Musician and Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee Kathy Valentine has traveled throughout the country, performing on tours with The Go-Go’s and other music groups. But next week will be her first time coming to Odessa for an event.
Valentine, along with the other members of The Go-Go’s including Belinda Carlisle, Charlotte Caffey, Gina Schock and Jane Wiedlin, were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame last year.
The band has made history as the only all-female rock group to write and play their own music and land No. 1 on the music charts.
Now, Odessans will get a chance to hear from the famous musician at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Ector Theatre, where she will discuss her memoir, “All I ever Wanted,” with Odessa Arts Executive Director Randy Ham and take questions from the audience.
The event was originally planned to take place in 2020, but had to be rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic wiped out everything so all my book promotions went out the window,” Valentine said in a phone interview. “I’m happy that some of it has come back. The event at the Ector Theatre for Odessa Arts was one that came back and I was really happy, because they approached me through my publisher at University of Texas Press. They seem to have a good relationship.
“It was highly recommended that this would be something that I would enjoy. I can pick and choose what I do and this is something that felt like it would be a little different because it’s in a theater and I’m making a presentation which is a background presentation of photos and everything.”
Valentine, who is known for playing bass for the famous pop punk band, has maintained a career in music through songwriting, recording, performing and touring.
Valentine currently resides in Austin, where she has spent the majority of her life, but because her dad is from Lubbock, she spent a lot of time out in West Texas.
“I spent a lot of my childhood in the Panhandle and I have driven out to the Permian Basin,” Valentine said. “I’d been to Marfa and Alpine and Marathon, that trio of towns. I haven’t spent much time in Odessa, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Her book, which was published by UT Press, was released two years ago during the early days of the pandemic.
“It was released right as the pandemic started which isn’t great for a first-time author,” Valentine said.
However, since then, she says her book has been well-received and was just recently released in England.
“I’m happy,” Valentine said. “It has done exceedingly well. I’m proud of it and I’m getting wonderful responses from readers.”
Her book is described as “a story of a roller coaster ride of drugs, sex and music, and a story of what it takes to find success and find oneself even when everything is crashing down.”
She said it took about three years to write the memoir, which included an eight-month sabbatical away from writing.
Valentine joined The Go-Go’s when they formed in Los Angeles in the punk rock scene in 1978.
The quintet’s debut album “Beauty and the Beat” topped the Billboard album chart, which was a first for an all-female band writing their own material and playing their own instruments.
Valentine said growing up in the ’70s meant there were no shortages of musical influence.
“Everyone from ZZ Top to the Rolling Stones to the Beatles,” she said. “I just was into rock ‘n’ roll. David Bowie and all the music of the ’70s and late ’60s I would say helped influence me, but my taste in music is quite broad. I enjoy jazz and hip-hop. I grew up in Austin where there were some good country and a lot of blues. I think for me, as a musician, I’m informed by just all good music (including) stuff from the radio when I was young (like) Motown and R&B. The influences are part of everything.”
Fame and success would follow Valentine and The Go-Go’s but there would also be lows, as well.
The group would break up in 1985 before reforming in 1990 and then again in 1995 and again from 1999 to today.
The band recently finished a tour in March.
“I joined when I was 21,” Valentine said. “We made an album when I was 22. We were at the top of the charts a year later. It was a lot of success at a very young age. It was exciting.”
However, Valentine said none of them “were very mature or evolved as humans” at the time.
“We weren’t the most compassionate people and didn’t have the greatest communication skills,” Valentine said. “It was a lot of success at a young age and it ended up we broke up in 1985 and got back together in 1990 and have worked on and off since 1990 and 1995.”
But Valentine says they still feel like a family.
“It is people that you know that will always be in your life that you don’t always see eye-to-eye with or don’t always get along with but you have a bond because there’s a lot of shared history. We also made some great timeless music that I’m really proud of. … It’s a very special band. … What we do have endures over generations across time and that’s something to be proud of.”
When The Go-Go’s were honored at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame last year, it was an accomplishment she and her other band members wouldn’t forget.
“It was a really fun, exciting night,” Valentine said. “We were surrounded by a lot of very well-known and beloved people in music, from Paul McCartney to Carole King. It was very exciting to be in the midst of all that.”
She also described the induction as a completion.
“It felt like there’s no ‘What else would we accomplish?’” Valentine said. “The band isn’t really active anymore so it was a nice way to close things out. It felt like the end of a story that started a long time ago.”
Valentine says that when it comes to creativity in music, inspiration can come from anywhere.
“To be creative, you’re always receptive to what inspires you,” Valentine said. “It can be anything. Inspiration, if you’re receptive and open to it, you can find it in conversations. You can find it in reading something. It can be getting an idea. It can be thinking or something on the radio. Inspiration can be anywhere, so the obstacle I think with creativity is to actually put in the time and effort and to finish and complete and make something that you’re satisfied with.”
Ham talked about his excitement in being able to bring in Valentine after a two-year delay.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a member of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame here so that in itself is very exciting,” he said. “Personally, I grew up listening to The Go-Go’s and so being able to sit five feet from someone that I listened to and enjoyed throughout my life is the icing on the cake of how amazing my job is.”
Ham also encourages local musicians to come out to the event.
“It’s going to be really exciting to talk to her, but mostly, I want to encourage our local musicians who are trying to find a way to make it into the business to come out and listen to her because she has some words of wisdom of how to put things together and make it in the music business,” Ham said. “We will offer complimentary tickets to any local musician who will sign up to the Permian Basin artists’ registry which is on our website which allows us to put all of these musicians in touch with people who are in need of a band for a fundraiser or party.”
If you go
- What: Authors at the Ector with Kathy Valentine.
- When: 7 p.m. April 14.
- Where: Ector Theatre.
- Where to purchase tickets: tinyurl.com/485hwanv