The Go-Go's

The Go-Go's

Infobox musical artist |
Name = Go-Go's
Background = group_or_band
Birth_name =
Alias =
Origin = Los Angeles, California
Genre = Pop, Rock, New Wave, Teen pop, Pop punk
Years_active = 1978-1985
Label = Sony BMG Music Entertainment IRS Records
Associated_acts =
URL = []
Current_members = Belinda Carlisle Jane Wiedlin Charlotte Caffey Kathy Valentine Gina Schock
Past_members = Paula Jean Brown (1985) Margot Olaverra (1978–1980) Elissa Bello (1978–1979) Vicki Peterson (temporary tour member, 1994)
Eve Monsees (temporary replacement for Jane, 2008)
:"For the 1960s band, see The Go-Go's (1960s)."The Go-Go’s are an all-female American Pop band formed in 1978. They made rock history as the first all-woman band that both wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to top the "Billboard" album charts.

The Go-Go's rose to fame in the early 1980s. Their debut album, "Beauty and the Beat", is considered one of the "cornerstone albums of new wave" ("Allmusic"), breaking barriers and paving the way for a host of other new American acts. In the beginning, they played primarily pop punk, and later defined themselves with the distinct sound of 1980s rock. The Go-Go’s had five U.S. Top 40 hits. Musical influences include the Ramones, Shangri-Las, Buzzcocks, Beatles, Beach Boys, and Blondie.


Original incarnation (1978–1985)

Formed in Los Angeles in 1978, the Go-Go's initially consisted of Belinda Carlisle (vocals), Jane Wiedlin (guitar, vocals), Margot Oliveira (bass), and Elissa Bello (drums). They were formed as a punk band, and had roots in the L.A. punk community; they shared a rehearsal space with X, and under the name "Dottie Danger", Carlisle had briefly been a member of punk-rock band The Germs. (Due to illness, she left The Germs before playing a gig.)

The band started out playing at seminal punk rock venues such as The Masque and the Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles. Charlotte Caffey (lead guitar, keyboards) was added later in 1978, and in the summer of 1979, Gina Schock replaced Bello on drums. With these line-up changes, the group began moving towards their now more-familiar power pop sound.

In late 1979, the band recorded a 5-song demo at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, and in 1979 and 1980 supported the British ska revival group Madness in both Los Angeles and England. The Go-Go’s subsequently spent half of 1980 touring England, earning a sizable following and releasing the demo version of "We Got the Beat" on Stiff Records, which became a minor UK hit.

In December 1980, original bassist Margot Olaverra fell ill and was replaced with Kathy Valentine, who had played guitar in bands such as Girlschool and the Textones. (Valentine had no prior experience playing bass and learned in four days.) The Go-Go’s signed to I.R.S. Records in April 1981. Their debut album, "Beauty and the Beat", was a surprise hit and topped the U.S. charts for six weeks. "Our Lips Are Sealed" and a new version of "We Got the Beat" were extremely popular singles in North America in early 1982.

The follow-up album, "Vacation", sold well, and spawned another top 10 US hit with the title track. However, the group was forced to go on hiatus when Schock underwent surgery for a congenital heart defect.

1984 saw a return to critical acceptance with the harder-edged Martin Rushent produced album "Talk Show", but sales were less successful than their prior albums. Still, album tracks "Head Over Heels" and "Turn to You" were both top 40 hits in the US.

Nevertheless, personality conflicts and creative differences were also taking a toll, as were (it was later revealed) drug addiction problems for some band members. Jane Wiedlin announced her departure from the group in October 1984. The band sought a replacement for Wiedlin, and finally selected Paula Jean Brown as their new bassist, with Valentine moving to lead guitar. This line-up debuted at the 1985 Rock in Rio festival, playing two shows, but Carlisle and Caffey soon realized their hearts were no longer in the group and decided to disband the Go-Go's in May 1985.


In 1990, the Go-Go's "classic" line-up (Caffey, Carlisle, Schock, Valentine, Wiedlin) reunited to play a benefit concert for the California Environmental Protection Act, a 1990 ballot initiative. This led to more show dates later that year. The band also entered the studio with producer David Z to re-record a cover of "Cool Jerk" for a greatest hits compilation.

In 1994 the same line-up got together again to release the 2-disc retrospective "Return to the Valley of the Go-Go's", which featured 3 new recordings. A single pulled from the album, "The Whole World Lost Its Head", only 'bubbled under' on the US charts at #108, but became the band's first and only top 40 hit in the UK, peaking at #29. The band toured again to promote the release; ex-Bangle Vicki Peterson stood in on several dates for Caffey, who was pregnant.

In 1997, Schock sued the other members of the group, claiming that she had not been properly paid for her contributions since 1986, and that a songwriting agreement with Caffey had been breached. The suit was resolved by 1999 when the band reunited for a brief tour, and they finally began to put their personal differences aside as well.

In 2001, the band (still with the "classic" line-up) released an album of new material, "God Bless the Go-Go's". The album was well-received by critics, though sales were low. ['s Go-Go's career on I.R.S. Records with gallery, international discography] ]

The Go-Go's have toured regularly since 1999, though they currently have no plans to release any new material. In 2008, in an interview with "Stuck in the 80s", Wiedlin said: "We have no set plans at the moment, and every year it seems to get a little more complicated trying to get together to do stuff. We are now living in FIVE different places, which makes it a real challenge to get together. Still, we love to make music, so anything could happen." [ [ Stuck in the '80s | Archives ] ]

olo careers

* Belinda Carlisle After the initial split in 1985, became the most commercially successful solo artist of the band's alumnae, scoring a string of mainstream pop singles in the late '80s, including the #3 US hit "Mad About You" (co written by Paula Jean Brown) and the number-one single "Heaven Is a Place on Earth". In August, 2001 Carlisle appeared in a nude layout, including a cover photo, in that month's issue of Playboy Magazine. In the UK and Europe she became even more successful, continuing to score top 10 hits through the 1990s.

* Jane Wiedlin released several solo albums including "Fur", which featured a successful single, "Rush Hour". Wiedlin also took acting roles in movies such as "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure", "Clue", and "", as well as doing cartoon voiceovers and a 2005 appearance on the VH1 show "Surreal Life". In 1995 Wiedlin formed a band called froSTed (the capital ST paid homage to "Star Trek"), which released an album, "Cold", before disbanding in 1998. In 2000, Wiedlin started her own label, Painful Discs, to release her solo CD "Kissproof World".

* Charlotte Caffey worked as a songwriter and session musician for Carlisle, and then in 1990 formed a band called The Graces for the album "Perfect View". After the Graces disbanded, she briefly formed a group called Astrid's Mother. Caffey and Wiedlin also performed several acoustic sets in 1997 as Twisted and Jaded.

* Gina Schock released a self-titled album in 1988 with her band House of Schock, and later formed the short-lived group K-Five.

* Kathy Valentine returned to her blues-rock roots with a band called the Blue Bonnets, which morphed into the Delphines. (Schock also joined the Delphines as drummer.) Valentine also released a debut solo CD, titled "Light Years", in September 2005.

Current projects

Jane Wiedlin is currentlywhen at work on a new solo album. Belinda Carlisle recently appeared as a judge on the VH1 show "Rock the Cradle" and toured during the summer of 2008 as part of the "Regeneration Tour" with the Human League and ABC.


Chart positions for hits in the U.S. may be verified on RIAA-Recording Industry Association of America's official website [ [ RIAA - Recording Industry Association of America - August 08, 2008 ] ] , while the source for chart positions in the UK is "The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles" ["The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles" by Paul Gambaccini, Tim Rice & Jonathan Rice, London, Guinness Publishing.]


* "Beauty and the Beat" (1981) #1 U.S.; RIAA: 2x Platinum
* "Vacation" (1982) #8 U.S.; RIAA: Gold
* "Talk Show" (1984) #18 U.S.
* "Greatest" (1990)
* "Return to the Valley of the Go-Go's" (1994)
* "" (2000)
* "God Bless the Go-Go's" (2001) #57 U.S.



* "Totally Go-Go's" - live 12/1981 (1982)
* "Wild at the Greek" - live concert (1984)
* "Prime Time" - music video compilation (1985)
* "Live at Central Park" - live concert (2001)


External links

* [ Planet Go-Go’s]

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