The days and weeks after a SongwritingWith:Soldiers retreat can be a difficult time…
- Posted on Jun 4th 2011 10:40AM by Kenneth Partridge
Gareth Cattermole, Getty Images
"Thirty years ago, five ragamuffin punk-rock girls came to your city and made 'Beauty and the Beat,'" guitarist Charlotte Caffey told fans at a packed Irving Plaza, referring to the 1981 debut album the group is celebrating with this latest tour.
"Some of the things we can tell you," Caffey added, hinting at the trouble she and her band mates -- then oats-sowing 20-somethings -- might have gotten into while making the record. "Some of the things we can't."
Thanks to Vh1's 'Behind the Music' and lead singer Belinda Carlisle's memoir, 'Lips Unsealed,' much of the salacious stuff is public record. Friday night, the Go-Go's rightfully focused on the music: a fizz-bomb blast of distorted guitars, surf-rock riffs, lovelorn lyrics and bubblegum melodies that, three decades later, is very much back in style.
Why descendents like Best Coast and the Dum Dum Girls haven't kick-started a much-deserved indie-rock revaluation is anyone's guess.
Although the quintet didn't play 'Beauty and the Beat' in its entirety, as other bands commemorating classic albums often do, the ladies offered nine of the 11 tracks, including the hits 'Our Lips Are Sealed' and 'We Got the Beat,' which ended the hour-long set. Somewhere in between, Caffey reminisced about staying at New York's Wellington Hotel and even remembered which suites the group occupied.
"That's where we did the bathtub shots!" Caffey said, most likely referring to the 'Beauty and the Beat' cover -- which features the ladies wrapped in towels, wearing beauty masks -- and not some wild drinking binge, although one never knows.
While Caffey and rhythm guitarist Jane Wiedlin -- adorable as ever with her 2 Tone tie and mussed peroxide locks -- traded stories about the old days, Carlisle feigned indignation, as if all the looking back was straining her neck. Earlier in the show, she noted how "scary" it is to begin stories with "Thirty years ago," joking, "We were all 5 and 6 back then."
Clearly, the Go-Go's know the best way to stave off old-age jokes it to make them themselves. That explains their cover of the Rolling Stones' 'Mother's Little Helper,' which opens with the line, "What a drag it is getting old." Afterward, Wiedlin chimed in with the night's best one-liner.
"I love the Rolling Stones because they're one of the only bands out there older than us," she quipped. "Oh!"
Win an Autographed Copy of the Go-Go's' 'Beauty and the Beat'