“The Go- Go’s”

The Go-Go’s are comprised of the following band members: Lead singer Belinda Carlisle, lead guitar and keyboard player Charlotte Caffey, bassist Kathy Valentine, drummer Gina Schock, and Jane Wiedlin on rhythm guitar. Currently airing on Showtime, “The Go Go’s” is a comprehensive documentary which charts the band’s inception in Los Angeles, California in 1978, up to the present. (As an aside: Elissa Bello was the band’s original drummer and Margot Olaverra was the original bassist, before the band achieved stardom. Furthermore, for a short time, Paula Jean Brown was in the band, when Jane Wiedlin left the group over creative differences).

The group has the distinction of becoming the first successful all female band to not only write their own songs, but also play their own instruments. Unlike other successful female acts that came before them, The Go-Go’s were not put together by a management company. The viewer will learn about The Go-Go’s humble beginnings performing at venues where they might draw a crowd of twenty people. In the early 1980s that would change, and the band played arenas and concert venues, where thousands rocked to their songs and an equal number of fans were turned away, because tickets sold out within minutes of going on sale. The Go Go’s debut album “Beauty and the Beat,” released on the I.R.S. (International Record Syndicate) label on July 8, 1981, reached No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart where it stayed for six weeks. The group’s success was not just with their American fan base, The Go Go’s also achieved international fame. (As an aside The Go-Go’s were nominated at the 24th Annual Grammy Awards for the Best New Artist Award. The group lost to two time Grammy winner Sheena Easton).

Featured throughout the documentary’s 98 minute runtime are candid interviews with the band members, as well as others. For example, Gina Canzoneri, the band’s manager for many years. She was replaced with a management company, with many clients, something, which, over time, the band would collectively come to regret. For fans of the group, stories behind how some of the band’s hits were written, such as “We Got the Beat” is discussed, as well as the making of the music video for the song “Our Lips Are Sealed.” 

The documentary premiered on January 24, 2020 at the Sundance Film Festival. The film was directed by Emmy nominee Alison Ellwood (American High).

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has glaringly kept the Go-Go’s out, despite stellar album sales. Furthermore, and perhaps an even more important reason the band deserves to be inducted, is their significance to music history. Highly recommended for fans of the band and those who enjoying learning about music history.



About robbinsrealm

I was born in Smithtown, New York, and grew up, worked, and lived in various areas of Long Island before moving to Boca Raton, Florida where I now make my home. In addition to being an aspiring writer, I am also an English teacher. I have a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master’s Degree in Education, both from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. In my spare time you will find me engrossed in books, watching movies, socializing with friends, or just staying active.
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6 Responses to “The Go- Go’s”

  1. My dream was to be a Go-Go. I love them! Great post, Robbin.

  2. terrepruitt says:

    Ha. I recently heard one of their songs and it reignited my love for them and I asked for Beauty and the Beat for my birthday. I have been playing it ever since. It is stuck in my head. I was singing it as I started to read this post and I went, “What? Huh?” I don’t have Showtime, but maybe it will air on another channel eventually. I had forgotten that one of the “big” things about them was the all female, write their own songs, and play the instruments. I remember that now, it was a big deal! Thanks for the memories!

  3. ninvoid99 says:

    I saw the doc and thought it was really good. I heard the new song of theirs in full and thought it was amazing. Much better than the shit that is out there right now. The fact that they’re not in the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame (along with many others) is proof that it’s a bullshit organization. “We just inducted Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, and Linda Ronstadt!” So? That still doesn’t matter as it’s easy to forget that it’s a ceremony founded by aging queen who runs a magazine that has no relevancy in popular culture for more than 30 years (and I didn’t even bother nor care to read their list of the 500 greatest albums of all-time) as well as a bunch of out-of-touch music critics who don’t know shit about music. The fact that Depeche Mode are about to go in despite the fact that Rolling Stone magazine had never gave them a good review (until a few years ago) is proof of why it’s such bullshit. I hope when the Go-Go’s do get inducted, they give Jann Wenner not just the finger but to tell them to suck their dicks.

    • robbinsrealm says:

      I loved your comment. I must write that it is one of the most entertaining I’ve ever received since I started robbinsrealm.wordpress.com.

      Thank you very much for reading and commenting, it’s greatly appreciated.

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