Bless This Mess

The Go-Go's, sweethearts of pop, move beyond old sins

They do sound current and modern. And they don't. Perfect.

Belinda talks about what "good will" the band has engendered, why everyone's rooting for the band this go-round. I suggest to her that it has something to do with the fact that the band broke up on the uphill side of fame: Talk Show, with "Head Over Heels" and "Turn to You," was the band's best, far better than Beauty(most anything by anybody's better than the forced Vacation, released in 1982). If the Go-Go's had disbanded after the second record, maybe the audience would have just said good riddance. She agrees. She regrets the band broke up at all. It was just too much too soon, and they were too stupid to handle any of it.

"I don't know what could have been or what would have been or whatever, but I do regret that we were so young and overworked," she says. "And there were all these problems. I regret we didn't handle it. We didn't know how to communicate with each other, which is something we do really well now. With all the negativity and being so uncommunicative, the band could have had more years if we had handled it right and had taken a year off. It was just so out of control. It wasn't even about the drugs. It was just out of control -- resentments, mostly, and things that could have been dealt with easily if we had taken a year off. We just had bad advice and management and guidance. It wasn't anybody's fault. That's just the way it was."

Head over heels, still: The Go-Go's return sounding 
everything, and nothing, like they did 20 years ago.
Chris Cuffaro
Head over heels, still: The Go-Go's return sounding everything, and nothing, like they did 20 years ago.

And the way it will stay -- the past, frozen in amber (and on VH1). Forget about the book you've read and heard so much about in recent years. Forget about the movie, too -- the debauched major motion picture about the life of girls go-going through men in hotels, on tour buses, wherever and anywhere. Belinda has no interest in rehashing the war stories again. Behind the Musicsquelched whatever interest she had in revisiting the past, not when there's a future ahead of this band for the first time in almost two decades.

"There are a lot of things that have never been talked about that people would find extremely interesting," she says. "But after this whole Behind the Musicthing, I started thinking twice about airing dirty laundry and going into more detail and all that kind of stuff. To be honest, a movie and a film are way down on my list. There's just so much more to think about. At the end of the day, it's just: Who cares?

"The one thing I liked about the Behind the Musicwas that it showed the origins of the band, and a lot of people think we came from a manufactured place, like a Spice Girls or Destiny's Child or something like that. But it was our concept. We did things our way. We had no idea how to play instruments, no idea how to write songs, and to come from that and then three years later have the No. 1 album in America? That's really weird. It was obviously meant to be."

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