The Go-Go’s guitarist Charlotte Caffey is having a Sally Field moment as she recalls the last time the band played together, two and a half years ago, and the reception it received.
“Everywhere we go we’ve always had a great reception,” Caffey told The Flint Journal. “We always get baffled. People still like us. They really like us. I think the thing is we really have a great time playing on stage. I think that people really feel that. So I guess we put on a good show. We don’t have a lot of dancers. We don’t have all that stuff. We just have the music. That’s what we can offer everybody.”
The Go-Go’s, along with co-headliner The B-52s, will serve up relentlessly catchy pop tunes while playing DTE Energy Music Theatre on June 16. The two bands have played together on numerous occasions, so it acts as a reunion of sorts.
“Oh my God, we played with them about 10 years ago,” Caffey recalled about The B-52s. “It was some of the best shows ever. I really felt like the audience got their money’s worth because it was such a great pairing.
“We met them, I think it was 1979 at the Peppermint Lounge in New York. It was really long ago. I remember really well I was just staring at Cindy (Wilson) and Kate (Pierson), their outfits and their hairdos. It was like, ‘Oh my God. These girls are so cool.’ Fred (Schneider) is awesome. It’s really nice that we’re going to get some dates in with them.”
The tour, dubbed “Ladies Gone Wild,” celebrates the 30th anniversary of The Go-Go’s debut album “Beauty and the Beat,” which was re-released May 17 as a digitally remastered and expanded collection. The commemorative edition is available in a two-CD package and in two digital collections featuring the remastered original album plus exclusive, previously unreleased concert audio recordings from 1981. On the same date, the remastered original album was reissued on pink vinyl with replicated original artwork.
“Little did we know (as) little baby Go-Go’s that 30 years later we’d still be playing together,” Caffey said with a laugh. “It’s a real thrill for us.
Caffey — who is joined in the band by lead singer Belinda Carlisle, drummer Gina Schock, rhythm guitarist Jane Wiedlin and bassist Kathy Valentine — said she can’t believe it’s been 30 years since the release. But time goes by quickly.
“Boom and you’re like decades later,” she said. “It’s great. I just feel so lucky. I love these girls and we just have a blast together. We’ve had our ups and downs and right now we’re having a blast.”
Those downs include a premature announcement made in 2010 of a farewell tour that summer. But those July plans were derailed when Wiedlin tore her ACLs in both knees after falling while on a nighttime hike. That forced the quintet to rethink hanging up its instruments. Caffey said the band hasn’t been happier.
“It’s interesting how divine intervention happens,” she said. “Jane had her hiking accident and we re-evaluated everything and we were like, ‘No, no, no, no, no, no. This is silly.’ That was, I believe, divine intervention.”
The Go-Go’s, who may begin writing new songs, is considered one of the cornerstones of the new wave movement. Formed in 1978, The Go-Go’s made history as the first all-female band that wrote its own songs and played its own instruments to top the Billboard album charts. Caffey explained the thrill of being considered an influence by fellow female bands.
The band had a series of splits over the last three decades. However, maturity has led to the longevity of The Go-Go’s, said Caffey, the daughter of TV director Michael Caffey, who helmed such shows as “The New Adventures of Wonder Woman,” “CHiPs” and “The Dukes of Hazzard.”
“I do believe the music keeps us coming back. We really enjoy playing it,” she said. “And the fans. They’re going to get a great show. I think the older we get, the better we perform. We sound better than we ever have. It’s weird. I was listening to the recordings of when we played last and I thought, ‘God we really sound good.’ “
June 10, 2011