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Monday, Oct 20, 2014
Arts & Music

Go-Go’s still got the beat as they head to Ruth Eckerd Hall


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Jane Wiedlin is surprised that the Go-Go’s are still going now that each member of the band has passed the half-century mark.

“It’s hard to believe,” Wiedlin said during a phone call from Los Angeles. “Back in the ’80s, I never would have thought we would still be in this band at this point, but it’s been such a blast playing these songs with my friends. I look back at our early days proudly.”

Wiedlin, 56, should swell with pride. The Go-Go’s became the first all-female band to play their own instruments and write their own songs, which topped the Billboard singles chart.

“It’s a pretty cool accomplishment,” Wiedlin said. “But what I think is even cooler is that the songs still have appeal.”

The jangly “We Got the Beat,” the hook-laden “Vacation” and the well-constructed “Our Lips Are Sealed” still hold up a generation later.

“It’s amazing that 30 years have passed, but the fans still want to hear those songs,” Wiedlin said. “We’ll play those songs as long as there is an audience.”

Fortunately fans still want to hear Go-Go’s’ tunes since the Los Angeles-based band, which formed in 1978, have made only four albums.

“It’s about quality, not quantity,” Wiedlin said. “I’m just happy we’re together.”

Four of the five original Go-Go’s will perform Saturday at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Bassist Kathy Valentine departed in 2008.

So Wiedlin is flanked by vocalist Belinda Carlisle, guitarist Charlotte Caffey and drummer Gina Schock. “I still feel so connected to everyone in this band,” Wiedlin said. “I love working with them. I have great memories writing songs with Charlotte. We really wrote some memorable songs, which have stuck around.”

The funky Wiedlin is still creating. She’s working on a solo album and a play, “Lady Robotica,” which is based on her comic book. “I’m busy, and that’s a good thing,” Wiedlin said. “I’m going to get this play up in San Francisco and see what happens. It’s great to have so much on my plate. But it all starts with the Go-Go’s. I’m as passionate about playing our songs as I was back when we were just starting out. We have a busy summer.”

The Go-Go’s will be performing throughout the season on the Replay America tour, which features such ’80s denizens as Patty Smyth of Scandal fame, Martha Davis and the Motels and Naked Eyes.

“The demand for the ’80s just won’t go away,” Wiedlin said. “I get it. Some of the best music ever came out of the ’80s.”

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