Head Over Heels For The Go-Go’s

The Go-Go’s make me feel nostalgic for the ‘80s. Their songs are happy, feel good music and always made me hungry for fun! You can tell the Go-Go’s clicked together as friends; you can just feel their sisterly energy. My friend Jen and I used to make mixed tapes for each other and I remember Belinda’s voice blaring from my boom box. Oh, the power of good music and friends…life can always feel like a vacation!

The Go-Go’s are a very special band! No one sounds like The Go-Go’s but The Go-Go’s. These ladies wrote their own music, played their own instruments, and played by instincts which translate to a fiery, zippy sound. They are considered the most commercially successful all female rock band in history and are still loved by all ages. Just hearing their music makes you want to sing Let’s Have a Party!

My five year old daughter will scream AGAIN to hear “Our Lips Are Sealed” and I happily obey. My sister jokes that most little kids know who Justin Bieber is; my daughter doesn’t know him but she knows Cyndi Lauper, The Go-Go’s, and The Pretenders. She’s a product of an ‘80s music lover.

Belinda Carlisle’s voice has the sound of experience, cigarettes and that sexy trembling vibrato similar to the one Edith Piaf had.

Opening for The Go-Go’s Ladies Gone Wild tour was an all-female band Girl In A Coma. I’m sure many people thought this young edgy and energetic Texas band reminded them of when The Go-Go’s first started. The Go-Go’s have a poppy reputation but they began as a punk band in ‘78. I will always think of them as California girls singing “This Town” about their hometown LA.

This town is our town
It is so glamorous
Bet you’d live here if you could
And be one of us

Last month The Go-Go’s received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  August was a busy month for them as they finished up their summer tour. My friends and I watched, listened, and danced like crazy as The Go-Go’s took the stage at the House of Blues in Dallas for a set that packed 18 songs into an hour and a half.

Five fabulous women make up The Go-Go’s: lead singer Belinda Carlisle, singer-guitarist Jane Weidlin, guitarist-keyboardist Charlotte Caffey, drummer Gina Schock and bass guitarist Kathy Valentine (from Austin). 

The Go-Go’s gave the audience what it wanted at the House of Blues: “We Got the Beat,” “Vacation,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Get Up and Go,” “Cool Jerk” and the grande finale “Head Over Heels.” They sounded exactly as they did in the ‘80s…totally awesome!!

The Go-Go’s sound is timeless, not dated; it’s rock! They are fun, energetic, sassy, and when they play, you never want them to stop! They “Go Go” from start to finish.

 

After the concert, I picked up Belinda Carlisle’s autobiography Lips Unsealed; I couldn’t put it down! It is one of the most fascinating books I have read in quite some time. Her life is almost unimaginable!

She writes about being the first of seven children, her father leaving, stepfather beating her, the kids at school nicknaming her “Belimpa” and teasing her for her one outfit. Being unhappy at home, she signed up for all kinds of activities at school. She was a cheerleader and the first female on the all male basketball team. She left home at eighteen living on oatmeal, shoplifting, and trying to meet Freddie Mercury.

I appreciated her honesty and feel confident that she will help a lot of people with drug addictions. Belinda on Cocaine: “It sent me into happyland, far away from whatever else was on my mind. It always made me feel better no matter what else was bothering me.” She’s been drug free since 2005 and gives thanks to her family and friends who kept encouraging her.

I loved seeing Belinda on Dancing with the Stars. I thought she had a beautiful presence and that her exit was premature. I read that she wished she could have stayed longer too but that she didn’t enjoy being judged in such a mathematical manner.

While living in the South of France, she was inspired to make an all French album called Voila that is absolutely magnifique!

Belinda is like the Zelda Fitzgerald of California; always looking for a good time, moving from place to place to keep from being bored. Just as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife Zelda didn’t really belong to Montgomery, Alabama– Belinda didn’t belong to California; she was a product of her environment and the world…a gypsy. I bet Zelda would have partied like a rock star too!

Belinda’s tweets tell it all, she is still restless and always on the Go Go! She has been running away since she was a teenager. Nomads make perfect rock stars. It sounds very glamorous to be a jet setter and not have to be responsible for making your bed or putting away the dishes.

You can see a change in Belinda’s eyes compared to her earlier years; she’s much more mellow now. I read that she likes the discipline of yoga. I’m happy for her that she found something to give her balance.

Their debut album, Beauty and the Beat from 1981 was just the beginning of something magical. The thirty year anniversary album is a masterpiece, and even the album cover is classic! The face masks and towels show a look that all women can relate too. Five decades later the Go-Go’s still ROCK! I read Charlotte Caffey and Kathy Valentine just wrote a new song for the band…fingers crossed we’ll be seeing them sing again soon. Long live the Go-Go’s, and long live the ability to recognize and respond to inspiration in all of us!

My Let’s Have a Party friends who danced the night away with the fabulous Go-Go’s!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *