The Go-Go's resurrect their new-wave Beat

Returning to the valley
By MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  June 1, 2011

gogos main
PUT ’EM IN THE HALL The Go-Go’s remind you: they were the first all-female band to write their own songs, play their own instruments, and have a number one record.” 

It's common knowledge that the '80s were a wild time full of big hair, good drugs, and bad clothes. But Go-Go's guitarist Jane Wiedlin isn't certain that it got so crazy that three-fifths of the all-girl new-wave outfit ended up in a bathroom stall of depravity with David Lee Roth, as the former Van Halen frontman has oft claimed.


"Honestly, we have talked about that extensively and none of us can remember that happening, so I am not saying it didn't happen because those were the wild days, but I don't remember it happening." Wiedlin is talking by phone on the eve of a Go-Go's tour that hits the Bank of America Pavilion June 9. "I do remember at the Tropicana it was female mud wrestling or oil wrestling, some crazy thing when you just go out for kicks and do something stupid. I remember seeing him at that, but that's only because I can actually remember seeing him in sort of a non-musical setting and I don't remember ending up in a bathroom stall — that's for darn sure.

"But you know," she adds, "he might have a better memory than me. It's kind of a big blur. . . . We spent an entire year on tour in America over and over again, each time we circled around in a bigger venue until the tour where we opened for the Police, which they were playing stadiums."

One of those "blur" gigs was recorded for posterity at Boston's Metro, where the House of Blues now stands, and it's included in the expansive 30th anniversary reissue of the Go-Go's 1981 debut, Beauty and the Beat, which, appropriately enough, is available in pink vinyl.

Thursday's Pavilion gig with fellow throwback outfit the B-52's just so happens to fall smack-dab in the middle of Pride Week.

"It's going to be ca-ray-zy," Wiedlin says enthusiastically. "I'm very excited; I think that's probably going to be the funnest night of the tour, so I hope everyone comes out for that — even if you're not gay or proud, I mean, if you have no pride, come out and see the Go-Go's."

Many will be surprised even to see the girls on the road, since last summer was supposed to mark the end of the band. There was a meeting, the future was discussed, and a farewell tour was mapped out. Then Wiedlin channeled her inner geek, got into a lightsaber duel in the mountains near her San Francisco home, and took a tumble off a cliff. The fall exploded her MCL, and the tour was cancelled.

"Now that a year has gone by and everyone has had a year to think about it, we all independently decided that we didn't want to call it a farewell tour because we don't know what's in the future and we don't want to totally close the door on the band," Wiedlin says. "That's not to say we're planning any huge thing in the future, but at least now we're not breaking up."

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