This town continues to fall before The Go-Go’s. The pop-punk quintet was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on October 30, and the musical The Go-Go, Head Over Heels, starring Lea DeLaria and RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Alaska 5000, running at the Pasadena Playhouse through December 10.
Lead singer Belinda Carlisle, 63, said: “People think you two were put together by Simon Cowell. We don’t know how to play an instrument, how to write songs, how to do anything. And going from there in 1978 to being able to become the biggest band in America in 1981 – that’s an amazing feat. ”
Carlisle and bandmates Jane Wiedlin, Charlotte Caffey, Kathy Valentine and Gina Schock are currently rehearsing for a number of year-end days that culminate in New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas.
But to get audiences closer to the new wave goddesses, Carlisle is hosting a fundraiser on December 16 at WeHo’s The Abbey for Animal People Alliance, which saves homeless animals in India. and Thailand.
Co-hosted by Drag racing alum Trixie Mattel, the event will feature “an ensemble of songs,” said Carlisle, who invited her Go players to participate. Tickets for the event are available here.
Carlisle chats with The Hollywood Reporter about the great Go renaissance.
Hi Belinda. Where are you these days?
I live in Thailand, but we left Thailand in June because it was getting crazy, so we are only in Mexico City because we love it and will probably return to Thailand in a few months, I will speak. Bangkok. We were there for about seven years. It is a wonderful city. Aesthetically, it’s not the prettiest city – but the energy is great, never boring. I’ve always wanted to say it’s a cross between Disneyland and the Wild West. Perfect combination.
Very interesting. So I guess you’ve got enough LA
I haven’t really lived in LA since 1994 because I was in France for over 20 years, and then we tried to go back to LA to live but the culture shock was too great, so we left. and go. to Thailand. I married a fellow gypsy, [producer Morgan Mason, son of James Mason]. We have been married for almost 38 years and we have lived in seven countries. We can work from anywhere and with the internet, we can do anything. So we’ve lived everywhere from France to Austria, India, Thailand to Morocco. It goes and comes back. That’s what we love to do and immerse ourselves in different cultures.
Tell me a little bit about your animal charity.
I started an animal project in Kolkata, India, in 2014 called Animal People Alliance, and it was a double mission. It creates care for Indian street animals but at the same time provides employment to stateless people or those at risk of falling below the poverty line, or trafficked women.
We have also expanded into Northern Thailand and work extensively with the hill tribes of Northern Thailand. And since 2014, we’ve treated over 16,000 animals, so that’s a huge success. So I’m doing this fundraiser, a Christmas party, and 100% of the proceeds and admission will go to Animal People Alliance. It’s December 16 at The Abbey in West Hollywood and starts at 7:00pm
And will you sing solo and play Go there?
I’m gonna sing a few songs, but yeah, I’m singing a little bit. Will be fine. It will be really, really good and perfect for the holidays.
Is there any chance for any of your old Go-Go band members to show up and take the stage with you?
I’ve invited them and I know we’re rehearsing, so maybe they’ll show up. I do not know.
What do you mean, “We’re rehearsing”? What’s happening?
We have Go-Go performances at the end of the year and the Microsoft Theater on December 29th, then we have San Francisco, San Diego and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in Vegas, so that’s it. what we are rehearsing for.
And what will happen when you get back together? Your life has changed a lot over the years, but you share this unique, amazing art and journey.
It’s like riding a bicycle. It’s like no time has passed and we’re just starting over where we left off, very dynamic, equally funny. It’s the same energy. While we all have our own lives and do different things, when we get together, it’s a certain kind of energy that we can’t really replicate anywhere else.
You have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year…
A few weeks ago. Yes, it’s great. It was a great evening and I’m still pinching myself.
When I read that I liked, they weren’t in it? I consider you to be one of the most important bands of all time.
I think it’s a personal matter. I know. And like I’ve always said, you don’t have to like the music but you can’t deny what we’ve achieved because we don’t know how to play instruments, how to write songs, how to do anything and since 1978 and probably the biggest band in America in 1981 – that’s an amazing feat.
I think the documentary [2020’s The Go-Go’s, available on Showtime] really made it possible. It was really a game changer for the band when it came to getting people’s attention and getting Rock Hall’s attention, because most people didn’t know the story. People assume you’re a Simon Cowell, but when people realize we’re put together, we’re from the LA punk scene… a lot of people don’t know that and they’re really surprised. I think telling that story and getting it out there really helped us get featured this year.
You are a template for the kind of band I wish there was more of. I feel like maybe Haim is holding the torch for you guys, but I wish there were more DIY girl punk rock groups. It’s a great niche of the music world, but stands next to everything any of the boys have done.
Yes. It’s strange. I love Haim. I think it’s mostly a lack of realism in the music, you know? And I think people, when they find artists that have something unique and special and obviously aren’t packaged and put together, people respond to that. They really love that kind of thing. I’d love to think it’s coming back into fashion as DIY, coming from an organic place. I think people really crave that.
A version of this story first appeared in the December 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to subscribe.