Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Go-Go's Fire Back at Ousted Bassist Kathy Valentine's Lawsuit

The Go-Go's claim Kathy Valentine has a bee in her Bluebonnet

Have gotten a number of e-mails asking if I had seen the Go-Go's response to former bassist Kathy Valentine's lawsuit, which I wrote about HERE.

I guess they just don't get along

The answer, of course, is yes. But because of my earlier rant, I suddenly find myself with so much "off the record" information -- from about a half-dozen people who wrote to me to weigh in, none of whom are members of the band -- that it's hard for me to say anything without betraying confidences. What I will say is this: I think both sides have done a good job of painting the other in a negative light. And it is true that there are two sides to every "she did this to us"/"they did this to me" scenario -- in both directions, as band supporters have rightly pointed out to me. But there's only one side to the law.

The Go-Go's want Kathy Valentine to take a permanent vacation

Reading the band's rebuttal from a non-legal point of view, I would say the defendants were obviously unable to get over Kathy's Twitter memoir "betrayal." Although they thought they could move on (the Hollywood Walk of Fame celebration was post-memoir), I believe that as new issues cropped up -- the kinds of issues that they have had with every member at one time or another, as detailed in Kathy's lawsuit -- they were suddenly unforgivable offenses when Kathy did them in this new post-memoir atmosphere. If this is true, I cannot fault the band for wanting to part ways. But they must part ways in an equitable manner. Not knowing much about the law -- and because of the confusing way the band set up another legal entity (GoGoCo Corp.) without Kathy to license the band's name (from Ladyhead LLC, of which Kathy is a member) and go on without her -- it's hard for me to know which side is right regarding touring revenue. But ultimately, the touring revenue is the heart of the matter here.

Mercenaries? Strange that three band members would opt to work on outside projects with someone who is so "egotistical" and "persistently intimidating"

One thing is very clear, however, no matter the outcome. The band has spent the past few months mounting a smear campaign against their former comrade, insisting that once fans knew "the truth," they would understand why they had no choice but to fire Kathy. This is not only unfortunate, it's patently false. How the Go-Go's could keep a straight face claiming they were "already internationally known" before Kathy joined the group is anyone's guess. (One single for Stiff Records does not "internationally known" make. And FYI: We were all listening when you admitted to bombing on the U.K. tour but then lying to everyone when you got home and saying how great you were!) Any notion that the infamous "roadie video" damaged the band's reputation is laughable seeing as the Go-Go's have played up the "everyone thought we were the girls-next-door, but we were far from it" lore for decades, not to mention it was a stoned-out-of-her-mind Belinda making an ass of herself asking "why can't girls jack off?" that everyone remembers And this crap about Kathy's inability to play the bass! Again, this is absurd. Belinda even says in her own memoir that Kathy was the only real musician in the band. (And since when is ONLY playing like on the record considered "punk"?!)

As the band's full rebuttal reads, the "bombshell" smoking gun against Kathy is that she has an "insatiable need to be right" (emphasis theirs), a charge that if a terminable offense would have prevented me from ever holding down a job! Guess it will come down to the judge's interpretation of the contract. I hope an amicable settlement is reached before this ever reaches trial. It's sad to realize that the way those horrible "Real Housewives" treat each other on fake reality television actually happens in real life, especially when it involves women you idolized growing up.

.PDF of the band's rebuttal HERE.(See if you can spot the typos.)

I dream of Kathy


Although this online commenter is a bit Star Jones-ish for my taste (he, too, is "an attorney"), I thought he basically got it right, although I do strongly disagree that "Vacation" was drastically changed from Kathy's Textones original:
Well - here I go so hang on...Mind you, if you've noticed (which you probably haven't -- since I often get ignored, attacked and/or blocked because my opinions rarely support the liberal, pro-gay, sexually promiscuous, pro-Obama dynamic that is often present on this board) I haven't made a comment pertaining to the lawsuit dramatics. I will assert that there are some frequent posters on this board who are very pro-KV, and who are very full of themselves, and who, I suspect, fancy themselves to be crafty and creative wordsmiths. And indeed, they are somewhat creative - I will give them that. But, at the risk of sounding like a douche (I may be too late I fear), I am an attorney, and my area of expertise is tort law.  
My quick assessment? KV's lawsuit was VERY well-worded and structured, and all in all, my sense is that it bears merit. The response from the defendants, however, pales in comparison in terms of professionalism and content. First off, there are more than a few typographical errors (reference section number 12, for example), and secondly, it is obvious the response by the other gals is "digging" the bottom of the barrel in order to grasp anything, anything, even the slightest morsel, that could possibly provide a defense for them. That ancient video with the roadie - - PLEASE!!! The comment wishing Charlotte would die of an overdose --- PLEASE!!! This was obviously stated in the heat of the "break-up" meeting. Note that no date is given, other than to reference that it occurred in 1985 -- ancient news. Kathy's "bluesy" playing? PLEASE!!! It was only after KV became extremely proficient on guitar in the early to mid 90's that she reconnected with her blues roots. It is obvious they are attempting to neutralize and discredit KV (note how they phrase that she "could not, or would not" play her bass parts). C'mon, it is obvious that KV is the most proficient guitarist in the group. Playing bass solos over Charlotte's guitar solos? PLEASE!!! Charlotte is a minimalist on the guitar. Her talent is off the charts as a songwriter, but my 14 year old nephew who just started out playing guitar 2 years ago is more proficient. This is not a callous criticism -- let's all just admit that Charlotte is no Eddie Van Halen - and she never claims to be.  
HOWEVER...I do accept what is stated about "Vacation"-- the original is almost unrecognizable when compared to the recorded version. I also accept the assertion that the GO-GO's were on fire and gaining significant momentum prior to the addition of KV.  
Simply: the goal of the rebuttal was to neutralize and discredit KV -- because the defendants know, as KV knows, that this will NOT go to trial. It all is simply a matter of how much neutralizing can effectively take place in order to pay out the least amount of a financial settlement. If I could put a $$ value on this -- the defendants will agree to pay KV's legal costs and less than $100,000. Just my humble, compact, legal opinion on the matter. Carry on....


A Former Fan said...

Wow. What a wasted opportunity for the band to take the high road and discuss the merits of the case only; instead they threw everything AND the kitchen sink at Kathy. Who is advising them? They come off as teenaged girl bully assholes. I suppose they meant to discredit their former friend with irrelevant nonsense that they know will not be discussed in court because any sensible judge wouldn't allow it, but that will be discussed on the net and in blogs. I already thought they were disgusting for "squeezing out" Kathy, but now I damned near hate them.

Dave in Texas said...

Thanks for keeping us up to date on this- I find it fascinating, and I love to read the legal documents. I suppose if I'm taking sides on this I tend to take Kathy's, perhaps because I followed her memoir on Twitter and thought it was really clever. The band's response in dragging up things from 30+ years ago is pretty lame. It suddenly bothers them now but not all these years of touring together? I hope you are able to keep us informed and maybe toss us something that you've found out- I'd love more inside stories.

Another Former Fan said...

The Go-Go's were once a great band I would always get VERY excited to see every summer. Even with the SAME playlist (and throwing in a cover song or two) each year, they had something special (the "magic" they've all often referred to that happened ONLY with the 5 of them) they will never again have without all 5 of them. Their legacy is completely ruined as far as I'm concerned. How many years did they really have left as a touring band anyway? Way to go out like a bunch of children without a shred of dignity.

nojarama said...

/\ THIS! I am ashamed of all of them (only slightly with Kathy, but I don't blame her). I truly loved the last few summers, at it meant that the girls would be playing soon at a great venue. Now, it's just a dark cloud of shame. They might as well just start playing at county fairs, casinos... oh wait, they ARE now! What a bunch of money-hungry cunts. I shall never participate in anything Go-Go's related until they all work their shit out.

Blobby said...

I'm sorry I love(d) the band, but I still laugh at when they infer they were a "punk band".

Yes, if that means they couldn't hold a tune or play their instruments with with any skill, then sure, they were a "punk band" when they started.

By the time their first record was released they were 100% pure pop.

They've all treated each other like Mean Girls since at least 'Talk Show' and it is just sad to watch them deteriorate to this level.

Anonymous said...

After reading all of this I am rethinking my obsession with Jane and Charlotte. I thought they were both fun and sweet when I saw them in concert. But I guess they have to put on an act so people will buy their Merch. You can just look at Belinda and say she looks evil ( and probably is) I feel bad for Kathy from what I have seen she seems like a nice generous person. She replied to my tweet(Jane also did ,but to several of my tweets) and even played guitar with a girl with down syndrome as part of a foundation.
I'm going to compare The Go-Go's to the Spice Girls:
Gina : Sporty Spice (I'm sure you can figure out why)
Charlotte: Baby Spice (sweet and nice)
Jane: Ginger Spice (Funny and Crazy)
Kathy: Scary Spice ( cool personality)
Belinda : Posh Spice ( very B**chy and mean , having the most fame in the group). After reading this article i have come to the conclusion of Charlotte being nice but sometimes can be demanding. Jane and Gina are just in it for the money. Kathy is reasonable but a little messed up. And Belinda is a complete b***h

Always a Kathy Fan said...

This is very silly. Plain and simple. Kathy, as would any of the other girls, deserves her 20% no matter how many of the other girls no longer like her. Valentine wrote or co-wrote many of the Go-Go's' songs, so even if the 20%/5 way deal wasn't made Kathy would still be do royalties.
Seriously though, aren't they old enough to have grown up yet?

TrackerNeil said...

I agree with Kenneth about "Vacation"; the Textones version KV produced is not worlds different from the one recorded by the Go-Go's. Charlotte and Jane refined it, certainly, but as near as I can tell it's the same basic song.

Vince G said...

I have to agree with the earlier comment that now that the original members are no longer performing together, it's time to hang it up. A true devotee for years, I found it odd how Belinda apologized to everyone on earth in her biography EXCEPT the legion of Go-Go's fans responsible for her lucky career. Unable to keep the band together or produce more that 4 albums over a more than 30 year span, the band has more often been a source of disappointment than joy to its followers. There is no more life left in this group, so hang it up and be done once and for all.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that response makes the 4 of them look absolutely pathetic. KV was the only 'talented' musician in the entire group. They could have went out on top... instead, have fun playing at casinos and on cruise ships, Go-Go's. I certainly won't be there.

Anonymous said...

This is the reason the band is considered a joke and they ruined the Go-Go's legacy 30 yrs ago mainly Belinda and Charlotte. Such a shame greed and ego was more important than music because had they been mature enough the Go-Go's could have been the best female band of the time. If you notice they are never referred to from young artists like so many other singers and bands are. Sad and I do believe Belinda is the root of all the problems

Anonymous said...

I met them back when I was a kid in 1984 and Kathy was the nicest and IMO truly took the time for her fans. Charolette was also nice and Gina but Jane and Belinda were beyond rude and didn't seem to care about the band or fans. The group had a chance to revive what was left but as usual they screwed it up and I don't see them ever regaining a shred of what they once had. The band is basically a joke and forgotten

Jara said...

Also ill add for good measure that it is JANE who has been unwilling or incapable of playing her guitar in the pop/punk style associated with the gogos.
Songs like our lips are sealed and this town rely on her palm muter guitar and she hasnt been palm muting for a while lol

Blu Raven said...

And Now They Want To be Accepted
And Known as "Respectable" Muscians/Artists as a Group! They Want To Be Taken
Seriously,Because They Want
(So Bad)To be INDUCTED into THE ROCK N ROLL HALL OF FAME!! (Well,So much for the Legacy!!!)

Beatnik Beeatch said...

It all sounds very catty and drama ridden like teenagers and not centered in grace and maturity. Isn't Belinda Carlisle allegedly more spiritually based these days? She had a phenomenal solo career from 1986-1992, but then it gradually crashed and disappeared. She put out about 4-5 great solo albums, but most of that was due to getting lucky in getting some great songwriters and producers.

Jason Us said...

Might have been worth mentioning that Margot Olavarria played on and was a co-writer of the Stiff release of We Got The Beat. She never got any credit AFAIK. Possibly semi-relevant to credibility.