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Kathy Valentine

Kathy Valentine
Kathy Valentine
Background information
Birth name Kathyrn Valentine[1]
Born (1959-01-07) January 7, 1959 (age 57)[2]
Origin Austin, Texas
Genres Pop rock, blues rock, pop punk,
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, producer
Instruments Guitar, bass
Years active 1978[3]-present
Associated acts The Go-Go's, The BlueBonnets, The Impossible, The Delphines, The World's Cutest Killers, The Textones, The Violaters, Johnny Goudie

Kathryn "Kathy" Valentine (born January 7, 1959) is an American musician (guitar and bass) and songwriter. She earned a name for herself in her early 20s as a member of The Go-Go's, who made music history by becoming the first all female band to have a number one album in the U.S.

Valentine has maintained a career in music through songwriting, recording, performing and touring and has ventured out into other pursuits both academic and creative.

Early life

Kathryn Valentine was born on January 7, 1959 in Austin, Texas, an only child who was raised by her single mother, an English ex-patriot. Valentine dropped out of public school in 9th grade to attend Greenbriar, an alternative school where she began playing guitar. In 1973, while visiting England with her mother, she happened to see Suzi Quatro on Top Of The Pops, and said it "blew her mind". It had never occurred to her that a woman could be a rock star.[4]

She returned to Austin, got an electric guitar and amp and began looking for band mates. She credits the Austin, Texas music scene for her diverse musical roots, in particular Jimmie Vaughan and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, as well as Texas icon Doug Sahm who let her onstage to sit in with his band on the Chuck Berry song “Little Queenie".[5]

In 1975, on a subsequent family visit to London with her mother, she answered an ad in Melody Maker and joined the fledgling Girlschool. She missed a gig due to illness and was replaced by Kelly Johnson—who she would later work with herself. Inspired by the punk scene and bands like The Ramones and Blondie, Valentine returned to Austin and formed the punk band, the Violators, alongside Carla Olson, Jesse Sublett and Marilyn Dean. The band played at Austin's first punk club, Raul's in February 1978. In late 1978 Valentine relocated to Los Angeles, California and co-founded The Textones with Carla Olson. The Textones released 2 singles, including an unreleased Tom Petty song, before Valentine departed the band in 1980. It was during her time in The Textones that she got her first cover of a song she’d written when Phil Seymour recorded "We Don’t Get Along". This song would show up again in her more famous band to follow, along with other songs she’d written during the Textones period: notably, "Vacation" and "Can’t Stop The World".[6]

The Go-Go's (1980-1985)

She was asked to play bass, an instrument that she had not played extensively, as a substitute for the Go-Go’s ailing bass player. She says she learned their songs over four days and rehearsed with them twice before hitting the stage New Years Eve 1980, at Whiskey A Go-Go.[7] Valentine was asked to remain as a permanent member shortly thereafter. The Go-Go’s were signed to I.R.S. Records in March 1981. "Can't Stop the World" was recorded for the Go-Go's debut album, Beauty and the Beat.

The second album featured Valentine’s previous Textones song "Vacation" as the title track and first single, after re-working the arrangement with Go-Go’s guitarist Charlotte Caffey. On the Go-Go’s third LP, Talk Show, Valentine also co-wrote, with Caffey, the hit single "Head over Heels," and played lead guitar on several songs including the single "Turn To You", album cuts "You Thought", "Beneath The Blue Sky", and "Good For Gone".

The band struggled with internal difficulties during the recording of Talk Show, and tried to stay together after the departure of rhythm guitarist Jane Wiedlin. Valentine moved to guitar duties and Paula Jean Brown was hired to play bass. It was this line up that performed at Brazil’s Rock In Rio Festival in January 1985, but despite their attempts to stay together, the Go-Go’s broke up in May 1985.[2]

Post Go-Go’s (1985-1990) and Go-Go's reunion

After the break up, Valentine said she felt lost and that her identity had become absorbed into being a Go-Go.[5] She recruited guitarist Earl Slick and members of the Eurythmics touring band to record solo material but felt it was not her forte. Returning to her rock roots, she formed The World’s Cutest Killers, a line up she thought would be successful, featuring former Girlschool guitarist Kelly Johnson, her old friend Jesse Sublett on bass, drummer (future A&R man) Craig Aaronson and keyboardist Jebin Bruni (Fiona Apple, Aimee Mann.) The group attracted the attention of producer Mike Chapman and recorded demos, which were scrapped and the band split up.[5][8] Several other bands and line ups went nowhere, and Valentine began looking elsewhere for personal growth and returned to school.[9] In 1990, the Go-Go's reunited for concerts and a Greatest Hits CD release, but went their separate ways again soon after.

The BlueBonnets (1992-1994), The Delphines (1995-2002), and Go-Go's second reunion (1994-2013)

In 1992, Valentine began her longest collaboration and partnership with singer and bassist Dominique Davalos. They formed the BlueBonnets, a blues based group that Valentine hoped would develop in the same way bands like the Stones had—by learning from the source and letting the music shape the band’s sound. With high profile guests sitting in with the band, club goers lining up to see them, and performances at celebrity wedding receptions and parties, record company scouts took notice but the band went through line up changes and eventually morphed into the Valentine/Davalos band The Delphines early in 1995.[10] The Go-Go's began working together again, with Valentine co-writing The Whole World Lost Its Head on Return To The Valley of The Go-Go’s a song which became the band’s highest charting U.K. single. The band released a new CD God Bless The Go-Go's in 2001, toured extensively for many years, and appeared in a popular DVD live concert, The Go-Go’s Live In Central Park. Determined not to let the Go-Go’s define her this time around, Valentine kept The Delphines going, and they released two albums, The Delphines (1996) and Cosmic Speed (2001).

Light Years (2005)

In 2005, Valentine released a solo recording, Light Years, that she co-produced, wrote, arranged and performed the guitar and vocal tracks. Light Years featured an array of musician friends who signed on to help; including Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley, Guns and Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke, Lenny Kravitz guitarist Craig Ross and drummers Clem Burke and Pete Thomas.[11] She began the record while pregnant in 2002 and wrote several songs with then husband, attorney and musician Steven Weisburd. A solo band, The Impossible, played to promote Light Years.

Return to Austin (2006-present)

In 2006, Valentine returned to her hometown to reside. She has been featured on the cover of the Fall 2010 issue of Texas Music, a February 2007 issue of the Austin Chronicle,[5] and the February 2009 issue of Austin Woman.[12] In March 2014, at South by Southwest she was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame by members of Blondie (Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, and Clem Burke).[13] She and Davalos re-formed The BlueBonnets with a Texas line up including Austin guitarist Eve Monsees, and LA-based drummer Kristy McInnis, who had also been one of the drummers in The Delphines.[10] The band has released 2 albums, Boom Boom Boom Boom (2010) and Play Loud (2014) and has been gaining momentum, finishing a 10 city tour opening for The Waterboys in Spring 2015.

Other activities

While working to complete her inter-disciplinary degree in English and Fine Arts, Valentine has also begun taking writing jobs and public speaking engagements. She was the keynote speaker at The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women annual event,[14] and for the MEOW Conference where she also presented a Valor Award to her early inspiration Suzi Quatro.[15] In 2014, Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems presented Valentine as part of their Game Changers promotional campaign with full page photos and advertisements in several national magazines.[16] She did closing comments and a speech on "reinventing after 50" at a Rainbow Light panel at the National Products Expo West. In 2013, she was employed to put together an all female, all star band for the Experience Music Project’s Women Who Rock Exhibit.[17] Valentine recruited underground influential musicians and Seattle based singers to front the band and was musical director. She has also been hired to write music reviews for The Talkhouse, an online site devoted to music and music lovers.

Go-Go's lawsuit

Valentine's last full show with The Go-Go's was May 9, 2012. A broken wrist led to her being replaced on a 2012 summer tour. On March 8, 2013, the Go-Go's official website said "irreconcilable differences" had led to her departure.[18] On May 24, 2013 she sued her former bandmates for "breach of fiduciary duty and abuse of an attempt to deprive [her] of her position and interest in the group, including her right to receive her full one-fifth, 20% share of the benefits and revenues generated by the group substantial reputation, fame, and goodwill."[19][20][21] In early 2014, the lawsuit that Valentine brought against her former band mates was settled out of court.

Personal life

Valentine is divorced from Steven Weisburd. They co-parent their daughter and she has partnered with Weisburd in a new business venture, The Townsend, an upscale cocktail bar and performance venue in downtown Austin, opening in Spring 2015.[22][23] Valentine has also been linked with Blondie drummer Clem Burke and guitarist Denny Freeman.

See also


  1. ^ Biography from IMDb
  2. ^ a b "The Go-Go's Biography". Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  3. ^ Go-Go's Biography
  4. ^ Hamlin, Bradley Mason; Lucy Hell. "Kathy Valentine Interview". Mystery Island Music. Mystery Island Publications. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d Moser, Margaret. "Every day is (Kathy) Valentine's Day". TheAustin Chronicle. Austin Chronicle Corp. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  6. ^ Gimarc, George (October 15, 1997). Post Punk Diary:1980-1982. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 39. ISBN 031216968X. 
  7. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Go-Go's". Billboard. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  8. ^ Gaar, Gillian (November 29, 2002). She's a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock and Roll (Live Girls) (2nd ed.). Seal Press. p. 339. ISBN 1580050786. 
  9. ^ "Kathy Valentine". The New Revolutionists. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Seida, Linda. "The Delphines - Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  11. ^ Mason, Stewart. "Light Years - Credits". AllMusic. All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  12. ^ "9th Anniversary Panelists". Austin Woman Magazine. Austin Woman Magazine. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  13. ^ Rodriguez, Donny. "Austin Music Awards at SXSW, A Local Showcase For The Masses". Texas Rock Report. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  14. ^ Godwin, Robert. "2013 Go Red For Women Summit". Keep Austin Giving. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  15. ^ McDonnell, Evelyn. "Rock 'N' Role Models". Populism. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  16. ^ "Rainbow Light Launches Circle of Care Program to Celebrate 30 Years of Leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility". PR Newswire. PR Newswire Association LLC. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  17. ^ Gaar, Gillian. "Concert review: a bounty of hits from female artists at EMP "Blow Out" concert". The Seattle Times. The Seattle Times. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  18. ^ "Update from Go-Go's HQ". March 8, 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  19. ^ "Valentine v. Carlisle et al" (PDF). Case BC510027, Los Angeles County Superior Court. The Hollywood Reporter. May 24, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-21. 
  20. ^ Couch, Aaron (May 25, 2013). "Kathy Valentine alleges the other members of the iconic girl band are attempting to reduce her share in the group.". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013-06-21. 
  21. ^ Heller, Matthew (28 May 2013). "Axed Go-Go's Member Says Band Blocked Her From Profits". Law360. Portfolio Media, Inc. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  22. ^ Campbell, Elizabeth. "THE TOWNSEND - Great Drinks, Food, Music, Art in an Elegant Space in Downtown Austin". Ain't No Sleep When You're Living The Dream. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  23. ^ Swiatecki, Chad. "New live music bar to open in iconic Congress Avenue space". Austin Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 

External links

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