would have flipped to share a room with the real fab five.
The Go-Go’s made history as the first (and to date, only) all-female band who wrote their own songs, played their own instruments, and topped the Billboard album charts. I remember writing a paper for school about my favorite song at the time, which was “Our Lips are Sealed,” written by Jane Wiedlin, the band’s guitarist. As my mom proofread the paper, she stopped and asked, “What’s Our ‘Lips are Salad?'” My sloppy penmanship created a silly memory that still makes me laugh. I don’t think I can ever see the title of that song without thinking about lettuce and croutons. It’s still one of my favorites.
After the Go-Go’s disbanded, Jane kept rockin’ with solo music projects, acting gigs, directing, and screenwriting, presiding over weddings and commitment ceremonies as an ordained minister, and contributing her time and passion to help rescue dogs. In fact, on February 6, she’ll be a part of the Haute Dog | SF4 Doggy Runway Fashion Show to benefit Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, which finds happy homes for senior dogs. Jane and Gina Schock (the Go-Go’s drummer) will walk the runway with Flora, a senior Muttville dog, who will be dressed by designer Shiree Hanson Segerstrom. KGO-AM810 radio host Ronn Owens, among many others, will also be walking the runway with a fashionable doggy diva from the rescue organization.
I was thrilled when given the opportunity to ask Jane a few questions about her own dogs, her devotion to animal rescue, and Friday’s event at the San Francisco Design Center.
Jane says she’s been an animal rescuer her entire adult life and has a special fondness for dogs. She says of her three senior dogs, “My current family consists of:
Peanut, a 12-year-old Italian Greyhound. I rescued Peanut in Costa Rica, where she was living in truly dire circumstances. Peanut is now blind and toothless, but still rules the roost like the queen she is!
Geordie is an 11-year-old Greyhound I adopted from the Greyhound Adoption Center in San Diego. He was just two years old when his sad life as a racing dog in Arizona was about to end in his death. Another dog had attacked and left him badly wounded. Race track people don’t help injured or sick Greyhounds — they kill them. Luckily the G.A.C. people were there that day taking a load of dogs to find homes, and they got my Geordie. He was stitched up brilliantly, and I met him a few weeks later. Geordie is the sweetest, kindest dog I’ve ever been owned by, and it’s funny to watch him (at 80 pounds) get bossed around by Peanut (8 pounds).”
She goes on to talk about her third dog, Malcolm, the Chinese Crested she adopted in Detroit: “He had severe behavioral problems and was having a terrible time finding a home because he kept attacking his would-be-adopters! Luckily, I had a plan involving the floor, a fluffy blanket, and a pound of freshly roasted turkey! Malcolm has come a long way and is a total lovebug with anyone he likes!”
Something I’ve always loved about Jane is her giant smile and fun vibe. She’s someone I would absolutely enjoy spending an afternoon with, giggling about ridiculous things and making up silly songs. Yes, that would pretty much be a perfect afternoon! I’m sure Jane would agree, but we’re talking about her dogs here, so we’ll have to save that conversation for another day.
She says her dogs are hilarious and constantly keep her entertained. “My dogs love to sing, and sometimes I will get them going all at once. It slays me! Malcolm is very demanding of attention. If you dare stop petting him, he will take his paw and drag your hand back towards him for more. Peanut is a burrower, and is insistent on getting under the covers in bed and squishing up against me. Geordie loves to go to the beach and does mad dashes through the water in huge laps. It’s awesome because he is so fast.”
I’m not the only one who sings to their animal family, it seems. Jane says she does it all the time. My guess is her voice sounds about a kajillion times better than mine does, though. She has a special song for each of her dogs, and she says they’re extremely attuned to her actions and words, especially Geordie, who understands much of what she has to say to him. Plus he has an uncanny sense of time — like down to the minute when it comes to meals, walks, and bedtime. She says, “Sometimes I think Geordie must have swallowed a watch somewhere along the way.”
As you can tell, Jane has a soft spot for senior dogs, so it was an easy choice for her to support the Haute Dog event. Jane says, “Muttville is run by some seriously organized and devoted people. They have a single-minded mission that has made their rescue group extremely successful. Rescue can be hard and depressing work, but Muttville never wavers in their commitment to save lives. The most important aspect of their group is to save older dogs, who normally are the poor dears who never get adopted from shelters. Most people are so focused on youth that these senior treasures get passed up. Senior dogs have so much to offer us.”
Tickets to the Muttville benefit are still available! Hosted by San Francisco fashion icon Mr. Wilkes Bashford, Haute Dog will offer wine, bites, and a raffle, as well as Posh Pup Lane, a shopping emporium of doggie delights. Then, of course, there’s the fashion show that features San Francisco’s chicest pooches strutting their stuff on the runway wearing couture outfits designed specifically for them by some of the Bay Area’s most prominent interior designers. If you live in the Bay Area and would like to attend, tickets are available through Eventbrite. The run starts at 4:30 p.m. with a reception, and the fashion show happens from 5:30 to 8:30.
What’s up next for Jane? The Go-Go’s are taking 2015 off (they’ve regrouped and toured regularly since 1999), and she’s started looking for a venue to feature “Lady Robotika: The Space Opera,” based on a comic book superhero she created with Bill Morrison. She says it may run in San Francisco or New York — she’s not sure. And, of course, she’ll be hanging out and singing to Peanut, Geordie, and Malcolm, and being an everyday superhero for animal rescue. You can follow Jane on Facebook and Twitter — and tell her Dogster sent you!
Read more celebrity interviews on Dogster:
About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things, and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, and Texts from Mittens (birthed on Catster), and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in a comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.