A GoPride Interview

Gretchen Bonaduce

Gretchen Bonaduce interview with ChicagoPride.com

Wed. January 13, 2010  by ChicagoPride.com

Gretchen Bonaduce

gretchen bonaduce

With talent, tenacity, and charisma, Gretchen Bonaduce has proven time and time again that she can overcome adversity and make her dreams come true. She was executive producer of 2 seasons of VH-1´s Breaking Bonaduce which documented the chaotic life of her family.

Over the years, she has been successfully balanced being a soccer mom, a reality TV Star/Producer, a career singer, and businesswoman.

This Friday (Jan. 15), Gretchen Bonaduce brings her band, Ankhesenamen, to Circuit Night Club.

Here she talks to ChicagoPride.com about her return to Chicago, her bands, clothing, fragrance and jewelry lines plus her difficult marriage with child actor Danny Bonaduce.

CP: You have proven to be a strong woman of many talents, but one of your true passions is for music. Let’s talk about your band Ankhesenamen. Where did the name originate?

GB: Ankhesenamen is the name of King Tut’s wife. I always thought that it would make a cool name for a band. I love making up names for bands. For instance, 2 Hands and Opposable Thumbs, Cartwheel Fail, Greatest Non Virtue. See? Doesn’t it pass the time nicely?

CP: Absolutely. I guess that explains why you are the lead singer for two band. Ankhesenamen and MuddFlaps, which is another great band name. [LAUGHS] But you’re coming to Circuit with Ankh. What can we expect from the show?

GB: A whole lot of fun! We try to do all of the hits. That is the feedback that I get most form people, they love our song choices. You can also expect a lot of dancing – mostly from me!

CP: You were born in Waukegan and you met Danny while he was on the radio here in Chicago. Are you excited to return to the Windy City?

GB: Yes, I am from the Chicago area. You are my people! I am so happy to come back to the Midwest and hang with real genuine people. Not like the un-genuine people you meet in LA. Oh my God, there are a lot of those! I actually met and married Danny in Phoenix, but we lived in Chicago for many years while he was DJ on WLUP.

CP: Your band has been an LA club staple; will this be your first show out of California?

GB: This will be our first time playing outside of Cali! I’ve been pounding Vegas hard to let us come there but the economy has been so bad they have been cutting bands, not bringing them in. I think we will get there this year though. And I hope so! I’m not getting any younger! [LAUGHS]

CP: Speaking of age, who were some of your musical influences growing up in the big 80’s?

GB: I’m a total 80’s girl. The Cure, The Cult, Depeche Mode, Sisters of Mercy, Camaflouge. Lucky we sing songs from tht era as I have been singing them so long so it makes it easier to remember the lyrics. Again, with my age. [LAUGHS]

CP: I loved your cover of “Without You” from Rent. What was your inspiration or reason to cover the song?

GB: I’m crazy about Rent! Just crazy about it. I have a friend who was very there for me during my divorce and it was kind of a thank you for being there for me tribute for him. Cause if I was him, I would have run for the hills instead of hanging out with a needy injured Hollywood ex-wife. Yikes! Can you say high maintenance?!

CP: Can we talk briefly about your marriage to Danny and the show Breaking Bonaduce? How emotionally taxing was the show?

GB: Very! How is that for brief? Ages and ages of therapy needed to unravel that crap.

CP: But in the show you were really portrayed as a very strong woman.

GB: Yes, I cannot be broken. Especially not by a man!

CP: On to a better subject. Is there anyone special in your life right now?

GB: Yes, I’m engaged to the drummer in my band. Kevin Starr. He is the most wonderful person. He loves my kids, is crazy for me, would rather cut off his appendages rather than betray me and he doesn’t mind putting up with my ex. What more could I ask for?!

CP: Sounds like the perfect man! Before we wrap, you are a multi-talented woman. Tell us about your clothing, fragrance and jewelry lines.

GB: My clothing and jewelry are coming out in hot topic in February. It is all very Rock and Roll inspired. I used logos from local bands to make really cool dresses. I couldn’t afford to license big name groups. Evita Corby, my partner in the Countess Couture line, was married to one of The Baby’s and also dated one of The Stooges for a long time. We are both rock chicks for sure! The fragrance line is still in development. I made a small order and will see if I want to roll it out further. Well, I want to, just not sure how feasible that will be money wise!

CP: As you prepare to arrive in a cold Chicago, is there anything else you’d like to add?

GB: Yes! Please dear God, don’t let me or anyone in the group get the flu!

CP: Pack some warm clothes and we’ll see you Friday!

GB: I can’t wait!

Gretchen Bonaduce and Ankhesenamen perform live at Circuit Night Club, Friday, January 15, as part of Totally 80's night hosted by Bobby Trendy. (Event Details)

For more about Gretchen: www.myspace.com/gretchenbonaduce

Interviewed by ChicagoPride.com