Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Girl Groups, Part 1: The Go-Gos


Despite some eventful occurrences (the fall of the Gadhafi government in Libya, the 5.8 earthquake that shook Washington, D.C. and New York City, and the news that my brother had joined the Mormon church in July), I'm still going to commit to a week of reviewing Girl Groups, with accompanying music videos. I did it last year for Boy Bands, so now, its the girls' turn.

The first Girl Group I'm featuring are The Go-Gos, which was a late-70s / early 80s band. The youngest of my dad's brothers is only ten years and ten days older than me. Because he was a teenager at that time, I was exposed to The Go-Gos, one of the groups that he liked (Rush and Devo were the other two bands he liked). I remember how he loved to give me a ride in his Pinto, speeding up the hills of Atchison, Kansas, turning the volume up just as we got to the top of the hill and started the descent. It was wild and I loved it! He would do this with The Go-Gos "We Got the Beat" song.

I find that song only mildly okay. They had a few other hits, though: "Our Lips Our Sealed", "Vacation", and my personal favourite: "Head Over Heels." This girl group had five members and they played their own instruments. The two most famous members were Belinda Carlisle, the lead singer who enjoyed a successful solo career in the late 80s; and Jane Wiedlin (my personal favourite because she's absolutely adorable) who scored a hit single in 1988 with "Rush Hour" (one of many songs that helped make 1988 the best year in music for me). Jane Wiedlin also played Joan of Arc in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

Watching some of their videos, its amazing how tame (or lame?) they are. I remember seeing signs on bars that said "Go-Gos" while we drove around Bellevue / Omaha in the mid-80s and I actually thought the band was performing there. I had no idea that Go-Gos was a term for dancers / strippers, so I'm sure it horrified my parents when I spoke of liking the Go-Gos.

While they are the first all-female band that I was exposed to, they weren't my favourite. The more fascinating Girl Groups would hit the charts shortly afterwards. As a bonus, I'm including Jane Wiedlin's awesome "Rush Hour" video, where she swims with my favourite animal: dolphins! Wiedlin is absolutely adorable in this video. Then again, I'm a real sucker for pixie-ish women with short hair (but still remain quite feminine). I think she is considered a "one-hit wonder", even though she had a great album with Fur, in which several songs could have made it on the charts.

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