The Most '80s Night Ever

ICYMI: Would love to hear from anyone who attended this "Trouble in Paradise" gala, benefiting the Inner City Law Center's efforts on behalf of the homeless.

A little research reveals that it took place March 10, 1985, at the Palace Theatre in Los Angeles. Molly Ringwald, Belinda Carlisle and Susanna Hoffs teamed up to perform "Midnight Confessions," which sounds about right given the Bangles beauty's fondness for the Grass Roots.

Kathy Valentine -- who would be blindsided by the demise of the Go-Go's right around the time this event took place -- wrote on Twitter that she was in the backing band and helped select the artists and material for the night. In addition to Kathy, the band consisted of Christine McVie (Fleetwood Mac), David Lindley, Gary Myrick, Ran Manzarek (the Doors), Phil Chen and Curly Smith
Someone on Twitter asked Kathy: 
Is Christine McVie the coolest person or what? 
To which she replied: 
Looks like a total riot. I also spot Vicki & Debbi Peterson and Michael Steele of the Bangles, Terri Nunn and John Crawford of Berlin, Jackson Browne, a pensive Carla Olson (Kathy's former Textones bandmate) and the late Phil Seymour, among many others.

As one person on Facebook put it, "There has never been so much cocaine in one room since Nicholson’s '79 Christmas party."

Do THESE THREE need to be separated?

Song of the Day: 'Club Zero' by the Go-Go's

So here's the first new Go-Go's song in nearly 20 years, which was written for the closing credits of the new documentary about the band that also premieres today.

That they opted to record a new song is of note because as hardcore Go-Go's fans know, money was one of the biggest reasons the band first broke up. As the five members began receiving their royalty checks for their No. 1 album, "Beauty and the Beat," Kathy Valentine recounts in her memoir that it was obvious there was a hierarchy of wealth, with Charlotte Caffey and Jane Wiedlin way at the top, Valentine in the middle (having written "Can't Stop the World" by herself), Belinda Carlisle next (as co-writer of "Skidmarks on My Heart") and drummer Gina Schock at the bottom, only receiving mechanical royalties for playing on the songs. Gina was the most upset, arguing that “any of us” could have written the songs. Yet in the four decades that have come and gone since, another “This Town” or “Lust to Love” has never materialized from Caffey/Wiedlin much less Schock.

Although they tried to address the inequity on the second and especially third album, the damage had been done. (Their 2001 comeback album, "God Bless the Go-Go's," featured the most diverse writing lineup.) So with that in mind, here’s what Charlotte, Gina and "The Go-Go's" documentary director Alison Ellwood had to say about the new track. (Italics mine.)

For the documentary, the Go-Go's recorded “Club Zero,” their first new song in nearly 20 years. How was that experience like?

Caffey: When we decided we wanted to write an end credits song, it could be cool to all of a sudden have something new. I had just written this music with Anna Waronker and I've worked with her for years. That's what we wanted to write: “Let's do something really up and anthemic and punky and cool.” So here's this music and all of sudden I'm putting lyrics and I'm like, “Oh my God, this is f***ing working.” So I showed it to everybody, everyone loved it. Then we continued on and Kathy, Jane and I finished the lyrics. It's kind of this cool and right for this moment. We didn't even know what was coming when we wrote it like a year-and-a-half ago. We think it's just perfect for the documentary and for this moment right now.

Schock: We all worked on it, got together, went in to record it. We knocked it out in two days, which kind of amazed me because we haven't recorded in 20 years. We went into the studio and two days we were done, backing vocals and all, boom! Done! I was like kicking myself in the butt: “You know what? We really are pros.” I was amazed, no problems at all, and we went in there and kicked ass. Everybody's voice in this band is super important. Without the five of us, it's not the Go-Go's.

Ellwood: I had no idea that they were going to end up writing a new song. I had secretly hoped that they would try to do that. Then once I realized they actually were seriously doing it, I said: “Please let us film you playing around with it, it would be such a great ending for the film.” That's what we shot at the Whisky [in Los Angeles]. It was fun for them to come back to where it all began, once they were pretty big.

What do we think?

The song just popped up on YouTube and I notice Gina didn't receive a writing credit -- which I mention because of her combative track record, suing both Charlotte (over unpaid "We Got the Beat" royalties) and Debbi Peterson of the Bangles (over use of songs they wrote for their short-lived band Smashbox), stating that it’s “not her fault” that Debbi “can’t play her instrument.” (Ouch.) She also calls former House of Schock bandmate Vance DeGeneres (Ellen’s brother) a “total asshole.” Streaming doesn’t pay much, though, so maybe it’s not really an issue anymore.

 I'm excited for the new documentary but don't understand why they keep ragging on their episode of "Behind the Music." The whole point of that series was to tell us something we didn't already know -- to go BEHIND the music -- not to rehash their accomplishments. This time I hear the rare footage is what steals the show! 


The band has released a new video featuring clips from the documentary. 

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'As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am. I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or -- worse -- disregarded.'

Hot Cat of the Day: Snapped this photo of my little boy leaning on his (other) father. My heart runneth over. #bunnyfeet #halfstache

Thursday Ad Watch

Doctors are so hot these days they need fitted scrubs to show off their bodies. 

YohancΓ© Salimu: The Real Enemy Was Always Poverty

The buzz is good for Y.A. Salimu's upcoming memoir, "Underprivileged Overachiever A Crenshaw Story." described as the inspiring saga of a boy who grew up amidst poverty, gang warfare and drugs in South Los Angeles. With nerve and resilience, he broke through and realized his dreams, graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy, with a degree in Geospatial Science and becoming an Air Force pilot.  
At age 14, I ran away, but not from home -- because I never had one to begin with. At school I participated in every sport, club, and after-school activity, so that when the other kids finally left, I could settle in for the night by my locker. I spent my childhood dealing with gangs, drugs, violence, and my mother's mental illness, but the real enemy was always poverty.
Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times writes: "This story is shocking for its honesty. It might need a warning label before parents allow their teenagers to read. But it's a compelling read and one that provides insights into today's daily struggles for families seeking a path to a better life."

I was curious what that might mean -- as horrifying as gangs and violence are, they usually don't elicit this kind of warning -- then a friend who has already read the book wrote to say:
"Underprivileged Overachiever" has one surprise chapter. This handsome hunk picks up a pretty girl and they go back to her place. They have sex -- and she is really a gay male cross dresser who rapes him. It’s a humbling moment in his life ... he’s very forthcoming about it and the episode is related without homophobia.
Pre-order your copy HERE.

Mask4Masc: Men's Tennis Edition

Nice to see four men from the world of professional tennis taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously. Who wore it best: Stan Wawrinka, Cameron Henricy Trigolos, Robert Farah or Reba Fan Club president Jan-Michael Gambill? 

Song of the Day: 'I Go Crazy' by Flesh for Lulu

With thanks to my brother Terence, who shared this '80s favorite the other night on Facebook. Two notable things come to mind about this song:

1. I loved it so much I bought the 45, which is in a box on the shelf in my bedroom closet, the only remnants of my million-dollar record collection.

2. It was on the soundtrack to the first John Hughes film I didn't see in the theater, after a remarkable run of teen classics. I was already in college by the time "Some Kind of Wonderful" came out, which was probably part of the reason. And not unlike the producers of "Back to the Future," Eric Stoltz -- out of a craniodiaphyseal dysplasia makeup, at least -- never did anything for me. (Ditto for Mary Stuart Masterson and Lea Thompson.)

Years later, I ended up loving a show he was on called “Out of Order,” which featured an eclectic cast including Justine Bateman and Peter Bogdanivich. Why wasn’t that picked up for more than six episodes. (At least the subway ad campaign stuck around a few years.)

I think I've now seen most of “Wonderful” on cable over the years, but never from start to finish. Let me know if I'm missing some kind of masterpiece.

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Washington Blade: If she's 30 then I'm 19

Hot Cat of the Day: This cutie reminds me of when I filled the sink hoping Harvey might think it's fun!