Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Archives OUT! Guide    Marriage



MUSIC The B-52s' Kate Pierson takes the stage to urge women to vote
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 2380 times since Wed Aug 19, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Kate Pierson has been in the public eye in two different aspects. First, she's known worldwide as part of the band The B-52s, which have numerous hits, such as "Rock Lobster," "Roam" and "Love Shack." ( She also has released solo works, such as the 2015 album Guitars and Microphones—which had her working with Sia. )

However, Pierson is also an activist who has been involved in various causes, including HIV/AIDS, for decades. On Wed., Aug. 26, she will be one of many celebrities who will be part of "Women Take the Stage"—a free concert/rally to increase voting by and for women before the November election that will air on YouTube Live, Facebook Live and .

Windy City Times: Of course, these are very surreal times. How are you and [wife] Monica [Nation]?

Kate Pierson: Actually, we call it our "quarantine paradise." We're up here in the Catskill Mountains and we have a garden ( with some cucumbers, tomatoes and squash ), some land where we can walk our dog and there's a lot of hiking. Thanks to our wonderful Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo, we have low rates of coronavirus. I actually have not been in a building since March. Also, we've had some socially distanced events with family members and friends who are equally quarantined.

We have friends over at Lazy Meadow [the hotel Pierson owns in New York] during the week, but we're only at half capacity [and it's only open during the weekends]. Monica and I agreed that it's not responsible to rent every room, so we're renting only every other room and making sure people are properly quarantined.

For the first few months, I literally saw the UPS guy from a distance as he delivered things such as bleach and a new composter—so, yeah, those are some exciting deliveries. [Interviewer laughs.] We're just very cautious.

But there's the turmoil of everything that's happening in the country and, as someone on the local PBS station said, the "idiot-in-chief"…

WCT: And with the B-52s?

KP: All of our gigs were cancelled or postponed, but we did have one gig scheduled for the middle of March—and it was an '80s cruise! Only a handful of groups did it.

Our actual last gig was at Mardi Gras, in Florida. We did the whole Mardi Gras thing and went to a party and a parade and a brunch; then I heard that the virus was going around later. We were lucky that we quarantined early.

So I'm just watching the news and holding my breath. I was very excited to see that Kamala Harris is Joe Biden's running mate.

WCT: Yes—I saw you post that on your Facebook page.

KP: I don't even want to look at the comments. Every time I post anything like that… Like one time, all I posted was something about Hillary Clinton's pantsuits—not her, just her pantsuits—and people were arguing, saying they'll never listen to the B-52s again or that I shouldn't be on the site. It's crazy what starts that has nothing to do with that I post. Maybe Twitter is better, but I don't really use it that much.

But the whole voting thing is at the forefront—which leads me to "Women Take the Stage." This whole event was started by my friend Alyson Palmer [of 1:1 Productions and the band BETTY]. I've known Alyson forever; we've played with them and they've played with us. This event is about women's rights, girls' events. There will be lots of speakers and wonderful performers, and it's all virtual. Also, it's the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment passing, which gave women the right to vote.

And we've been activists for a while. We've worked with PETA and we've been AIDS activists. These livestreaming events—and I've been in five or six of them since the pandemic started—have really kept me going. There's a learning curve with the set-up—but I think everyone's going through that.

WCT: Indeed. I told someone I wish I had invested in Zoom.

KP: Yes. I actually get together with friends, virtually, and play Fictionary via Zoom. It's not the same as being there, but it's still fun.

WCT: You briefly mentioned the president. If you could ask him one question—and be guaranteed to get the truth—what would that question be?

KP: Well, I like to call him "T. Rump," because he reminds me of the back end of a T. Rex.

I'd like to ask him if he plans to mess with the election—and I think the answer is clearly "yes." If he says "no," he's a liar, and he is the liar-in-chief. I would ask him to not use his power to stay in office. I'm amazed by the broadness of the power of the president. But that's why I think "Women Take the Stage" is so important; women voting is the key. Fifty-five percent of women voted in 2016.

WCT: You've been involved in AIDS activism, as you mentioned—but that made me think of Ricky [Wilson, one of the original B-52s who died of AIDS in 1985]. What was Ricky like?

KP: Number one, he was an incredible creative force. He had a very unique songwriting style and vision. Also, he was very shy—but he was a shy genius. However, on stage he was a dynamo; he wielded his guitar like a sword.

At first, we were all a little nervous performing—but Fred [Schneider] and I were the least shy. However, hats and wigs can make you a lot more outgoing because you're in costume. [Laughs]

WCT: Lastly, The B-52s: Live at the US Festival—which shows the band performing Labor Day weekend in 1982—will be released on DVD and digital platforms Sept. 4. I know you've done thousands of shows, but what do you remember from that concert or festival?

KP: One of the amazing things was that the event was [Apple co-founder] Steve Wozniak's brainchild. This past tour, Berlin was one of the opening acts, along with Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Steve is a good friend of theirs and he showed up to one of our shows just last year, which was just awesome. Berlin played at the US Festival; they were an unknown band then.

I remember that it was very hot and dusty. There were The Ramones, The Police, Talking Heads—it was an amazing, eclectic line-up. It was a very peaceful, well-organized event.

"Women Take the Stage"—which will include performers and speakers such as Idina Menzel, Vanessa Williams, Billie Jean King, BETTY, Gloria Steinem and Pierson—will take place at 8 p.m. CT. See for more information. Pierson is on Instagram @thekatepierson and on Facebook.

This article shared 2380 times since Wed Aug 19, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

MUSIC (Colton) Ford tough: Singer is back and 'Stronger' than ever
Colton Ford has been an actor (in mainstream, off-Broadway and adult features) as well as singer, but he had see out of the spotlight for a few years—until now. Ford (who's openly gay) is back with ...

Gay News

'The Prom' out Dec. 11 on Netflix
The Prom—a musical-comedy film directed by Ryan Murphy and adapted by Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin (from their and Matthew Sklar's 2018 Broadway musical of the same name)—will be out on Netflix on Dec. 11. The ...

Gay News

New narrative podcast offers lesbian rocker slice of life
For audiophiles in search of punk rock tongue-in-cheek lesbian dramedy-driven narrative storytelling, look no further: "Tampon Rock" is here. The podcast, from Anthem and iHeart Radio, focuses on lesbian bandmates Deja and Chloe as they navigate ...

Gay News

Chicago's pandemic budget passes
On Nov. 24, The Chicago City Council passed the city's 2021 pandemic budget. According to a media release, "The $12.8 billion budget was built in close collaboration with City Council members, labor partners and other key ...

Gay News

Cook County budget unanimously passes
On Nov. 24, the Cook County Board of Commissioners approved a balanced $6.94-billion FY2021 budget aimed at advancing Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's work on criminal justice reform, public ...

Gay News

WORLD European Union, groundbreaking case, Caster Semenya
The European Union announced its first strategy to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ people, noted. Many saw the development as a response to the rising anti-LGBTQ+ hate and rhetoric in Poland and Hungary. The new ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ: Awards, 'Bebop,' Andy Cohen, Mariah Carey, Revry
The American Music Awards aired live Nov. 22 and some of the biggest names in music took home awards; Taraji P. Henson hosted. According to, Doja Cat won new artist of the year and Becky ...

Gay News

GLAAD: 81% of LGBTQs voted for Biden
GLAAD released the findings of its 2020 Post-election Poll of LGBTQ registered voters. The findings included a phenomenal turnout of the LGBTQ vote, a surge of first-time LGBTQ voters, an overwhelming vote for President-elect Joe Biden, ...

Gay News

Lopez's office vandalized again
A brick was thrown through the front window of Chicago Ald. Raymond Lopez's Southwest Side office Nov. 19—the fourth instance of vandalism targeting his properties this year (including three times in July), The Chicago Sun-Times reported. ...

Gay News

Lambda Legal files diversity-based suit against Trump executive order
On Nov. 16, Lambda Legal urged a federal district court to bar the Trump administration from implementing its recent executive order that prohibits federal contractors and grantees from conducting workplace diversity trainings or engaging in grant-funded ...

Gay News

Daniel Biss announces run for mayor of Evanston
Former Illinois state Sen. Daniel Biss, a Democrat, announced that he plans to run for mayor of Evanston next year. A statement read, in part, "The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris was a relief ...

Gay News

Congressional co-chairs introduce World AIDS Day resolution
U.S. Reps. Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Rep. Jenniffer Gonzalez Colon (PR-At Large), co-chairs of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, introduced a bipartisan resolution supporting the goals of World AIDS Day, according ...

Gay News

COVID-19 Pritzker institutes Tier Three mitigations starting Nov. 20
With a new wave of COVID-19 surging across Illinois, the Midwest and the nation, Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced, on Nov. 17, additional COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will take effect ...

Gay News

MUSICALS 1997 version of Anyone Can Whistle out Dec. 4
On Sunday, Dec. 4, Jay Records will release a 1997 recording of the musical Anyone Can Whistle, which originally had music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim as well as a book by Arthur Laurents. The production ...

Gay News

Hate crimes rise to highest level in a decade
The FBI revealed that hate-crime reports in the United States surged in 2019 to the highest level since 2008, reported. The new figures indicate that hate crimes reported to the FBI by law enforcement agencies ...


Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Archives OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.