'The Go-Go's' Documentary Proves They've Still Got the Beat Directed by Alison Ellwood
Published Jul 30, 2020In late '70s Los Angeles, the influence of England's punk rock scene filtered its way through the city's streets. It's here where clubs like the Rainbow, Whisky A Go-Go and the Masque dominated America's up and coming music scene, and showcased everyone's next favourite bands waiting to be discovered.
The new documentary The Go-Go's showcases the importance of LA's punk scene and how it shaped the band's career. Directed by Alison Ellwood (Laurel Canyon, History of the Eagles) fans learn how Jane Wiedlin, an average scene kid who designed her own punk clothes, met Belinda Carlisle, an aspiring musician and short term drummer for the legendary punk band the Germs. It wasn't long before the two formed the Go-Go's and by 1979 their lineup would be finalized with the additions of Charlotte Caffey on lead guitar, Kathy Valentine on bass and Gina Schock on drums.
While the band initially tried to hold onto their punk rock roots, it was Charlotte Caffey's "We Got The Beat" which saw the Go-Go's realize their new wave pop music potential. The band's debut album reached No. 1 on Billboard and saw them continuously break down barriers in a male-dominated industry.
The film delivers essential footage from the band's earlier days and dives deep into the financial issues that plagued the band. With underlying tones of drugs and depression, the film gives an important reminder about the potential consequences of fame. Although the film doesn't present anything different from your average music documentary, its still a must watch for any fans of LA's punk rock scene and the new wave movement of the '80s. Additional value comes from the lessons the band learned through their tough financial and managerial decisions, which ultimately led to their initial break-up in 1985.
Despite the band's troubles, Alison Ellwood has given fans an inside and honest look at the past, while still building up the band for their future. With the Go-Go's set to release their first new single in nearly 20 years, the film provides an introspective look on a new beginning for America's most pivotal all-girl band. The Go-Go's changed the way women were perceived in music and will continue to hold their place in pop music history.
The Go-Go's premieres on July 31 at 9 p.m. ET on Crave.