In the early 1980s the pop world went head over heels for the Go-Go’s. But the groundbreaking all-female Los Angeles band that lit up the charts with “We Got the Beat,” “Head Over Heels,” “Vacation” and “Our Lips Are Sealed” broke up in 1985, after a tumultuous seven years, a period captured by director Alison Ellwood (music docs Laurel Canyon, History of the Eagles) in the Showtime documentary The Go-Go’s. Out now in digital formats, the film will be available as a two-disc DVD on Feb. 26.
The Go-Go’s never really went bye-bye. Belinda Carlisle, Charlotte Caffey, Gina Schock, Kathy Valentine and Jane Wiedlin recently released “Club Zero,” their first new single in 19 years, and booked a tour expected to run June 18 through July 11. They made history in 1981 with their debut, Beauty and the Beat, the first No. 1 album by an all-female band. It topped the Billboard chart for six weeks and sold more than 2 million copies.
Singer Belinda Carlisle, 62, who enjoys a successful solo career between ad hoc Go-Go’s reunions, spoke about the band’s history from her home in Bangkok.
Reservations about making the documentary
We vacillated and were hemming and hawing back and forth for about a year. We all loved Alison’s Eagles documentary, but we were scared about having everything up there on the screen as the definitive story. We liked the idea, but it was a hard decision to make.
Collaborating on ‘Club Zero’ in lockdown
It was challenging. There were three or four months of virtual songwriting, with everyone in a different place. We had never done that. Communicating by email is not easy. Songwriting is personal, and you have to be very sensitive about it. With email, even if you write something flat, it can come off as testy. We have complicated dynamics, so there was extra care to make sure that no one’s feelings were hurt. “Club Zero” felt like a perfect Go-Go’s song. It was timely. It has the Go-Go’s humor.