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Interview:
Thirty-five years on, the Go-Go's still got the beat
 

By GARY GRAFF
@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

» See more SOUND CHECK

It's been 35 years since the Go-Go's first got the beat forming as a (then) unique all-female band in the Los Angeles punk rock movement and going on to sell more than seven million albums -- and top the charts with its double-platinum 1981 debut "Beauty and the Beat."

And this far along, says guitarist Jane Wiedlin, the group "is so comfortable it's like putting on a pair of old shoes."

"Sometimes it feels fresh and new, sometimes it feels like we've been doing it for centuries," Wiedlin, 55, says with a laugh. "But we think we're sounding and getting better every year because it is so comfortable, so we're still having fun and keep doing it."

That means they're not talking about any more farewell tours as they did in 2010. "No, that whole thing is completely turned around," Wiedlin says.

The group did, however, part ways with bassist Kathy Valentine earlier this year, which led to a lawsuit over royalties. Meanwhile, the Go-Go's beat goes on; singer Belinda Carlisle recently released a new solo single, "Sun," and the group has signed on for a stage musical that will feature its songs, though a plot has not yet been determined.

And, Wiedlin says, the remaining foursome is "talking about" some new Go-Go's music, too.

"I hope we do it," says the guitarist, who herself is working on a musical based on her comic book series Lady Robotika. "I think one of the really exciting things about modern times and the Internet and iTunes and all of that is you can make music without record companies and you can put out a song, just like they did in the 60s. You don't have to put out an album anymore.

"I think that change is very positive. It certainly makes it less intimidating. We can get together and do a song and it's not the big drama of making an album. So I think that'll make it easier for us to make some new music."

The Go-Go's perform with the B-52's at 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, at the Chene Park Amphitheatre, 2600 Atwater St., Detroit. Tickets are $37-$75 pavilion, $27 lawn. Call 313-393-7128 or visit www.cheneparkdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.cheneparkdetroit.com

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