The Go-Gos are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They’ve had a musical tribute on Broadway. They’ve played the biggest stages in the world. And, lest we forget, they were the first all-female rock group ireach the top of the Billboard Top Pop Album chart with their Beauty and the Beat.
But now, Go-Gos Kathy Valentine and Gina Schock face their biggest challenge: hearing their confessional books read aloud for a hometown crowd.
An in-person event celebrating Valentine’s All I Ever Wanted (Jawbone Press) and Schock’s Made in Hollywood: All Access with the Go-Gos (Black Dog and Leventhal) will be held April 1 starting at 8 PM at The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles. Actress Beverly D’Angelo will be conducting a reading from both books, and Spectrum News journalist and creator of Vintage Los Angeles Alison Martino will conduct a converation with Valentine and Schock.
Gina Schock: There were many good bands around during that period of time, but one of them that really stood out to me was the Weirdos. I felt like they never got the recognition they deserved. Their songs were so catchy, and they had great melodic vocal hooks and just as memorable guitar hooks. The lyrics were smart and timely, and everyone in the band was really good looking. It mystifies me why they never became hugely successful. But timing is everything, and who knows how and when that plays out.
Kathy Valentine: Good question! There were so many good bands, across many genres that did get noticed. But I agree with Gina on the Weirdos being somewhat overlooked. They were a fave. The Plimsouls should have been bigger, and X should be a household name.
DEADLINE: Do the crowds that come out to see you now come for the same reasons that the fans did at the beginning?
GS: I am not coming from a fan’s perspective, so I don’t know if I’m completely qualified to answer this. But I would imagine it’s for the songs and the feelings they evoked when we were younger and still do these many years later.
KV: I don’t think they come for the same reason, but they probably like it for the same reason. People know who we are, they know our songs now. At the beginning, the Go-Go’s were part of a scene. Musicians and fans both were super supportive of that scene. We all showed up for each other and kept it vital and happening. DEADLINE: What’s on the concert rider now that you wouldn’t have expected way back when?
KV: Kombucha. I would have thought that sounded disgusting way back when.
GS: Actually, it’s more like what isn’t on the rider these days. No more hard liquor, only one or two bottles of wine. No meats, mainly vegetables. We’re not spring chickens anymore, and so we really pay attention to what we put in our bodies.
DEADLINE: What’s the difference between being in a band and being in an act with dancers?
GS: First off, we are a rock band. We don’t use dancers to reach our audience. We do quite well with no pyrotechnics and no elaborate stage productions. We are just a band that reaches our audience through our music. There are no distractions. When we play, you are watching the five of us on stage, grooving our hearts out.
KV: These 2 entities are completely different, one is a collective of trained people carrying out choreography to music. The other is a collective of trained people playing music on instruments, very likely music they have composed themselves.
DEADLINE: Do you envision pulling a Rolling Stones and being on the road in your late 70s?
GS: I’d love to think of us playing into our 70s. If the Stones can do it, so can we. We still look and sound pretty damn good. Our shows are full of energy, and it’s contagious. But I am only one voice out of five, and we will address this when the time comes. Personally, I’d like to be on stage playing when I take my last breath.
KV: No, the Stones tour with private jets and police escorts and countless staff and personnel, and play from a catalog of like 30 albums. The Go-Go’s are a lot of fun with some great songs that people enjoy, but there is a much more limited amount of material to choose from, and while we aren’t roughing it, it’s pretty grueling and hard on us. I think of it like how you might think a good holiday is camping when you’re young, but then you get older and would rather have a nice hotel on the beach.
DEADLINE Someone once said that writing about music is like dancing about architecture. Having been through both sides, do you agree?
KV: I’ve written about music, and it’s hard. My hat is off to people who do it for a living. But I don’t agree with that statement. Good writing can take a reader anywhere.
GS: I absolutely agree with Kathy, especially that good writing can take the reader anywhere, transporting them to another time and place.
DEADLINE: You can add two people to the band’s lineup, male or female. Who gets the nod?
GS: Joan Jett, because she is a really good writer and a badass guitar player and performer. She would complete the picture beautifully. Another person would be Kate Pierson of the B-52’s, because she could take our vocal sound to another level. The combination of her and Belinda would be mighty. I respect and adore them both. Can you imagine what the addition of Joan and Kate would sound like? Whoa!
KV: I’d invite some male energy into the band to sing, write and play. Like Johnny Marr and maybe a cool multi instrumentalist, an unknown, any gender will do.
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