Why the Go-Go’s ‘Flipped Out’ About Their Rock Hall Induction
The question of whether the Go-Go’s would be able to perform at the upcoming Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony has finally been put to rest. Drummer Gina Schock tells UCR during an exclusive interview that while they were initially "flipped out," everything is sorted and all five members will be in attendance.
When this year’s inductees were initially announced in May, fans realized that Go-Go’s vocalist Belinda Carlisle was already booked for a solo performance overseas on Oct. 30, the same night the group was being enshrined.
Schock says they moved swiftly to eradicate the issue. “Oh my God, we were flipped out,” she tells UCR. “Belinda was flipped out. She was having a fit. But we just left it up to management to take care of it. I just tried to put it out of my head, because I just wouldn’t let myself go there.”
Calling it a “once in a lifetime event,” the drummer knew there was no point in getting worked up about the conflict. “You do all of this fretting and worrying and then it just sort of takes care of itself, doesn’t it?” she laughs. “That’s the way it is with just about everything with this band.”
Foo Fighters guitarist Pat Smear name-checked the band during a recent Rolling Stone interview, recalling that the Germs, the Los Angeles punk band in which he cut his musical teeth, shared an unsavory reputation with the Go-Go’s, who were beginning their hard-fought ascent to stardom but still slugging it out in the local clubs.
“When the Germs first started, we were known as the worst band with the worst musicians in the L.A. scene,” Smear told the magazine. “We got better, and the Go-Go’s picked up that title, which is what I love about this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions.”
“You know, he knows, we all came from that punk scene. Nobody was giving us any props back then, but we were part of a scene that was exploding,” Schock explains. “We kept getting bigger followings and we kept practicing more and more. We got better and better at what we did. Things just started happening.”
Decades later, both sides are having the last laugh, as the Go-Go’s nab their Rock Hall induction at the same time Smear is going in as a member of the Foo Fighters.
Schock remains unapologetic about the band's early days — quite appropriate for a bunch of punks — an ethos that remains an important part of their DNA. “We were just who we were. We couldn’t be anything else. We weren’t great musicians,” she says. “We didn’t try to pretend that we were. We would just go out on stage, play our songs and have a great time [and] interact with the audience.”
Wrong notes be damned, it didn’t matter to their fans, who took to what they were doing in a big way. “Our audiences, they always just loved whatever we did,” Schock explains. “You know, Belinda singing off-key, so fuckin’ what! Nobody cared.”
“It still happens,” she adds. “Nobody’s perfect, you know?”
An avid photographer from her earliest days of going to see her favorite bands — a dizzying list that includes the Who, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and nearly any other classic rock band you might want to name — Schock kept her camera busy throughout the glory years of her own band as well.
Made in Hollywood: All Access with the Go-Go’s showcases four decades of moments from her collection, paired with written recollections from Schock, her bandmates and musical peers. As actress Jodie Foster outlines in her own memories for the book, the group had fun during its reign of terror in the ‘80s. “It was an instant pajama party with those wild, mouthy girls,” she writes.
The Go-Go's released “Club Zero,” their first new music in nearly 20 years, last year, in connection with a documentary about the band. They’ve got shows on deck later this year following the Rock Hall induction, and Schock admits that she’s always surprised how the band carries forward, moving past any farewell plans or obstacles that might pop up.
“It won’t go away,” she says, when looking at how achievements and projects continue to build and add to the group’s legacy. “We’re a family and we’re close. We really are. We put up with a lot of crap from each other, but ultimately, we always iron it out and work together. We really do. Everybody cares about each other in this band, I think.
It’s the music that ultimately fuels those everlasting friendships, melting any tense moments. “It fades away, when you actually get in the room with somebody and pick up your instrument and start playing,” she says. “You start smiling and feeling good. Like, this is what we’re here to do, let’s do it!”
Listen to Gina Schock's UCR Interview