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Interview:
Go-Go's are "Head Over Heels" with good reason, 5 Things to Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Thursday, May 13, 2021

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Thanks to a just-announced Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, the Go-Go's have plenty to be "Head Over Heels" about these days.



The first self-contained all-female band to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart (with 1981's "Beauty and the Beat") was already on a roll during the past year. The documentary "The Go-Go's" aired on Showtime last summer, accompanied by “Club Zero," the quintet's first new song in 19 years. Bassist Kathy Valentine published a memoir, "All I Ever Wanted," and on Friday, May 14, an expanded edition of its last album, 2001's "God Bless the Go-Go's," comes out.



As Valentine notes, "We've outlived the Go-Go's haters," but these days there's no reason for anything but love for the group...



• The Go-Go's is one of three acts -- along with Foo Fighters and Jay-Z - making it into the Rock Hall on its first induction. "I feel like we've always been underdogs," guitarist-keyboardist Charlotte Caffey notes. "We were underdogs with the Rock Hall as well, for years. It just feels really, really good and we're celebrating ourselves and other women. It's a great thing." Drummer Gina Schock adds that, "I never thought about anything like this happening. I'm in a little e bit of disbelief. I guess it is happening. Like Charlotte said, we've always kind of been underdogs. I never imagined this."



• Valentine, meanwhile, says the honor is a testament to the work the Go-Go's did across its four studio albums. "The bottom line is the songs. The songs are good. They're classic songs. They have withheld decades. You can hear a Go-Go's song on the radio and it doesn't sound like it's coming from 1982. We very much had a chemistry...and it's still there. It doesn't change. If you have the songs and the chemistry and the timing...there it is, y'know?"







• "God Bless the Go-Go's" was the band's first album in 17 years, following a 1985 break-up and a reunion five years later. "I'm really excited that it's getting a second life," Valentine says. "I always thought it was a victim of timing and circumstance. Musically and sonically it really, really did the job well for continuing what the Go-Go's were about 17 years later. So I was proud of it at the time, and I'm still proud of it. It's funny how many of the deep cuts from "God Bless the Go-Go's" show up in the musical ('Head Over Heels'). I think it holds up."



• Among the "God Bless..." tracks was "Unforgiven," co-written and recorded with Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong. ”Green Day was at a very high peak of their career, so to have him contribute felt like a validation or recognition," Valentine says. "It was just cool to have someone from the next generation, if that's the right term, especially because we felt like the sensibilities of our two bands were pretty similar."



• The Go-Go's is waiting to reschedule tour dates postponed by the pandemic but is planning to attend and perform at the Rock Hall induction Oct. 30 in Cleveland. But Valentine says there are no plans at the moment to work on any more new material for the band. "There's no talk about it. It’s probably not gonna happen. Having said that, this band is constantly surprising me. I've learned that if I expect or pine for things I'm probably gonna be frustrated and disappointed. So I tend to get on with my life, and if something happens cool with the Go-Go's, it's like a great present. But there's no talk of (new music), and it seems unlikely. I don't think anybody wants to uproot and leave their homes to be in one place together right now. But we do have a lot going on for a band that can't seem to get together to make a record."

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