Thursday, May 7, 2009

That Band

File Under: Why, after all these years, they matter to me

This is a selfish post. I'm entitled to one ever so often. Read on if you wish.

I've been a fan of The Go-Go's for a really, really long time. The first time I saw them in concert was in 1982, on their Vacation tour. On Saturday April 25th, I saw them again, my 30th concert.

At first I would go to shows, stand there, dance, scream my little teen head off and pretend I was at the best party I'd ever been to. Then I got wise and started bringing a camera with me to shows. So I'd scream and dance and take blurry pictures. The best (blurriest!) were the ones snapped with my Disc camera. Remember those?? Digital photography came along and my pictures got a little better. Perhaps if I stood still when I took pictures they would get better.

The nice thing about my digital camera is that I can now capture video. I've become really good at standing still and keeping the camera stable. I've been able to compile some great song clips that capture the band doing just what it is that makes me a fan.

The show on April 25th was special in a lot of ways. The House of Blues was strangely lax on their "NO PHOTOGRAPHY" rule. So, I'm going to share the fruits of my labor with you, and share a little story with you about each.

My first video was for a song called "Forget That Day," a song that was long rumored to be the one that broke the band up in 1984. Jane wrote it, wanted to sing lead on it and it was decided that Belinda should. Jane's backup vocals are prominent in the original recording. They haven't performed the song live in 25 years. Jane explained that they don't get together often enough to record new songs so they like to treat their fans with some of their lesser-performed songs from their catalog and this song was chosen. Excellent choice because the performance was haunting and beautiful. The lyrics are so sad. Mind you, I had just decided that it was safe to take video so I only have the second half of the song, but you get enough of a feel for the song. My lens setting was a little close and once taping starts, it's fixed for the entire recording.

Charlotte is the blonde, off to the left, she plays keyboard and lead guitar. Gina's in back, on drums. Kathy works just to the right of Belinda, she plays bass. Jane is the little firecracker off to the right, on rhythm guitar. As you'll see later on, she's very active and moves around a lot on stage.

This next clip is a song that Jane brought to the band. She recorded the song "Cool Places" with new wave band Sparks. A couple years ago, The Go-Go's added it to their set. It's a true duet between Belinda and Jane, and they have fun performing it. Check out Charlotte's groovy synth in the song. Totally 80's! And in the total rockstar move, after Belinda finishes her strut at the start of the song, she gets behind her mic stand, turns and tosses her hair with a flip of her head. HOT!

They often bring to each new "tour" a remake, and this time they did their own version of the Rolling Stones song "Mother's Little Helper." This showcases the talents of the entire band. Dig Belinda's ittle walk during the instrumental bridge. LOL

This next song is one they've been performing in concert since they began as a band, it's one that they made their own. "Walking in the Sand" was originally done by a girl group called the Shangri-Las and when the Go-Go's introduce it, they always pay homage to them, giving credit where credit is due.

(note to Joy, if you watch this video, notice that she's swiveling her hips, she learned that on DWTS! Len would be proud.)

Finally...I promise this is the last one, is their song "Our Lips Are Sealed." This was a hit for them back in the winter of 1981. It's one they have to do in concert and one that they enjoy doing, as evidenced in this video. Forgive the opening couple of lines, Belinda was having problems with feedback in her monitor so she was distracted and off-key. She gets right back into it. BUT...the part of this video that totally sums them up for me is after they last line is sung and the band just jams for another minute or so. Belinda's banging her tamborine, Jane, Kathy and Charlotte are bouncing around on stage and they play with one another. It's the fun that I saw the first time I saw them in concert, 27 years ago. It's the fun that brings me back again and again. It's my happy place. :)

(note the extra lyric in the live version. This was written into the original song but not recorded on the album. They always perform this version in concert)

Well, if you made it this far, whether you watched the videos or not, I thank you. I don't expect that a light bulb will go off above your head and you'll suddenly be a life long fan. I just hope that perhaps you'll find it cool or it'll make you smile. And smiling is good.



Kristina said...

Thanks for sharing these (from another life-long fan--since they opened for the Police--unable to go to their mini-tour).

Jimbo said...

Glad you liked them. It's always a gamble, seeing how they'll turn out. These turned out surprisingly well, audio isn't too distorted. Wish the video was a bit clearer but I can't complain considering I didn't think I'd be able to grab video in the first place.