The Go-Go’s Get Star on Hollywood Blvd: All Girl Band Broke Stereotypes. And The Top 40!


Today, over thirty years after their first gig, The Go-Go’s got a star on Hollywood Blvd, right outside the Masque where their first rehearsal took place in 1978.

The Go-Go’s were the first band to come out of the LA punk scene to break Billboard’s Top 40. And, more importantly, The Go-Go’s were the first all-female band to top the charts who wrote their own music and played their own instruments. Their debut album, Beauty and the Beat, held the number one spot on the Billboard chart for six consecutive weeks and went triple platinum, selling over 3 million copies.

The Go-Go’s have inspired generations of female musicians to take up instruments, write songs and perform, as well as being muses to all genders with their DIY spirit and utter coolness. Additionally, the band supports numerous charities. Guitarist Jane Wiedlin, a licensed clergyperson, officiates same sex marriages and loudly supports the LGBT community, as well as supporting Bowling for Boobies, a breast cancer support charity.

Friends and fans got the beat.

Hundreds of fans, surprised and happy tourists, long time punk stalwarts, and friends of the band turned out, including Abby Travis (bassist for Beck, Elastica, Spinal Tap, KMFDM, and The Bangles, and a singer/songwriter on her own who was motivated as a teen by the Go-Go’s); Jeff McDonald (Redd Kross); Jennifer Schwartz (Desperate Teenage Love Dolls); author/actress and world renown bellydancer Pleasant Gehman aka Princess Farhana, who co-starred in the 2009 film Stuck! with Wiedlin; filmmaker/artist John Roecker; music industry faces Gary Stewart, Cary Baker and Jay Boberg; Blondie Drummer Clem Burke who delivered the band’s introduction speech; and Los Angeles councilman Tom LaBonge who read a proclamation declaring August 8, 2011 as Go-Go’s Day in Los Angeles. Hollywood isn’t La Bonge’s district–it belongs to Eric Garcetti, the deputy mayor, who kinda has his hands full. LA is a mess.

But it’s easy to forget our city’s woes on a day like today, with a blue sky, palm trees blowing in the breeze, the Go-Go’s hits wafting through the sound system, and friends celebrating the success of a band that came from our town, helped define the 1980s, and broke the mold.

After the Go-Go's got their star, they went to the Masque where they first played, and Jane and Belinda added a little something to the walls.

Photos: 1: Lisa Derrick; 2: John Roecker; ceremony video: Kim White


31 Responses to "The Go-Go’s Get Star on Hollywood Blvd: All Girl Band Broke Stereotypes. And The Top 40!"
Jane Hamsher | Thursday August 11, 2011 09:16 pm 1

A long way from the Mighty Mab.

No videos of the Mabuhay showsYouTube. But one for “Head Over Heels” did come up. Talk Show is one of the greatest pure pop albums of all time, and as I recall it was not considered a success at the time. Too bad. It stills holds up all these….Jesus, 25 years later.

Think I’ll go over to iTunes and pick it up. Good way to celebrate.

Teddy Partridge | Thursday August 11, 2011 10:47 pm 2

Thanks, Lisa, great report.

mzchief | Friday August 12, 2011 05:24 am 3

I felt like I was there, Lisa. Thank you! And, congratulations to The Go Go’s. They are a long time favorite!

Our Lips Are Sealed” – The Go Go’s (1982)

demi | Friday August 12, 2011 05:25 am 4

Is this the official morning post? Or am I in ga ga land?
If you can’t be on the thread ya want, blog the post you’ve got. Or something like that.
Any other morning peeps here?
I’m confused. Again.

mzchief | Friday August 12, 2011 05:30 am 5
In response to mzchief @ 3

Pardon me! That song was 1981 as it is from the album, “Beauty and the Beat.” ;-)

oldnslow | Friday August 12, 2011 05:35 am 6
In response to demi @ 4

Good morning.

Thanks Lisa!

AppleCanyon2 | Friday August 12, 2011 05:39 am 7

Good morning everyone.
I was going to say something about Mittens, but I do not want to ruin the music.

demi | Friday August 12, 2011 05:39 am 8

Hey OandS,
I can’t even play the video right now. It’s too dang early here. No one else is awake in this house. The only thing I can do is go wash some dishes, I suppose. Woo Hoo.

SouthernDragon | Friday August 12, 2011 05:40 am 9
In response to demi @ 4

Lady Gaga land?

demi | Friday August 12, 2011 05:45 am 10
In response to SouthernDragon @ 9

Mayhaps, as you say.
Is this Our way of saying we don’t need No Steenking Straw Poll chatter? (There’s a funny photo up at huffington with Michelle hands in front of her mouth. I can’t tell if she’s blowing air kisses or blowing on her nail polish.

RevBev | Friday August 12, 2011 05:48 am 11
In response to demi @ 4

Im here….I left a rant on the earlier post about Dennis Miller…that’s my morning yuk….Yesterday he was making mawking humor on his radio time about the woman attacked by the chimp…HOW low can you go?

SouthernDragon | Friday August 12, 2011 05:49 am 12
In response to demi @ 10

Saw that. Or mayhaps admiring the results of backstage handjobs.

demi | Friday August 12, 2011 05:51 am 13

Yuk indeed. Dennis is so pompous and oily. Another talented person who was seduced by the dark side.

demi | Friday August 12, 2011 05:52 am 14

Republican hand lotion?

RevBev | Friday August 12, 2011 05:55 am 15
In response to demi @ 13

Pompous & Oily: Perfect. Just add Cruel: I really had not known him until he started showing up on my car radio…

demi | Friday August 12, 2011 05:57 am 16
In response to RevBev @ 15

You don’t remember him from Saturday Night Live? ‘Course that was all in character and scripted. He was funny then. Not so much, now.

RevBev | Friday August 12, 2011 06:01 am 17
In response to demi @ 16

Not so much…guess age does not agree with him.

demi | Friday August 12, 2011 06:02 am 18

Now here’s a nice story.
Workers win lottery on day of lay off notices.
What do you mean there’s no god? C’mon! (You guys know I’m kidding.)

RevBev | Friday August 12, 2011 06:05 am 19

Perry about to get in; Axelrod saying the Iowa folks did not address “the middle class”….What irony.

pineywoodsfats | Friday August 12, 2011 06:22 am 20

An interesting historical factoid–

The nation’s first all female radio station was WHER in Memphis–”the all girl station”–which had all female dj’s and announcers and played mostly female artists. I remember in the 60′s my dad would always listen to it.

It was founded by Sam Phillips in 1955–the owner of Sun Records who recorded Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Howlin Wolf, etc.

RevBev | Friday August 12, 2011 06:37 am 21
In response to pineywoodsfats @ 20

Thanks. Looks like you were living there…fascinating stuff. I have seen some of the Elvis Docs where Phillips is always featured….The times they were achangin’….Looks like you and your dad were there.

msmolly | Friday August 12, 2011 06:48 am 22
In response to demi @ 4

Hi, Demi and everyone. I am not a whit interested in Hollywood or the Go Gos but it looks like this is where the action is.

I miss Morning Swim. *whiiiiine*

msmolly | Friday August 12, 2011 06:51 am 23
In response to demi @ 13

Our campus performing arts center is featuring LARRY Miller in September. I had to go look, because I don’t know either Larry or Dennis Miller and momentarily I was afraid it was Dennis coming here. Yuk.

msmolly | Friday August 12, 2011 06:52 am 24

Keep losing the “Reply” and having to refresh. WTF? Are we “broken” here this morning?

RevBev | Friday August 12, 2011 07:17 am 25
In response to msmolly @ 23

And I don’t know Larry either…So?;)

frandor55 | Friday August 12, 2011 07:30 am 26

In the early 80′s I worked in a Record Store (LP’s etc) .We played the Go-Gos a lot in the store. The store was in a working class neigborhood, so opened up the ears to those who normally would buy Journey, Foreigner etc.

carguy308 | Friday August 12, 2011 08:13 am 27

There aren’;t many guys my age that don’t have Belinda Calysle on their “short list”. Her layout in Playboy at age 42 was spectacular and should be an inspiration for all women that age.

P.S. Perhaps “layout” was a poor choice of words. Let’s say “pictorial spread”.

P.P.S On second thought, “photo-journalist feature article”.

Larue | Friday August 12, 2011 01:06 pm 28

How totally kewl! Go Go’s Got Star! Go Go’s Got Beat!

I still get all dizzy n my heart twitterpates for them gals whenever I hear or see that song . . .

Great post Mz. Derrick n thanks much!

Go, Go Go’s . . . *heartsbelinda*

laurastrand | Friday August 12, 2011 04:49 pm 29

Great post Lisa,
How wonderfull life is with Go go’s in the world!
Oh, how I pine for the days of yore when we could bp on down to SF South of Market venues for cutting edge music that didn’t segregate or discriminate. And radio was still local, live and not yet corporatized/sanitized/profitized.
And to think that we thought the Reagan 80′s were as low as we could go human-wise.
Their well-deserved Star will forever be part of Herstory!

pineywoodsfats | Saturday August 13, 2011 11:10 am 30
In response to RevBev @ 21

Yeah, I was born in Memphis in 1951.

DonWilliams | Sunday August 14, 2011 01:57 am 31
In response to laurastrand @ 29


Well, anyway, congratulations to the Go-Go’s. That’s a well-deserved honor in an appropriate place.

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