All I Ever Wanted: A Rock 'n' Roll Memoir
Runner-up, Carr P. Collins Award for Best Book of Non-Fiction, 2021
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.
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About the Author
"In her candid new book, All I Ever Wanted...Valentine reflects on the highs of global stardom, the lows of substance abuse, and the aftermath of one of the '80s great pop bands."--Austin Monthly (03/01/2020)
"A revealing new book...[All I Ever Wanted is] not a dirty tell-all of life in the Go-Go's, but rather a cathartic analysis of [Valentine's] own life. The struggles and successes that made her the strong, sober, self-sufficient, musician and mother that she is today."-- (03/16/2020)
"For those who enjoy the name-dropping in a celebrity's book, Valentine has lots. From John Belushi to Rod Stewart, Lenny Kravitz to the Rolling Stones, she shares her adventures with some of the biggest names in music and movies. For those who love a good rags-to-riches story, there's poverty, loneliness, drugs, love, fame, heartbreak, happiness and finally contentment. And for those into music history, Valentine takes us through her songwriting and playing with the Textones, the Go-Go's and the Delphines, how she wrote her first song, "Can't Stop The World," and probably her most well-known tune, "Vacation," and how guitar has always been her first love."-- (03/23/2020)
"Raw and engrossing...Far from judgmental or cloying, All I Ever Wanted is a candid and self-aware memoir that provides a street view of a remarkable time in both Austin and LA's musical histories as well as a thoughtful perspective on the pressures, successes and failures of the music business and what it means to be a bold and hungry young woman within it."--Ovrld (03/18/2020)
"Valentine recounts in candid detail her life's ups-and-downs, including some unsettling revelations."--Page Six (03/25/2020)
"An open and often surprising read."--Billboard (03/25/2020)
"[A] frank and open autobiography."--Houston Press (03/27/2020)