Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lawsuit Reveals Belinda Carlisle Is One Fickle Go-Go (UPDATED)



And you thought the Eagles were drama queens.

In an explosive new lawsuit, Belinda Carlisle has been revealed as the driving force behind the ouster of Go-Go's bassist Kathy Valentine -- if not the instigator -- something I reported first back in March. (Told you so, anonymous-es.) Valentine is suing for a cool million bucks (plus) alleging her bandmates of over 30 years -- Carlisle, Charlotte Caffey, Jane Wiedlin and Gina Schock -- colluded to form a new company that could "license" the name, brand and trademark of the Go-Go's, of which Valentine is a 20 percent partner, and go on as a band without her. By sidestepping the band's longstanding arrangement, the suit alleges they sought to increase their earnings by only having to split things four ways. The legal mumbo jumbo is detailed in legalese for you HERE, but the real story -- no surprise -- is the fact that Queen Belinda is exposed as the conniving mean girl that you always knew she was in real life. To think she told Joan Rivers she refused to do a Go-Go's reality show because she was afraid the producers would edit(!) things to make her look like a diva. Get a load of this.

Before Belinda set her sights on kicking Kathy to the curb -- something that Jane and Gina (you're a dyke? what a) Schock orchestrated by getting Belinda's son to point out portions of Kathy's brilliant Twitter memoir that they knew would incense his mother -- Carlisle had decided she would rather end the band completely than work with Jane anymore. (It doesn't say why, but these two have had issues in the past, issues that led to the original end of the band.) Jane, it should be noted, reacted to Belinda's decision by trying to convince the other members that they should go on with a new lead singer(!), an idea Valentine objected to.


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No sooner did Belinda call off the end of the band, she decided she wanted to "get rid of" Charlotte Caffey, saying "it's her or me. She is selfish, destructive and a liar." She also claimed Jane and Gina felt the same way. This apparently was a result of Charlotte's refusal to split royalties related to a proposed musical about the band.


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Most recently, Jane and Gina got angry about Kathy's Twitter memoir -- in particular things about drug use -- and, from what I gather, Kathy's desire for the band to try new things instead of rehashing the same 30-year-old set list. Rather than confronting Kathy directly, Jane and Gina got Belinda to do their dirty work, an obvious admission of the fact that what Belinda says goes. As detailed in the lawsuit, Kathy was apologetic and immediately removed all tweets others found objectionable and when that wasn't enough, Valentine deleted the entire account. (It's worth noting that these were tweets that said nothing about drug use that each of the band members had not already discussed at length in various "Behind the Music" and other interviews.) After being repeatedly assured that everything was OK, Kathy eventually received the following e-mail from Belinda, in which she not only fires her, she threatens her with a lawsuit, even though it was the Go-Go's who were conspiring to illegally push her out of the band.


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Again, Valentine was apologetic and tried to work things out -- like an adult might -- asking for a face-to-face meeting with the entire band, but was told that Belinda was "too busy to listen" to whatever Kathy had to say and that "nothing she can say or do can change my mind." Can change "her" mind? And you thought the Go-Go's were a band.



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So according to my scorecard, Belinda has tried to fire Charlotte, Kathy and herself -- to get out of working with Jane. The only person she doesn't seem to have a bone to pick with is Gina, who rather ironically was the first Go-Go to drive a major legal wedge through the band when she sued Charlotte over royalties 20 years ago  Will be interesting to see how this plays out. The Go-Go's were the rare '80s bands that had all of its original members and now that they don't, it's time for them to call it a day. That the woman they have lined up to play bass this summer is a close friend of Valentine's, whom she hired to fill in for her when she broke her wrist last year, only makes the entire situation more unseemly. 

Four words for the four remaining Go-Go's: Grow the fuck up. 


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UPDATE: And for those who say this is only Kathy's "side" of the story -- like there is more than one side of the story of a band forming a corporation to try to push one member out and rob her of her livelihood -- I give you this "objective" assessment of her Twitter memoir (above). A hundred bucks says Jane Wiedlin wrote it! (Gina will want her cut of that $100, by the way.)

UPDATE 2: An anonymous source writes on a Go-Go's message board:

It Will Soon Be Revealed.... 

Now in this whole messy Go-Go's situation, prepare yourselves for the following developments:

1. We will soon find out the "real" reason that broke the proverbial camel's back, as to why the four women who refer to themselves as the Go-Go's dumped Kathy

2. Prepare to be bummed as hell when the Go-Go's pull out of the tour dates with the B-52's, and cancel altogether the dates where they are the single act on the bill for this summer

3. Prepare to read an equally shocking rebuttal brief from the four women who refer to themselves as the Go-Go's that will detail even more gut-wrenching revelations about the band in recent years

4. Prepare to have your hearts and perceptions shattered of the Go-Go's as mature, fully realized women, who have moved beyond their acrimony of the past 5. Prepare to see Jane begin selling her undergarments once again on-line, since her anticipated summer income is no more

22 comments:

Dave in Texas said...

Wow. Thanks so much for posting the entire lawsuit, it was interesting. I was one of the followers of Kathy's Twitter memoir. It was a great read. I don't remember anything that would have been so offensive to the other Go-Go's, especially since Belinda's book talked about the drug use of the band. Belinda emerges as a control freak (surprise) but the surprising bit was that Jane wanted to go on with another lead singer after the 'Farewell Tour'. No doubt about it, Kathy got screwed. I'm sure Kathy sensed something was up when she was able to rejoin the tour last year and was told "no, thanks". Sadly, Kathy's injury and resulting sub bass player made Belinda and Jane think that they could have anyone play bass and get a bigger chunk of the proceeds. Kathy seems like the only level-headed member that wanted to keep the original band together. Can't wait to see how this plays out. I hope Kathy will be able to keep her 20% interest or get a big payout.

Anonymous said...

I always felt ripped off because I had to buy the Go-Go's records and then the CD's- giving them twice as much money of mine to blow (literally up their noses). It is sweet and generous of them to give me this freebie. Commercial free. No duds in this lawsuit. Priceless. Thank you Go-Go's for going out with with some Drahmah.

Ruddigore said...

So Kathy is officially the Pete Best of the group. If Belinda doesn't like working with Jane, why doesn't she go after Jane? Couldn't she just reenact the singing telegram scene from Clue?

Anonymous said...

a great read - looking forward for this to play out horribly for all of them. funny i always thought kathy (and gina) to be the drama-free ones and this just confirms it. team kathy!!

Anonymous said...

Are you forgettig that this is one side of a five sided story?

Dave in Texas said...

I'm a bit surprised that Gina sided with Belinda and Jane. I think Kathy said in the KVMemoir that she and Gina stuck together when Belinda and Charlotte broke up the band in 1985.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

I don't think so, Anonymous @ 7:30 PM, if that's your real name. There's really not four "other" sides to a story when four members started a company behind the fifth party's back in order to rob the fifth of her income, is there?

Anonymous said...

Wow...Belinda is the eternal insecure 7th grader, isn't she? What a mess. I honestly wish they'd taken Jane's idea and gone on with HER. De-throne that bitch once and for all. How has Kathy remained sober all these years having to deal with that lunatic?

Anonymous said...

And for all these years I thought it was all about the music. Guess not!!!

Blobby said...

Jane's dislike of Belinda goes far back to 'Talk Show' when Jane wasn't allowed to sing lead on one song she wrote. For a long time, Charlotte and Belinda were way close, but that seems long gone.

I don't get the royalty splitting. If the group didn't have an agreement for dividing those as (or before) they were written, why should anyone not involved in the songwriting (or paying the publishing fees) get a cut?

With such few recordings, the money can't still be flowing in, due to their very limited touring schedule. Looks like their wrestling for every penny they can get.

Henry Holland said...

I don't get the royalty splitting

There's songwriting royalties (for instance, Terry Hall gets a cut for co-writing Our Lips Are Sealed) but there's also a) mechanical royalties (owed to whoever played on the record) and b) performance royalties (for radio/TV/Internet play). Mechanical and performance ones are a much smaller amount than songwriting ones, but they do add up.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

@Hentry: Thanks for the explanation. And if I'm not mistaken, Gina has always been gunning for a COMPLETE split of the royalties, under the idea that "any of us could have written those songs, yours were just chosen for the album." An idea that is as laughable as it is patently false. Charlotte, Jane and Kathy are FAR SUPERIOR songwriters than Gina and Belinda, even though all have composed over the years.

Mark said...

Any follow-up yet, like the formal response from the defendants? Also, regarding the anonymous addendum, I can personally vouch that at least the Boston tour date was not cancelled.

The Ice Cream Man Cometh said...

Kathy is a bipolar freak. Trust me.

Dr. Fill-In said...

if Kathy is bipolar, then you're saying they fired her for having an illness? That's wrongful termination and grounds for a-whole-nother lawsuit as far as I'm concerned."

Anonymous said...

I met the Go-Go's at Tower Records on Sunset in '94. They all seemed very sweet EXCEPT for Belinda who was a cold bitch. That said, I still appreciate their music…Belinda is an amazing vocalist…regardless of the drama.

Anonymous said...

My conclusion is that once again Belinda proves to us that she is a major bitch, and the others just want more money.

Shy Boy said...

I Recall that as well!! SO,What Happens When The Almighty $$$$
Dollar Takes Priority Over Friendship/Loyalty?!! It Goes Right Out The Window!!

I Think It's Them said...


I know people will say this is just Kathy's side of the story and it is only her side of the story. However, this is the same pattern exhibited in the past 30 years by Belinda and Jane. I used to love the Go-Go's. Now I only love what they once were. Glad Kathy won some settlement. Belinda is a has-been once upon a time but no longer a diva. Jane is just a diva wanna-be who will never be at her age. Just for shits and giggles I hope Jane kicks Belinda out of the band and tries to take over as lead singer, which will of course lead to the Go-Go's playing big time bars like "The Jughandle Inn in Mapleshade, NJ....total occupancy of 42. Will be a great laugh. Bet they wish they would have kept Kathy then! Kathy is probably lucky she got kicked out and got her settlement money

Unknown said...

I love these girls. I've met them, they were all super cool. Touring is hard. harmony and greed don't go hand in hand. They did quit a few farwell tour shows tho. They'll be fine. In the end it's friendship that matters.

Josh said...

I hate reading stuff like this - it crushes the experience, the fantasy, the enjoyment of losing yourself in aural and visual experiences such as what the Go-gos offer(ed).

Yet, I can't refrain from reading this, and will continue to monitor the comings and goings of one of the best girl rock groups ever.

TrackerNeil said...

The royalty issue is vexing, and Kathy Valentine addressed it in her long-gone Twitter memoir. I think that Gina Schock had a point, although I don't know if that justifies an even five-way split. KV herself has said she doesn't think "We Got the Beat" would have been what it was if not for the respective performances of Schock and Carlisle. There's probably no "right" answer, but I think I agree with KV; if you want harmony in a band, you're unlikely to get it if two or three members are making FIVE TIMES as much as the other two.

Speaking of memoirs, KV is working hard on hers (so I hear), and I can't wait. Can I reserve a copy now? :-)

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