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Home Inside the Go-Go's vicious, drug-fueled ride to fame

Inside the Go-Go’s vicious, drug-fueled ride to fame

The Spice Women and the Pussycat Dolls could be nothing with out the Go-Go’s.

Fashioned in Los Angeles in 1978, they had been an all-women band that, over simply seven years, wrote and carried out among the finest remembered songs of the 1980s: “We Obtained the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “Trip.” All unforgettable.

No all-girl rock band had ever scored a No. 1 album till the Go-Go’s did with 1981’s “Magnificence and the Beat.” Self-formed, with no highly effective man behind them, they made the duvet of Rolling Stone scantily clad with the headline “Go-Go’s Put Out” and had been bubbly fixtures of MTV in its earliest days.

The boundary-breaking Go-Go’s had been driving excessive. So, why had been they so depressing?

A brand new documentary, “The Go-Go’s,” premiering Friday on Showtime, runs down the band’s rocky historical past: the inventive clashes, the messy breakups and, most pervasively, the drinks and medicines.

The enduring picture of the “Trip” music video, with the ladies on water-skis carrying pink swimsuits and white tutus, was an apt depiction of the band, because it seems. The colourful Go-Go’s had been being dragged alongside by speedy fame — and belly-flopped.

Go-Go's
The Go-Go’sGinger Canzoneri/Courtesy of SHOWTIME

The women — Belinda Carlisle, Margot Olavarria, Elissa Bello, Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Caffey — began out innocently with the objective of constructing an all-girl punk group filled with self-proclaimed misfits. “We hated society and our household, however we supported one another,” Wiedlin says within the doc.

However by 1985, the Go-Go’s had been enormously profitable and widespread. The temper had modified.

“There could be quite a lot of questions on what our relationship with one another was like. [We’d answer,] ‘Oh, we love one another. We’re like sisters!,’” says Wiedlin. “Yeah, sisters who f–king stab one another within the again.”

The cutthroat perspective got here with making extra money. The primary signal of discord was once they compelled out unique member Margot Olavarria, who was livid the band was shifting from rebellious punk to extra bankable pop.

“My identification is punk,” Olavarria, the founding bass participant, says within the doc.

Jane Wiedlin and Belinda Carlisle
Jane Wiedlin and Belinda CarlisleMelanie Nissen/Courtesy of SHOWTIME

Gina Schock, the drummer who rapidly changed Bello, says, “Oh yeah, Margot, f–ok man. She hated it. She was, like, ‘I don’t wanna be a f–king pop band. I’m in a punk band! And I feel the remainder of us had been like, ‘That is evolving, so f–king get with it or get out.’”

Olavarria contracted hepatitis A and was swapped for the better-known Kathy Valentine. She wouldn’t be the final to go.

Between the dramas there was enjoyable. Lots of enjoyable. Their lips could have been sealed, however their nostrils had been vast open.

In 1984, drummer Schock found she wanted to have open-heart surgical procedure to restore a congenital defect. Hardly registered MDs, the ladies determined to take her for a blowout weekend in Palm Springs, Calif., “in case she croaked,” Wiedlin says. The principles? Schock was allowed booze, Valium and mushrooms — however no cocaine. They didn’t need her to have a coronary heart assault.

A flyer for the Go-Go's' gig at the Rusty Nail, Sunderland, MA on Aug 19, 1981.
A flyer for the Go-Go’s’ gig on the Rusty Nail, Sunderland, MA on Aug 19, 1981.Courtesy of SHOWTIME

“A complete weekend of debauchery,” says Caffey, the guitarist and keyboardist.

The band was usually wasted onstage and on TV for hundreds of thousands to see. Throughout their first look on “Saturday Night time Reside” in November 1981, guest-hosted by Bernadette Peters, the go-go-getters began boozing vivid and early.

“Let’s have a toast! Champagne!,” says Valentine. “After which lunch time. Let’s have some wine. So, then you definately wanna steadiness it out, you wanna raise issues up a bit. So, magically the blow seems.”

By the 11:30 p.m. broadcast, “we had been like cross-eyed drunk,” Schock says.

The substances, nonetheless, weren’t all the time a celebration. Because the Go-Go’s turned extra well-known, Caffey bought a secluded home within the Hollywood Hills and developed a full-blown heroin dependancy, largely unseen by the opposite members.

Charlotte Caffey, Gina Schock (drums), Belinda Carlisle, Kathy Valentine (bass, behind Belinda Carlisle's head), Jane Wiedlin in 1981.
Charlotte Caffey, Gina Schock (drums), Belinda Carlisle, Kathy Valentine (bass, behind Belinda Carlisle’s head), Jane Wiedlin in 1981.Cassy Cohen/Courtesy of SHOWTIME

“Charlotte tended to isolate herself fairly a bit,” says Carlisle. “She had a complete secret life occurring. We knew it most likely wasn’t good.”

In addition to being the keyboardist, Caffey was the Go-Go’s most prolific songwriter, having composed “We Obtained the Beat,” “Head Over Heels” and “Trip.” She attributed the delays within the group’s 1984 third album, “Speak Present,” to author’s block.

“Charlotte was so uncontrolled that Ozzy Osbourne threw her out of his dressing room,” says Schock. “That’s fairly f–kin’ unhealthy.”

A involved Paula Jean Brown, the band’s new bass guitarist, had an outsider’s perspective and satisfied Caffey to lastly test into rehab in 1984 after a live performance in Rio de Janeiro.

Brown had not too long ago changed Wiedlin — the eccentric author of “Our Lips Are Sealed” — a change that marked the start of the group’s finish. Wiedlin wished to sing a really private track she’d written for the brand new album known as “Overlook That Day,” however the others insisted that the glamorous Carlisle ought to all the time be the lead singer. To today, she is probably the most identifiable Go-Go.

“She got here to us, and we simply mentioned, ‘No,’” says Valentine.

The GO-GO'S director Alison Ellwood at the Whisky a Go Go.
The GO-GO’S director Alison Ellwood on the Whisky a Go Go.Jules Kueffer/Courtesy of SHOWTIME

“Considered one of them mentioned, ‘What makes you suppose you’re adequate to sing the track?,’ ” says Wiedlin, nonetheless miffed.

There was already discord, however the remaining straw was when the band’s administration firm advised the ladies that the publishing royalties for “Speak Present” could be divided evenly among the many group, though Wiedlin had written a lot of the songs.

“After which I mentioned, ‘F–ok you, I give up,’” she says.

The Go-Go’s broke up not lengthy after that, and the members didn’t communicate for 5 years. All of them gave solo careers a shot, however solely Carlisle hit it large with the one “Heaven Is a Place on Earth.”

The holiday didn’t final lengthy. Regardless of the fisticuffs, the group reunited in 1990 and, with occasional hiccups — “irreconcilable variations,” lawsuits, a Broadway flop — proceed to tour right now.

Kathy Valentine, Jane Wiedlin, Gina Schock, Charlotte Caffey and Belinda Carlisle of The Go-Go's backstage at The Rolling Stones gig in Rockford, Illinois on October 1, 1981.
Kathy Valentine, Jane Wiedlin, Gina Schock, Charlotte Caffey and Belinda Carlisle of The Go-Go’s backstage at The Rolling Stones gig in Rockford, Illinois on October 1, 1981.Paul Natkin

Supply: nypost.com

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James M. Lowe
Explorer. Passionate creator. Typical writer. Tv guru. Freelance thinker. Web maven.

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