Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Go-Go's - They've Got the Beat!

"Our Lips Are Sealed" [ 2, 3, 4 ]
"We Got The Beat" [ 2, 3 ]
"Get up and Go"
"Head Over Heels"
"Vacation" [ 2, 3, 5 ]
"Turn To You"
"Yes or No"
"Mad About You"
"Can't Stop the World"
Go-Gos Montage
Go-Go's on the Tonight Show
Kids: "We Got The Beat"

When I was in high school, none of my friends would ever admit to owning a copy of a Go-Go's album, even when I inevitably found a Go-Go's album in their record stack.

It just wasn't cool to own a girl's pop bubblegum album. I always heard the same excuse about Go-Gos albums, "Oh, it belongs to my sister," "Somebody gave it to me," or "How did that get in there?"

When I took their Go-Go's albums out of the sleeves, the same tracks would invariably be worn down to scratchy obscurity, regardless of who's album it was. Songs like "We Got The Beat" and "Our Lips Are Sealed" were universal teen anthems.

You would always hear the Go-Go's played as dance music at high school parties, where a lamp always got broken, some guy always puked, a girl always cried - and the bathrooms were always occupied. Some moron would always put Yes or Journey on the stereo, and those bands would be quickly ousted for some proper upbeat dance music, like the Go-Go's. Now the party could get started!

All of the women in the band were immediately hot just because they were in an all girl rock group, but Belinda Carlisle was extra prom queen yummiliscious wonderful! She wore cut-up sweatshirts and capri pants, truncated sweaters or tiny summer dresses.

Belinda danced in her own unique "girls just gotta have fun" style. All lead vocalists have the dilemma of what to do with their hands while they sing, whether or not to dance, or tap their foot, or stand stock still - or whatever. Belinda Carlisle had her own retro-beatnik love goddess shuffle. She would swing her torso to the left and lift her right leg, and then reverse it, over and over. Sometimes she would clap or snap her fingers as well.

It sounds so simple! But it was different and playful, and she was delicious with every step! She always looked casual, fun loving and most importantly cool. Not an aloof punk rocker cool, but a "girls have way more fun than guys" cool. She knew a secret and she was letting you in on it, with a knowing sideways glance and a sly endearing smile.

The Go-Go's!

According to Wikipedia, the Go-Go's made "rock history as the first all-woman band that wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to top the Billboard charts with a number-one album."

Another interesting fact is that Go-Go's guitarist and vocalist Jane Wiedlin played Joan of Arc in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure". She helped the "Wyld Stallyns" find the key to world peace and ultimate truth! And she also helped Bill and Ted finish their history report, of course.

Oh, and a very young Rob Lowe is featured in the gender-bending 1984 music video for "Turn To You".



UPDATE: Ben Varkentine has kindly submitted three links to articles that he has written about the Go-Go's! [ "VH1 Behind the Music: Go Go's Collection", "God Bless the Go-Go's", "Happy birthday, Jane Wiedlin!" ]

UPDATE: Splotchy has a great post with a version of "Our Lips are Sealed" done by the The Fun Boy Three. Check it out!

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15 Comments:

At Tue Jul 03, 11:43:00 AM, Blogger SamuraiFrog said...

It's Jane Wiedlin for me, but otherwise, right on! Perfect music for this hot July.

 
At Tue Jul 03, 11:55:00 AM, Anonymous fairlane said...

I always saw the Go-Go's as a quasi-Punk band not "pop bubblegum."

Me like.

 
At Tue Jul 03, 12:56:00 PM, Blogger Splotchy said...

You'll get no complaint from me.

I Heart The Go-Gos.

 
At Tue Jul 03, 01:55:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

How great were the Go Go's? Super feckin' great. Excellent post Doc.

 
At Tue Jul 03, 02:29:00 PM, Blogger Ben Varkentine said...

Oh dude, we are so in the same frame of mind these days.

http://www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/g/gogos-vh1.shtml

Review of the Vh1 singles collection

http://www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/g/gogos-god.shtml

Review of the God Bless the... album.

http://varkentine.blogspot.com/2007/05/happy-birthday-jane-wiedlin.html

And wishing Jane a happy birthday a couple of months ago...

 
At Tue Jul 03, 03:23:00 PM, Blogger angry ballerina said...

fuck. Now I have this song stuck in my head. I hate you!!!

 
At Tue Jul 03, 04:46:00 PM, Blogger Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

The Go-Go's were pretty awesome. Women playing bass is pretty hot and Kathy Valentine is the personification of that. The only way she could be hotter was if she was playing bass and riding a motorcycle at the same time.

 
At Tue Jul 03, 08:17:00 PM, Anonymous Tengrain said...

I accidentally stalked the Go-Go's. I somehow or other ended up at almost all of their gigs on The Great Barbeque Tour. And Belinda spotted me from the stage and asked if I was stalking her.

One of my friends brother's went to high school with some of them, but I forget which ones.

Regards,

Tengrain

 
At Tue Jul 03, 10:37:00 PM, Anonymous Omnipotent Poobah said...

Again, I must say about the 80s, "WHAT THE HELL WERE WE THINKING!"

I liked the Go-Gos though, even if they did look stupid (even for the 80s).

 
At Tue Jul 03, 11:48:00 PM, Anonymous Tengrain said...

I just looked back at my journal: "Serious Barbeque Tour" was the name. It was throughout the southwest. It was promoting "Vacation."

Regards,

Tengrain

 
At Wed Jul 04, 06:19:00 AM, Blogger DCup said...

Never owned the album, just a couple of the 45s. The Spawn were introduced to the GoGos in the mid 1990s when Vacation was used on a RugRats episode. The song is sung by Angelica, one of the characters.

Later we got one of those compilation CDs with 80s songs and it had Head Over Heels on it. When he heard it, The Boy said "Hey,this has a song by Angelica on it!"

 
At Wed Jul 04, 08:04:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

SamuraiFrog: That's right, I hadn't thought about that. The Go-Go's are perfect summertime music! You might like Ben Varkentine's Jane Wiedlin post.

Fairlane: Yes, I think that you are right. I am just playing fast and loose with my definition. On the other hand, their sound is far more like bubblegum pop than most punk music.

Splotchy: Yay! I Heart The Go-Go's too! So glad you agree!

Dr. Monkerstein: An excellent opinion from a fellow simian. Great minds think alike!

Ben Varkentine: Those look great! I haven't read them all yet, but I posted the links so everybody can read them if they want to. SamuraiFrog should have a look at your Jane Wiedlin post.

Angry Ballerina: My humble apologies! The cure is to listen to a different Go-Go's song, and then get that one stuck in your head. At least that way you can get some variety!

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator: I love that image, Kathy Valentine playing bass and riding a motorcycle at the same time. Cool!

Tengrain: You "accidentally" stalked the Go-Go's? Hmm... What did you say when people asked about the Go-Gos albums in your record stack? My guess is that it was one of these: "Oh, it belongs to my sister," "Somebody gave it to me," or "How did that get in there?"

I think that it is really cool that you got to talk to Belinda Calisle, though! "Oh, Tengrain, are you stalking me?" I love it!

Omnipotent Poobah: You have to remember that in the 80s the Go-Gos were one of the few things that made life bearable. Think about it - there was Disco, "the Dukes of Hazard," and "Where's the beef?" I am surprised that I survived. I agree, "What The Hell Were They Thinking!"

Tengrain: I think that there are parts of this story that you are not telling me. C'mon, spill!

DCup: And the cycle of life has come full circle. What a great story! The fact that your kids like the Go-Go's gives me hope for the future generations.

 
At Wed Jul 04, 02:48:00 PM, Anonymous Tengrain said...

I proudly had the Go-Go's in my album crates. They were my favorite group as I was leaving my punk period and entering my new wave phase.

Regards,

Tengrain

 
At Thu Jul 05, 08:00:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

I still want to know how you "accidentally" stalked the Go-Go's. How did you "somehow or other" end up at almost all of their gigs on the "Serious Barbeque Tour"? I mean, you bought tickets, right? I wish I had gone with you.

 
At Sat Jul 07, 04:36:00 AM, Anonymous Kirk's Son said...

Not Punk. New Wave. Totally different head. Totally.

 

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