The Go-Go's: 8 reasons they've still got the beat

It’s not hard to forget that the Go-Go’s entered the pop music stage with a little snarl to go with their visual allure when they sprang from the Los Angeles punk scene in the early ’80s. They toured with the hard-edged ska band Madness and released a demo version of their hit album “Beauty and the Beat” on the iconic British punk label Stiff Records. For many a soul walking around with safety pins decorating their ears, the Go-Go’s were a very secret guilty pleasure.

Flash-forward 30 years (30!), and the pleasure is unapologetically out in the open. With the band performing Saturday night at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, it’s time to acknowledge the reasons we appreciate the Go-Go’s, then and now.

Best-selling: As it says on their website, the Go-Go’s are “the most successful female rock group of all time,” which sounds like hyperbole, but stands up to scrutiny. Their triple-platinum debut, “Beauty and the Beat,” is one of Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest albums of all time, and the single “Our Lips Are Sealed” made the list of the magazine’s 100 best pop songs ever.

Trailblazing: The Go-Go’s were inevitably softened as their handlers at IRS Records began to see dollar signs. Which was not entirely a bad thing. Arguably, if not for the Go-Go’s there would be no Breeders, Bangles or Bikini Kill, no Vivian Girls or Dixie Chicks. There may have been Josie and the Pussycats, but likely no Pussy Riot.

Fashion forward: Most young women of the early '80s who were taking their fashion cues from pop culture were walking an awkward tightrope between rock and punk and disco and smooth jazz and "Tootsie."  The Go-Go's popularized some new ideas on how to match Doc Martens and a peasant dress and pearls. This was a good thing. Recent onscreen appearances show they've still got style.

Belinda, candidly: Belinda Carlisle’s 2010 memoir, “Lips Unsealed,” was a revelatory account of her demons and drug additions, with one scene in which she is chastised for her cocaine use by John Belushi. Her candor was impressive and instructive.

“Sedated” revived: The tour set list includes the crowd-pleasing “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Head Over Heels” and “We Got the Beat,” but also a sly wink to their roots with the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated.”

Starstruck: They are enthusiastic tweeters, where their regular-girl attitude shines through. A recent Twitter shout-out: “Well aalllriighht! @duranduran is our newest follower! That doesn't suck!”

Where their hearts are: The Go-Go’s newest project is raising money for K9s for Warriors, which trains shelter rescues to be service dogs for veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injury. The program gets prominent display at Facebook.com/gogosofficial.

She Jane: For us, Jane Wiedlin has always been the more kookily subversive attraction. She has her serious side, too, and raises money for a variety of charities by selling stage-worn clothes. A new effort includes an eBay auction for a stage-worn Uhura Star Trek costume to benefit breast cancer research. Info: Facebook.com/JaneWiedlin.

THE GO-GO'S
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28
Where:
Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, 5550 NW 40th St.
Cost:
The show is sold-out, so check with your favorite secondhand-ticket broker.
Contact:
954-977-6700 or SeminoleCasinoCoconutCreek.com

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