Concert Reports


The Go Go's

05/03/2012, Chumash Casino Resort

From their halcyon days as America’s sweethearts to their current status as superstars who pioneered a genre, The Go-Go’s preside over an amazing three-decade reign as high pop priestesses. The internationally-loved pop hitmakers helped cement the foundation of the early 80′s pop-rock sound without the aid of outside composers, session players or, most importantly, creative compromise. From their very first show, The Go-Go’s sang and played their own songs, offering five feisty role models for a generation of ready-to-rock girls and good, hooky fun for pop-loving guys.


 All Photos: Gary Lambert/

Very Special Thanks: Hildy Medina

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GoGos10.jpgTheir story truly is a punk version of the American Dream. They came, they saw and they conquered the charts, the airwaves and, with their kicky kitsch appeal, pop culture in general. For a while, the band was virtually inescapable: TV guest shots, magazine covers, high-profile concert tours and movie offers turned Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin, Charlotte Caffey, Gina Schock and Kathy Valentine into certified rock stars. Their sparkling California pop appealed to an astonishingly wide cross-section of music fans.  

The double-platinum-awarded Beauty And The Beat reached number one and begat Vacation in ‘82 and Talk Show in ‘84 during the ladies’ charming reign of chart and radio smashes. And, like any truly classic rock band, their enduring hits including “Vacation,” “Head Over Heels” and “Turn To You” live on in countless compilations, movie soundtracks, remakes and, yes, even a string of very successful television commercials.

Having accomplished more in just a few years than most bands could ever imagine, The Go-Go’s were inactive for the last half of the 80′s, splintered in various directions with each member busy with solo projects and real life. The groups legacy was rekindled in 90 when The Go-Go’s reunited for a charity show.

In ’94 the rejuvenated musicians contributed three new songs and extensive liner notes for the career-retrospective Return To The Valley of The Go-Go’s. The band had also returned to sporadic touring by that time, occasionally revisiting the frivolity of the early 80′s on stage while depressing grunge continued to rule rock radio. In 2000, their raucous and rocky off-stage history, often re-told and colorfully embellished, was unflinchingly presented in a very popular episode of VH-1s Behind The Music series with an accompanying greatest hits collection. Behind The Music: The Go-Go’s Collection continues to be a strong-selling catalog item.


At this point, most bands would have happily settled into obscurity or would have desperately flung themselves into futile and embarrassing updates of their sound. But not The Go-Go’s. On the strength of the VH-1 special, God Bless The Go-Go’s, an all-new collection of songs was released in 2001. A stack of glowing reviews soon followed backed by a triumphant tour, later immortalized in the exciting DVD, Live In Central Park.


Today, with the original hitmaking lineup intact, The Go-Go’s live shows continue to deliver every bit of the raw energy of their now-legendary punk beginnings, tempered with the wisdom of three decades of pop perfection. They have no need to change their sound to try to be modern or current or wander off on some trendy tangent. Why should they change a thing? Now, as in ‘81, no one sounds like The Go-Go’s but The Go-Go’s.  


The whole world may have lost its head, but in a world gone crazy, The Go-Go’s still have the beat. And now, three decades after the release of their first album, go-go music still makes us dance!  

All Photos: Gary Lambert/

Very Special Thanks: Hildy Medina

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