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The Go-Go’s on Being Brats and Fighting Rock ‘n’ Roll’s

When the Los Angeles based mostly band the Go-Go’s was on the prime of the rock world within the 1980s, there have been simple labels to explain the 5 younger ladies who had been the primary all-female band to play their very own devices, write their very own songs and hit No. 1 on the charts.

“They would always describe us as cute, bubbly and effervescent,” lead singer Belinda Carlisle mentioned on theWrap’s studio at Sundance Film Festival, the place director Alison Ellwood’s documentary “The Go-Go’s” premiered in January. “It was very superficial and it didn’t describe who we really are.”

“It’s such a ready-made hook,” bassist Kathy Valentine added. “It fits into the general myth of Cinderella and Prince Charming. We were Cinderella and the public was Prince Charming, and they just embraced the myth of this scrappy little band. It fit with the archetypes — the gender boxes, I like to call them.”

Ellwood’s movie breaks the archetypes and describes who the Go-Go’s actually had been: a troublesome band of onetime punk-rock misfits whose cleaned-up music was a pop delight, however whose success ended prematurely with infighting and drug dependancy.

In a Wrap evaluation of the movie, Todd Gilchrist wrote, “‘The Go-Go’s’ tackles the seminal all-female ’80s rock band with such honesty, openness and effervescence that it not only rises above that clichéd, almost telegraphed arc but transcends the ranks of other music documentaries to offer a story you desperately want to keep watching, even when you already know where it’s going.”

And as somebody who completely knew the place the movie was going, I can vouch for the accuracy of Gilchrist’s phrases. Mind you, I’m biased: I’ve identified the Go-Go’s since 1981, earlier than the Sundance Film Festival existed, once I interviewed them for the Los Angeles Times as their debut album, “Beauty and the Beat,” was about to be launched. The following yr, I went on the highway with them and wrote their first Rolling Stone journal cowl story; it sported a canopy picture of them in white underwear with the dismissive headline, “Go-Go’s Put Out,” which is mentioned within the movie.

The band — Carlisle, Valentine, Charlotte Caffey, Gina Schock and Jane Wiedlin — talked about that within theWrap studio, which was the primary time in a long time I’d seen them collectively as a gaggle. They additionally mentioned the tough elements of creating after which viewing the documentary, together with scenes the place their unique supervisor, Ginger Canzoneri, describes being solid apart for a big-name administration agency that continues to be unnamed within the movie (however, Schock admitted on this interview, was Irving Azoff’s Front Line administration firm).

“As you grow up and as you get older, you learn about empathy, and I think there was a lot of lack of it, certainly on my part,” Carlisle mentioned of the choice to push out Canzoneri. “That part of the documentary did make me feel really bad.”

“We were kind of brats for a while there,” Schock added.

“It’s not an excuse, but we were working our asses off,” Caffey mentioned. “And when you don’t have that balance in your life, it can really mess with you. That’s not an excuse for bad behavior, but it affected us, all in different ways.”

Making the movie, although, has introduced the band nearer as they put together for a summer time tour collectively. “The documentary has opened up many other levels of healing and forgiveness that I think are really important for us as we go on,” Valentine mentioned. “It’s so important to let go of the old stuff and embrace what we are.”

“We’ve gotten grateful,” Shock mentioned. “I think that’s the word.”

“The Go-Go’s” will air on Showtime but in addition went to Sundance on the lookout for theatrical distribution.

See extra of the dialog within the video above.

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