[This was my weekly column for GlobalNews.ca. -AC]
My earliest memories of The Go-Go’s involve hearing We Got the Beat on the daily ride to university.
When it was my buddy Charlie’s turn to drive, we commuted in his beat-up 1970 Plymouth Scamp and a gnarly AM radio irreparably frozen on one of Winnipeg’s Top 40 stations.
With winter temperatures hovering around -30 C and the exhaust fog of other vehicles reducing visibility to near zero, there was something infectiously summer-like about the song’s propulsive rhythm and the surf-ish guitar solo.
But the best part is when Belinda Carlisle’s voice breaks at the 2:04 mark when she sings “Jumpin’, get down” followed by the twirly phrasing of “Round and round and round” a few seconds later. Pop perfection.
The fact that they came out of the LA punk scene (check out the original recording of We Got the Beat), creating this brilliant intersection incorporating New Wave and power pop; that they were rejected by dozens of sexist record label executives — all men, of course — because everyone knew all-girl groups were commercial death; that they became the first all-female group who wrote their own songs to have a number one album; and that they became hugely influential to a couple of generations of musicians, both female and male.