Laugh them off as cute and bubbly, mock their simplistic approach to songwriting, or toss them aside as has-beens—you could do all of those things to the Go-Go's, but why the hell would you want to? Without these punkettes-turned-pop princesses, the all-gay-male Ga-Ga's wouldn't have cover songs to sing; Michael Moore wouldn't have one of the funniest, most ironic moments in Fahrenheit 9/11; Jennifer Beals wouldn't have that cut-off sweat shirt in Flashdance; you wouldn't have that Beauty and the Beatalbum-cover Halloween costume; and none of us would have shared the ultimate '80s dance sensation, "The Belinda." The Go-Go's were the original girls gone wild, and there are stories to match for sure—like the time singer Belinda Carlisle forgot she had bought a race horse—but it's the music and wonderfully strange yet strong friendship between these five ladies that keep them coming back. "Everyone's crazy in this band, and we're all eccentric," says guitarist Charlotte Caffey, "but when we get together, there's a chemistry that is undeniable." She says she drove by that infamous fountain from the "Our Lips Are Sealed" video just the other day, laughing because that's where it all started: "When we did that video, it was with the leftover budget from a Police video. We had, like, $8,000 or something. We just rented a car and drove around, and when we got to that fountain, we just said, 'Oh, let's jump in and try to get arrested,' but no one even paid attention to us!"
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The Go-Go's perform with the Motels at The Pacific Amphitheatre, Orange County Fairgrounds, 100 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 740-2000; www.ocfair.com. Fri., 7:30 p.m. $19. All ages.