All I Ever Wanted: A Rock 'n' Roll Memoir

All I Ever Wanted: A Rock 'n' Roll Memoir

by Kathy Valentine


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A Go-Go’s bassist Kathy Valentine’s story is a roller coaster of sex, drugs, and of course, music; it’s also a story of what it takes to find success and find yourself, even when it all comes crashing down

At twenty-one, Kathy Valentine was at the Whisky in Los Angeles when she met a guitarist from a fledgling band called the Go-Go’s—and the band needed a bassist. The Go-Go’s became the first multi-platinum-selling, all-female band to play instruments themselves, write their own songs, and have a number one album. Their debut, Beauty and the Beat, spent six weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 and featured the hit songs “We Got the Beat” and “Our Lips Are Sealed.” The record's success brought the pressures of a relentless workload and schedule culminating in a wild, hazy, substance-fueled tour that took the band from the club circuit to arenas, where fans, promoters, and crew were more than ready to keep the party going.

For Valentine, the band's success was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream—but it’s only part of her story. All I Ever Wanted traces the path that took her from her childhood in Texas—where she all but raised herself—to the height of rock n’ roll stardom, devastation after the collapse of the band that had come to define her, and the quest to regain her sense of self after its end. Valentine also speaks candidly about the lasting effects of parental betrayal, abortion, rape, and her struggles with drugs and alcohol—and the music that saved her every step of the way. Populated with vivid portraits of Valentine’s interactions during the 1980s with musicians and actors from the Police and Rod Stewart to John Belushi and Rob Lowe, All I Ever Wanted is a deeply personal reflection on a life spent in music.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781477312339
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 03/31/2020
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 102,744
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Kathy Valentine is a working musician and songwriter known for being part of the all-female band the Go-Go’s. She wrote or cowrote many of the band’s most renowned songs, including “Vacation” and “Head Over Heels.” In addition to playing music and writing songs, Valentine has worked as an actor, public speaker and spokesperson, and producer. In 2017 she created “She Factory,” an event series to raise money for women-centered nonprofits. She currently lives in her hometown of Austin with her daughter, where she plays in a band and is completing her first college degree.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Prologue: Hullabaloo
  • Chapter 1. The Stars Start Falling
  • Chapter 2. Magic Cloak
  • Chapter 3. Liquid Forget
  • Chapter 4. Vacation
  • Chapter 5. Teenage Babylon
  • Chapter 6. Just Do It
  • Chapter 7. Greenbriar
  • Chapter 8. Earthquake
  • Chapter 9. Carnations
  • Chapter 10. Clubland
  • Chapter 11. Throwing Shapes
  • Chapter 12. Virtuosity
  • Chapter 13. Red Head
  • Chapter 14. Nut Whites
  • Chapter 15. Tropicana
  • Chapter 16. Chino Jam
  • Chapter 17. Regular Format
  • Chapter 18. Good Mojo
  • Chapter 19. Wild Jokers
  • Chapter 20. Unforgiven
  • Chapter 21. Next to Merle
  • Chapter 22. Balance the Buzz
  • Chapter 23. Little Scissor
  • Chapter 24. Private Jet
  • Chapter 25. Don’t Leave
  • Chapter 26. Tutus and Tiaras
  • Chapter 27. Bash and Crash
  • Chapter 28. Giant Baby
  • Chapter 29. Diversions
  • Chapter 30. Helicopter
  • Chapter 31. Convertibles
  • Chapter 32. Shrinking, Sinking
  • Chapter 33. Let’s Have a Party
  • Chapter 34. Falsity
  • Chapter 35. Camouflage
  • Chapter 36. The Same Union
  • Chapter 37. Queen Bees
  • Chapter 38. The Right Way
  • Chapter 39. Gold and Platinum
  • Chapter 40. Cheerleader
  • Chapter 41. Fried and Raw
  • Chapter 42. Cookies
  • Chapter 43. Ultras
  • Chapter 44. Thingy in the Sky
  • Epilogue-a-Go-Go
  • Acknowledgments
  • A Note on Sources and Identifications
  • Index

What People are Saying About This

Augusten Burroughs

"Like a scorching guitar solo emerging from the prettiest pop song, Kathy Valentine’s All I Ever Wanted blows away every other music memoir out there. It’s the raw, real story of a Texas girl who raised herself and became a legend through sheer grit and talent, from raucous rocker to pop princess and back again. In prose that is powerful and relatable and unsentimental and funny and scary, Valentine takes readers from the depths of a dark childhood to the electric heights of superstardom. It’s a stunning journey, masterfully told."

Jenny Lawson

"This book is the equivalent of the best concert I ever attended, possibly better. I was utterly sucked in and immediately devoured it. Honestly, just read it. SO GOOD. You’re welcome."

Amy Poehler

"Kathy Valentine takes us on an epic tour of honest storytelling. All I Ever Wanted is a raw look at the highs and lows of being high and low. Long live the Go-Go's!"

Customer Reviews