Margaret Valentine 7/25/1937 – 6/29/2022

My mom, Margaret Valentine, is gone.

She was something else. She lived completely in the present, never thinking much about what future had in store for her—often to her detriment. She was a free spirit in the truest sense and contained layers of complexity that I will ponder forever. There was nothing simple about her at all, and yet she led the most simple, bare-minimum life. She burned bridges and built new ones to replace them. She had friendships spanning 50 years and more. She said seeing Marlon Brando in “The Wild Ones” when she was 16 years old ruined her, and that was why she was alone: no man made her feel the way she felt when she saw him in that movie. I watched it with her on my couch a few nights ago. She would doze off then wake up and ask: Do you see it? Do you see the appeal?

Margaret Valentine

She was born in Lancashire and was a child in London during the World War II bombings. She remembered the camaraderie and excitement of being in bomb shelters with groups of neighbors. When her parents sent her to live with her aunt on a farm in Lancashire for her safety, she said it was idyllic.

She met my dad, stationed by the USAF in England, in 1956 when she was 18 years old and married him at 20 in spring of 1957. They moved to Texas shortly thereafter and she had me at 22 in Austin. By 1963, she was divorced, attending UT in Austin, working full time, dating, finding her political compass. When asked by a boss in the 90’s if she was liberal, she said “No. Keep moving, farther left.”

Because of my mom, I grew up often raising myself. I became an adult quickly, and while it might seem sad, or as if my childhood was lacking, I’ve found that the hard-wired skill of taking care of myself without expectation of someone else doing it for me has been an asset in this world. I have looked out for my mom financially for about 20 years now, because she didn’t really plan for an old age that was unimaginable to a beautiful, intelligent and adventure seeking young woman. Although I sometimes resented this arrangement, I must concede that the success and achievements that allowed me to care for her were as much a result of her support and encouragement as they were due to my own talent, luck, and perseverance.

She hated how much she was dependent on me for financial help. She loved how dependent she was on Audrey, her granddaughter, for lessons on her much-hated iPhone. Being Audrey’s Grandma Margaret was her greatest joy and she took relentless interest in every aspect of Audrey’s life. Audrey’s kindness and compassion to my mom taught me how to be softer and gentler with her as well. We included her in our life at every opportunity and my mom looked forward to each visit and occasion with great excitement.

My mom yearned to be creative, but never seemed to give any creative impulse the time and attention to fully execute what she longed to make. She wanted to write, and was known for her emails to friends, all of whom would remark about the wit, articulation and acute personality that infused each missive. I look forward to going through her files and papers and finding what she wrote. Even though I’ve known her my entire life, I long to know her better and now it’s too late.

I revealed so much about her in my memoir, all with her permission and blessing. I tried to be honest, but also fair. It was a gift from her, to take the heat and let me tell my story. That gift gave me a chance to process and appreciate all the ways she did me right. I always knew I was loved, I never doubted that, ever. She instilled in me that I was smart, over and over, and made me value my intellect over anything else, like appearances. Another incredible gift, one that has made aging easier.

She was proud of me. She came to every show I played in Austin, often by herself, just showing up and letting the doorman know that her daughter was playing. She would be given a table, and by the time I was done with my set, she had usually made new friends.

My mom was fiercely independent. Up until she was actively dying, she insisted she was fine and that I should take her home.

My mom was brave. She was unlucky in health, turns out that as well as getting a slow growing meningioma brain tumor that went unchecked for possibly 15 years, she also had acquired AIH, a disease that attacks the liver. She survived the massive brain tumor after a major surgery but succumbed to AIH after 20 days of up and down confusion and wandering through the medical jungle as we tried to figure out what was going on. It was my gift to her to be her advocate when she needed one and I learned I am a great advocate. Her diagnosis came the day before she passed. Had it been caught earlier, she might have gotten treatment that gave her a bit more living, but I suppose it was her time.

There is so much more I could write about her, and I will in time. I welcome any memories from people that knew her, as they will help me know her more, in different perspectives. Right now I am reeling with so many feelings: relief, grief, remorse and regret, gratitude and profound sadness. I am proud to be her daughter and so happy that my life, and Audrey’s life, gave her joy and happiness.

I love you mom.

KV RRHOF Acceptance Speech!

I’m Kathy Valentine

And I can speak for all of The Go-Go’s when I say we are are so happy and excited  and proud to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Being in a band is a trip. It’s kind of like a marriage—in our case, a polygamous same-sex marriage that has divorced and remarried and divorced and remarried. Our band has been like the most rinky dink traveling circus you could imagine, like a snarling wolf pack, and very much like family. 

That we are a sisterhood, and women, is significant. We became a commercially successful band, but we started at the bottom, where all rock bands start. We went where we went, and we are where we are because our music found its way into our fan’s hearts and lives. 

By recognizing our achievement the Rock Hall celebrates possibility—the sort of possibility that creates hopeful dreamers. By honoring the historical contribution we made, the door to this establishment has opened wider, and the Go-Go’s will be advocating for the inclusion of more women. Women who have paved the way for us and others, women who start bands, excel on instruments, write songs, make and produce records.

Because here is the thing: There would not be less of us if more of us were visible.

To the little girls, teenagers, young ladies, women of any age who are out there in the world and wanting and dreaming to be heard, hopefully loudly and with guitars/drums/bass/and your unique, wonderful voices…the Go-Go’s are here to say dream baby dream and rock on!

New Single – We Don’t Get Along

I wrote this song when I was 19, and it was first recorded by Phil Seymour for his debut album. The Textones recorded it, and the Go-Go’s recorded it for our second album “Vacation.” Wondering how it might sound as a sort of answer back duet with a male and female, I got the idea for a remake and asked Rhett Miller (Old 97s) to sing with me…the result, with Jon Wurster (Superchunk, Bob Mould, Mountain Goats) on drums is as rockin’ a version as there ever was!!

Kathy Valentine Announces Book Tour for All I Ever Wanted

All I Ever Wanted Tour ScheduleHey! I’m going on my first book tour in support of my memoir “All I Ever Wanted: A RocknRoll Memoir.” The book and accompanying soundtrack will be available at the end of March. Follow the schedule below and be sure to check this site for updates and added tour dates. Each one of these will be a specialized, unique event.

Wednesday, March 18 – Austin, TX 
SXSW/Talk and Book Signing Austin Convention Center, 3rd Floor Room 10C 3:30-4:30

Thursday, March 26 – Philadelphia   Private Event

Saturday, March 28 – Woodstock, NY  
Woodstock Book Fest 4pm.

Friday, April 3 – Austin  
Book People w/John Doe   7pm 

Saturday April 4 – San Antonio, TX (schedule TBA)
San Antonio Book Festival  

Tuesday April 7 – Los Angeles, CA
Book Soup w/Kathleen Hanna Offsite at West Hollywood Library, City Council Chambers 7-9pm                                                                                                                         Tickets Here This will sell out! Get tickets now!

Wednesday April 8 – San Francisco, CA
Green Apple Books w/Gina Schock and Carvell Wallace (1231 9th Ave location) 7:30pm 

Wednesday, April 15 – New York, NY
NYPL for the Performing Arts Cafe w/Anthony DeCurtis  7-9pm  More Info Soon!

Saturday, April 18 – Austin. Private Event

Monday, April 20 – Brooklyn, NY
Greenlight Books, offsite at St. Joseph’s College w/Lizz Winstead  7:30-9:30pm                                                                                                                                                         
Tuesday, April 21 –  Ridgewood, New Jersey  
Bookends  6pm  not yet listed, keep checking!
Thursday April 23 – Austin, TX                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Sunday April 26 – Houston, TX
Cactus Music w/ Bob Ruggerio 3pm

Monday, April 27 – Chicago, ILL
Anderson’s Book Shop (LaGrange location) 7pm 

Saturday, May 2 – Odessa, TX
Monday, May 4 – Austin, TX  Private event
Tuesday, May 5 – Austin, TX Private event
Friday, May 8 – Los Angeles, CA 
Monday, May 11 – Nashville, TN  
Parnassus Books w/Ann Powers. Book discussion and signing. 6:30pm 
Saturday, May 16 – Georgetown, TX
Sunday May 17 – Austin, TX  
Tuesday, May 19 – San Antonio, TX 
Friday, May 22 – Waco TX. Fabled Books with/Sarah Hickman 
Fabled Books with/Sarah Hickman 7pm 
Saturday May 23 – Chapel Hill, NC
Wednesday May 27 – Cleveland OH 
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame  w/surprise guest (More Info TBA)
Thursday, May 28 – Boston, MA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Once Somerville w/Tanya Donnelly   (More Info TBA)  

Saturday, June 6 – Birmingham, AL
Thank You Books (More info TBA)


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