Goldmine: The Go-Go's Charlotte Caffey
Listeners are probably familiar with that song. That's we got the beat by the all female rock band the go go's from their nineteen eighty, one album beauty and the be it's a song written by Guitars Charlotte Caffey and Kathy will be the guest on this episode of the Gold Mine. PODCASTS. This is Patrick Prince editor of Gold Mine, the Music Collectors magazine since Nineteen, seventy four and you go my man dot com to find out more Charlotte caffey will be energy for this episode she'll talk about their debuted down we got the beat and the new. Documentary about the go-goes simply titled the go go's which will air on showtime in August. There's lots of the story of the go-goes they weren't manufactured in the IRS records. Corporate Warehouse Band were a part of the Los Angeles punk scene for some time their members were big part of the scene for years before the go go's were even officially ban Charlotte along with vocalist Belinda Carlisle Gina schock on drums, Kathy Valentine on Bass Jane wildland on Guitars and former members basis, margot delivery era, and drummer elissa Bella whereas punk as anyone on that scene in La. was only later that the band decided to add more of a pop flavor to their music now had kathy. Valentine on the podcast before promoting her autobiography book, WE'LL Have Charlotte you've heard angle the Gogo Story. But first, let's give a chance to save on records with this Promo. Art has value. That's right. Go to Dekel Entertainment. Dot. COM and save ten percents off at checkout with code gold mine artists like Angel, the vibrators, White Lions. Might. Tran. Andrews Steve Walls and. That's ENTERTAINMENT DOT COM. Past. Charlotte caffey calling. You. Thanks for being on time. On Rock I'm so on time all the time. So what do you think about? The documentary. First of all, I, love it I feel happy with it. I think that. Alison ellwood is amazing storyteller and really whoa the story in a way that shows who the band is not like. Not like the you know. Vh One behind the music it just showed like, oh, they fight and they have you. Know. Who Cares I mean you're in a relationship you know, of course, you're GONNA have a down to specially over forty years. So you know it's I. Loved it. I. Thought it was really really well done and I'm really really happy and excited for people to see it and it also shows are beginning in the punk. Scene that a lot of people don't know. I gotta say that is Life favorite part because I was turned onto music specifically your band the is. That I didn't know about before now in on a record collector. I look ton disc to see if there was any is vinyl and there isn't much. There's a seven inch in Something with the dicky's when you guys played live. But YOU'RE GONNA turn onto new sounds. Well it's it's interesting because in documentary Kathleen Hanna Talked about I have no idea like that. She knew like you know don't talk to me. You know that song that was that we was on a single I B I think we were on the. Flip side of a single on what records and and I was really happy and she even started singing a was amazing and I think we've actually in the same t we even more amazing. I was like Oh, my God. Dot Com. Really. I got the right before and it has a dawn on me I call him gone from break but dj bomb break, and then he went you joined ex- when we started breaking up and then I go goes we're forming at that point and I. You know they were looking for members and they knew made it. See me play and Approached me and I said, yeah sure. I'll join your band. Reformed the goes. Yeah. Now. Did you so you must have. I mean there's a line in there that the go's one of happen if. Weren't for La punk scene. So you must have it was a community, right? You knew all the bands I didn't grow up another time I grew up in east coast. So I always wondered you know what it was like in that scene, you know with the germs and acts and other bands. So you pretty much hung out with that whole. All those people, Right Yeah. Yeah. The The math the underground club to grow That one that looks kind of like Ground Zero for. I think in late seventy, seven there's A. I think that they started having shows. I know that the is played one of the first. Show there and It was a really exciting I have been in a couple of different bands prior out this. Kind of just having fun but you know the eyes of the first ones where. We got play at you know some really cool places and. We I don't know it was just a A very cool moment in time. I'm always grateful about part of that. We have so much fun I mean the mouth was just in saying it was like. You go down the stairs. That's why the fire. Department. Would always shutdown shows such a fire hazard. And it's a big cement room. So you can imagine the acoustics and there always like crazy and inevitably at the end of every weekend, there'd be broken toilets and like you know it was just an and that's where we rehearse too. So the most I remember we shared a room with the most excellent and the motels we kind of. You know rotated are. Times of rehearsing and It was a very, very, very creative, very free time. You know it was like all about self expression that the punk rock movement and that's exactly what happened there. I was. Saying how Jane said that she felt power powerful for the first time in her life probably because You know it's there's sort of this liberating creativity to it where you didn't have to follow the rules, you just express yourself. Right now no roles and that's why you know Belinda. Started thinking about forming ban they were like, well, we'll just put all girl band together. You know let's do that and and that totally appeal to me 'cause you know there was already I think four members of the band and then they asked me to join and. and. Then we started rehearsing I. Missed the first. GIG 'cause I was in England with the dicky's Leonard Phillips was my boyfriend at the time So they played they played like. Two and a half song at the. They only knew like only we only. They only rehearsed like I think to songs, and so they played one over I. Don't know it was really funny story but So when I got back from England. Shortly opted out, we started rehearsing. So that's how that. The whole thing just started, and then we just never stopped Mike Literally for forty years. God. And here, you were pretty much classically trained on piano right? I mean you new musical theory. And here you go right into the punk scene which. It was I consciously thought Oh, I could forget all that shit. You know it's like no, this is has nothing and it was. A very freeing thing because complete like nothing there are no rules. You write what you right and you play the way I didn't. I played piano and I also played like I had. Tinkered around on Acoustic. Guitar. But I've never played electric guitar until. Gave Act I. Don't know if you know Geza but he was part of the. You know he he actually recorded Don't talk to me and he lived in the house a little house in Hollywood West Hollywood and His roommate had his. The only thing he had an bedroom was a mattress. And a Marshall of Marshall amp. With a Les Paul Those are the three things that were in that room. So I was I went in there and I picked up big Itar and turn that amp up I just played an e court. It was the greatest feeling I. think I've ever had in my life and I was like, Oh, my God. So. Win Bloomington Hey you know do you WanNa join the ban we break Atari was like hell yeah. So and that's where that came from and been you know. It was just you know that whole time it's really really something else. Will you have one of the best lines on the documentary I see if I think you said something like you looked pretty straight, but you had a twisted mind. Got That's true. Yeah. No I mean you know I've been very open about my drug addiction and my you know that struggle and but as of last February right before. We shut everything down I had. Celebrated thirty five years of sobriety, real sobriety. Don't. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. I mean I don't I don't particularly chemicals whatsoever and But it's It's You know. I doubt just what I was going through at the time so. And I managed to enjoy myself a hell of a lot but also you know Just do a life it was. It was in that was my twisted mind to was like you know had like. Figuring out how to manage that it was really a full another fulltime job dealing. So while also saw it as you didn't want to live the status quo life as a creative person, you wanted to do something different. It would. Seem, like the the normal suburban person. You'd be bored with that. Maybe yeah. But you also loved music at a really young age right I mean I. Did I did I was very I started playing piano at four but I also started listening to the radio when I was like five years old like you know back then it was like couple radio stations in La and you know it I love songs I just that's what I grew up on the songs like the whatever was on. The. You know top forty radio station, and at that time it was amazing because there was all sorts of you know it wasn't just like, Oh, here's the the pop station and here's this. It was all mixed together. So you know. And then I saw the Beatles when I was twelve years old And the second to the last date of their American tour nineteen, sixty six. And then my next. concert 'cause I went to a crapload of concerts. Always I love music. I mean next concert was led Zeppelin. Their very first tour state and gentle was opening. So it was like this book and of. The Beatles and then you have what up Lynn Jessop Hall and everything in between you know so yeah. Well. I'd like that part when documentary where you say you would take a forty five by Elvis and then put on some classical music would record. Yeah, right. So do you still do you still collect records? You have records around You had. Married to Jeff McDonald at Red Cross and let's put it this way we have. Yeah. He he's a record collector. I have records I. We have a whole closet full that we call it the media closet. Not. Really. But yeah, we have things like. Collector you know are all our original final and Yeah I mean I love. My of course you know I'm sure you've spoken to people that loved that ritual when you s but get I remember specifically getting the white album because. We I went to an all girls high school. Actually the school is back in the heart high school that Megan Markle went to and in Hollywood immaculate heart and. We when we got when I got the white album, I brought it to school. and. Hadn't opened it yet. But I opened it there we like during lunch we would listen you know like in some classrooms had erected a record player. and. It was I just loved that ritual of. When you would open a wreck album and that smell similar one and take you know and they get to you get to look at the lyrics. It was just everything about that with. The? Different. But that's for case if progress you know true. But I also like how. US You make I I. Don't know if it was you but at the beginning of the documentary. someone says people automatically assume we were put together by some guy, but we didn't selves. was that kind of a reference to the runaways and other you know? And all girl bands. I thought it runaway I mean. I and run away. And I mean come on you know that was that was really cool but. We. Did Yeah I mean people just would automatically think Oh, like you know. Who is someone put them together and? With them and told them what to wear. You know that Kinda Shit and it's like now and we were completely our on like organic. Organic grown within with each other yeah. Made in a lab like as some Gimme right? Exactly. But it was cool that you also your I I mean you you were the house band at the whisky I mean, that is just That must when you were playing. When the goes are playing, there was that during your time or was that just before you joined the band I started the band like the Linda Jane Me. And ELISSA and Margot. We were the original members right and so yeah, we I would from be. When Belinda and Margot I was playing a two story. It was playing at the Starwood this on and it was the jam the Dicky's and the eyes and they came up to me Belinda Margot and asked if we're putting together an all girl band, you want to join me neither lead guitarist and I said sure Do you play lead guitar. Yeah. That was a lie because I didn't. But I figured I could learn and So we started rehearsing when I got back from I went to England briefly and I got back and we started rehearsing and then we got some gigs and our first gigs were the worst things I've ever heard in my life it was horrifying we were terrible. But. There was something there. It was like rural. We kept rehearsing and then when we got jeanine in the ban, she kicked our asses like you know like we have to rehearse every night we gotta get better. You know like really and we did and we did get better. So then Kathy joined and. Let's see Gina. Join me started in nineteen. Seventy eight M in China joined. In nineteen seventy, nine and Cabbie joined in nineteen eighty. So that's how it went. Well what's interesting about that story how you said you lied and said, you knew how to play guitar is that you went up to Cathy right and astroturf she and Kathy. Lies. Never. Play. So it sounds funny. We talked about that like the perfect shooting that that that that little alive that changed our lives now will you suspicious? They can okay. She doesn't know how to put days. How are you feeling about that? It was just that she she came in to those. She played at the whisky. There were eight shows because there for like. Let's see. There were four nights, two shows a night that we had sold out. On. The New Year's eve run for like a December thirty, thirty one to think of that. Nineteen eighty going and tiny eighty-one. She blew blew away she was fantastic and it was like that and that was just it that was. You know it felt like the picture was complete right in you know Gina having replaceable if and. Kathy replaced Margot that was just In my mind like, okay, we're this. This feels really good. Page and in the same direction. And, Kathy Still Kicks Ass I. Mean I heard her new stuff that went along with her Autobiography and while the music was good. Not that I'm surprised it really sounded contemporary and heavy in cutting edge. It was so good So it goes to show how you guys still have it. You still have that creative energy. Never went away. Yeah. But back to I. Think when you had Catholic replaced Mardo Margot was. More interested in being punked than. Moving over to more pop. Here's the thing. You're not. We're not just saying, oh, we're going to be a ban now we've always. You it's like are saying is you can take. the grow out of the punk that you can't take the punk out of the girl. We are still those girls that we were. Back. In one, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy, eight, we're still that tough. You know. Funny rockets, doubts who we are, but you know over the music was evolving and once the first record with made you know Richard God or as much as we hated it when we first heard that record. We I I understood we understood quickly that. You. Know I wanted to be on the radio I grew up with listening to A. Radio with those radio stations that play top forty but all different kinds from rock to pop to whatever you know and it's like that's the lips were back then. And I WANNA debt, and so we if we recorded the record, the way like we founded live, we wouldn't have gotten there because we were too. It was too radical because there's no way we would have gotten on the radio because we we were and so. We Still Arches I mean on live were very. Minimal setup Jane had to Marshall Amps I've got like a you know. A Fox eight, thirty and A. Cinder Deluxe and one you know one box to boost my leads and it's just very punk and varied. That's just who we are. So we didn't decide. We were going to be become pop because that's just kind of happened to us in a way. And that's why people never knew about the punk rock days because they just figured. Oh, look at this new band on the scene. I have no idea where we came. So well, you kind of made the transition in the songwriting I mean. The POP IS A. Bad Word it was more rock. Cut Hard thing too because the moat melodic it was popsy. What we were doing is what exactly? What Green Day you know Philly Joe the good friend of ours and we saw him on one of our records and he's fantastic. fucking amazing and so talented. And that's kind of like what Green Day with these. Really Melodic. But they're punky and that's that's what we founded like back. Then they were incredibly melodic that the way we played was just Wa. and. Then we re recorded it was just Richard God originally took it a little bit. He had this vision about what he you know to highlight the songs 'cause the songs on that first record or extrordinary to and in my mind and I can look at it like if I never wrote a note of them, just like listened to going out he's really like I love these songs. And So it's cool and yeah. So kind of like I think that's where people you know and then that the press started calling us America's sweethearts they only fucking new. You know like we were not America's sweethearts and everyone. Yeah no way. So but it's just so funny like that perception you know. Well what I love is that when you wrote, we got the be you introduce the sort of Surf Rock riff in there. And adjust, well, that's one of the great things about a ban you bring in all types of different influences. Craig Guitar because a reality was if it's the truth I was. Not. A guitar player in the sense of like, Oh, I know how to get found on my aunts and stuff and I was always trying to get a stain on the guitar because. And I kept it sounded too choked when I played it if that makes sense and And I had I had a twin river. You can't really get I mean unless I had a master volume on there and that one did not pre cvs it didn't have. A master volume anyway I I return reverberate, and that's how I got started playing really surfie guitar lines. and. If you listen to that I records I yeah it's all over there with. The town on and. I mean Got The kind of thing. So but that and I also love definitely I loved I grew up with all that. So it may fence push. He wrote the song while watching the twilight zone. Correct. So. Maybe a little remember. I can't remember which episode I wish I could. But then everything just sort of blew up. You know like. Just changed overnight where you went from two playing small clubs to stadiums. Here you are. You intersect with the popularity of MTV and a must have been surreal to go from. Being a punk band in the clubs twelve, some you know everyone knows you. It's sort of like beetle mania in a way. Well, it would you know we. Wanted to we have no idea our idea of my Khadafy just sell a hundred thousand records in that like Dallas it like that would be the greatest thing in the world. We have no idea that what was going to happen and to be quite honest that whole time when it was exploding and happening so quickly. It was very scary. Very, overwhelming. It wasn't like Whoa I'm just gonNA revel in this. You know I it it residing for me. I'm not speaking for the other girls I was like. Wow and I'm a little more private than all that and and luckily we didn't grow up in the age of like cell phones and you know social media 'cause that would have been brutal for us if we were just out of control and out of our mind we'd partied all the time and it was just like anything went and you know we did a lot of work. Let's put it that way we worked up at five. And but but going In, the limelight like that and. They'll probably had a lot of stress on the band at cells, and of course, anything the change of the amount of work we did with insane. It was insane and we didn't know how to say no and Miles Copeland record. He is just starting s records and you know it's like they were a baby company. We were baby band. We were all just trying like Oh. Okay. Yeah. Okay. Fine. They give these scheduled every day like five million interviews and like you know. Play are you know it was an plus on top of it? We were partying and having the time of our lives and whatever. But. Exhausting, out. Can totally burn out. So we'll just watching a documentary, all the spots you had to do. Hi, this is Charlotte for MTV. Schedule Charlotte you gotTA DO MTV Today. Be. Exhausted And we had no idea. We're just on a ride that we just were writing. It was like. We look we have. A tremendous amount of you know. Memories and and. Find and you know we don't we don't. Wish we were living at again none of us do that but it's like it was. We are so grateful that we got. We're the most grateful for is the PUNK rock scene in La because that's what bond everything and that was. Pre, getting signed and it was just something about that time of my life. That was so freeing an open and just know anything went and there were no rules and that was my favorite like that was a great time where there wasn't any pressure. Hey. Yeah. Because when he gets so big, it becomes more of a business than you yeah and the pressure and like who you're an artist, you don't WanNa think about music business. You know. But you. But now we learn that that's something you have to understand. It's important to understand it because it's part of it's part of it. You know and nowadays there's you know all sorts of aspects to it and people can it's Kinda cool. Though 'cause people can go back have gone back to doing. DIY stuff because there's so many ways of presenting yourself like Youtube or whatever you know and it's a very different world, but it's Yeah. Well as one of the main songwriters, it's gotta be so different than wanting to write a song and having to write a saw especially like pressure write a hit. Song. So that in itself as a song run or not just the band member had extra presser pressure on you. But I think with the second record you know it was. Scary. It was like, oh. Okay. How are we gonNA top that and in Kathy showed me vacation there was a song she had in her own band the tech town I said to her I said to her you know something I think with a little work. This could really like I. Felt like the chorus wasn't. I wanted to course to lift I i. really felt like there was something more there like this was this was a sketch and it wasn't finished quite yet and I, it was hard. It was scary to ask her because I would never wanNA. Step on anyone's creativity or anything, and she was totally open to it, and we sat down and worked on it and really. That song is great and really just just grabbed a moment you know and it's like and I you know it's really happy. I took that risk and said something to her I don't think the dog would have made it on the record have on so. Has. Album. Cover. A coke grade. It's almost can be forty years since. Beauty and the beat does that feel almost surreal. You. Know it because some several miles down seven years and kind of guys. Not You know. I love our quote from when we were. The Baby Sassy beatty band that we were and if I call it the Dan but young band that we were back then when we would laugh Derek saying can you imagine when we're like forty or fifty wearing many skirts meth never going to happen we would always wear mini skirts on stage well, we still wear miniskirts we want to. You know it's a it's a strange thing How when you get older? Like. We still feel like. The same people, but we just happened to be years older but certainly internally, I don't know if we'll ever grow up you know in a it's What's expected you know? What's next for you in go-goes? Do you have music yourself hope to get are touring? We have really done for next year. We have dates already booked and stuff. So we'll see what happens I mean We've all know that we've been. Very. No guidance here most of the you know. The Nation and so we're stuck in the pandemic nightmare and It's really bad. You know we're. We're in this very serious situation and hopefully hopefully the vaccines are going to be. You know come come forward and. And be in help people because it's really frightening. Frightening. But I think that we need new guidance to me need at some people that are really gonNa like you know take over at if you store, they've been a lot of damage. So we're we're very much. You know want to see that happen as well and Anyway. That's you know I, and I think at the end of this. When we get things under control, which we will, it's just we've taken a detour here I think that their live performances by many bands going to be so important because people are going to need to be uplifted, you know again and so that's what I know for except for the those fans and anybody will come to our shows if we get, we're fortunate enough to get the play next summer but that will happen is they'll be really good. Like you know life. Energized, yes. Yeah. Yeah. So It's really nice. Well. Thank you for taking the time for Gold Mine. Again, I know you've. If you'd you quite a few times and and good luck with everything and I'd love to hear your solo stuff too I. Know You said You were. Tinkering with that so I would think with that. So Much Charlotte. Spike. Thanks Charlotte everyone listening don't forget to watch the documentary the Gogos on showtime airing on August. It's worth the watch and you'll see a side of the goes that you probably never expected. Now, don't forget to go my Mac dot com for other exclusive content and pick up the print edition at select newsstands like Barnes and noble and books a million. This is pat prince site off catch next time on the gold mine podcast. Hey. This is mark from performance anxiety here on the Pantheon podcast network. Have you ever wanted to sit down with your favorite artists and here the wild stories that happened on tour or in the studio? We get these stories for you and a lot more. 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