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Gina Schock of The Go-Go’s talks Rock Hall induction, new book ‘Made in Hollywood’

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It’s Go-Go’s time.

The last two years have been marked by a series of events that have more than rekindled affection for rock’s first and only chart-topping self-composed and performed female band. The 2020 documentary “The Go-Go’s” presented the group’s colorful story, from late ‘70s LA punk rockers to early ‘80s pop-star pin-ups to their initial breakup and beyond, in a remarkably candid film that became one of the highest rated rock-docs of recent years. That was followed by “Club Zero,” the first new music from The Go-Go’s in nearly 20 years, the publication of bassist Kathy Valentine’s revelatory memoir “All I Ever Wanted,” and finally, the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Coinciding with The Go-Go’s induction last weekend is the release of drummer Gina Schock’s revealing “Made in Hollywood” coffee table book of personal photos, memorabilia and Go-Go’s-related ephemera featuring contributions from each member of the band.

Schock was The Go-Go’s unofficial archivist, snapping photos backstage, onstage, at the after-parties, at home, at video shoots and in the studio. Her collection of private photos and essays reveals a side of The Go-Go’s fans weren’t privy to during the band’s refined ‘80s peak but it’s a collection that means the world to Schock today, as she told The Maine Edge during the following interview.

The Maine Edge: What does it mean for you, and the other ladies in The Go-Go’s to finally be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with your heroes?

Gina Schock: Well, you know what? It’s been a long time coming. We kept thinking we would be nominated every year that passed by. Finally, we gave up and then, better late than never, we were nominated. Then we thought, “Oh God, suppose we don’t get enough votes and get inducted?” Then it happened and everybody is just so excited about it. It’s just another chapter in the story of this band. Things just keep happening. We all feel very lucky and very grateful.

The Maine Edge: Drew Barrymore has the honor of inducting The Go-Go’s. She says your band changed her world.

Gina Schock: I don’t know if that’s true, but I do remember Drew backstage at many of our shows when she was a little kid. She really was a fan and that’s what’s so cool about her inducting us. We kind of watched her grow up into the wonderful lady she is today.

The Maine Edge: Your new book “Made in Hollywood” tells the story of The Go-Go’s in a way we haven’t seen before. It’s a candid history that gives us a much more realistic version of the band than what we saw on MTV. It’s your book but everybody contributed which is quite cool.

Gina Schock: Everybody wanted to participate in this book. The girls have been pushing me to do it for the last 20 years, but it felt like such an overwhelming task, so I needed to find the right person to help me put it together. When my friend Steve came up to San Francisco and saw all that I had, he said “Oh my God, Gina, we need to write a book proposal and get you a deal.”

The Maine Edge: When The Go-Go’s were recording, touring and shooting videos, you were running around with a camera capturing everything. How did you become the band’s archivist?

Gina Schock: Don’t ask me! I was just having a lot of fun and I had a camera. I’ve always loved photography, so I was always snapping photos of what was going on at the time and the girls were all willing subjects. I had no idea then what those photos would mean to me now. God, I’m so happy I kept everything but that’s sort of my nature. The Go-Go’s have been my whole adult life and I’m very sentimental about things that mean a lot to me. To have all this stuff to look back on is such a gift.

The Maine Edge: I love the contrast we see in the cover photo. We see the band on a break from the video shoot for “Vacation” and you’re wearing the pink waterskiing tutus. You are staring at the lens looking very much like the queen of the prom. To your right is bassist Kathy Valentine dangling a cigarette like she’s saying “Could we get this over with?” It’s such a great image.

Gina Schock: When I saw that picture, I said “This has to be the cover.” It made me scream with laughter. It’s so typically Go-Go’s, you know? Kathy looks so miserable and that cigarette hanging out of her mouth is just hysterical. That video shoot was over 12 hours long. We were really tired out.

The Maine Edge: We see you with Bill Wyman and the late Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones. It really hurts to put the word “late” in front of his name. What was it like to do a show with the Stones?

Gina Schock: The thrill of a lifetime. I still can’t believe we opened a show for The Rolling Stones and that we got to meet them all. Meeting Charlie Watts was the biggest thrill because I idolized him as a kid. John Bonham of Led Zeppelin and Charlie Watts were my heroes. Just to meet and talk with Charlie for a little bit – he was everything I imagined he would be. He was so lovely, such a gentleman, very soft-spoken, so elegant. His passing really made me sad.

The Maine Edge: You have some shows coming up on the west coast at the end of the year followed by shows in the U.K. next summer with Billy Idol. Are you itching to play?

Gina Schock: Oh my God, we’ve been so looking forward to playing again. We decided to do a few shows this year then we got a call from Billy Idol asking us to open some shows for him in the U.K. next year. We’ve known and loved Billy since the 80s so of course we said yes. I’m pretty sure we’ll be announcing more U.S. shows soon, including some for you east-coasters.

Last modified on Wednesday, 03 November 2021 09:37

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