Go-Go's 2000

This anamolous bit of parody cyberpunk/punk-rock nostalgia was written on assignment for the Weekly (c. 1989) but I no longer have any idea what the assignment was. The Go-Go's did eventually reunite, though not on this schedule or with these results.

I'm not a religious man; the closest I've ever come to believing in God is when the Great Quake of '95 knocked down every building built in L.A. after 1960 and left all the old ones standing. I was ready to put my faith in Divine Justice then, but the well-known events of the next couple of years cured me of that. My luck turned bad like everyone else's, and lately I'd been living down in the MetroRail with a tribe of ex-rock critics. We were frankly a helpless lot and managed to eat only when some ex-publicists would, out of some kind of perverse nostalgia, invite us to lunch or a party. This was not often.
It was on my way to just such a meal that I met her. She had her head shaved the way the kids all do now and painted like an Easter egg. A tattoo on her arm marked her as a member of the Supermario Sisters, but I could place her before I saw that -- she had the twitchy thumb and forefinger of all Nintendoids.
"Hey, Gameboy," she coughed, "gimme a cig."
"I'm not your Gameboy, sister," I shot back.
"I'm not your sister, brother."
"I'm not your brother, cuzzin."
"How much father are we going to take this?" she punned, and we had a good, if bitter, laugh over that and got high on methane and had sex without taking off our clothes, as a light toxic breeze blew in off Melrose Bay. Her name was Castlevania.
We walked down Hollywood, picking our way through the paisely mutant robot cacti that pushed through the stars on the cracked Walk of Fame, and at Cherokee, we heard it -- a slamming beat pumping out of the alley, a guitar growl, some old-timey California harmonies like from the days people really believed it was heaven out here. We followed the sound down a dark hole, packed close with geezers hopping up and down violently in place while onstage five women -- well, I couldn't believe it, but I swear to you it was the Go-Go's.
I remembered how after their big reunion in 1990 to help animals -- I remembered animals, too -- they'd decided to record again and became for another couple of years the most famous band in the world. Everybody knows those records: Go-Go Mania, Frisky-au-Go-Go's, the R&B-flavored Go-Go's Mojos and the documentary high-rez videodisc Go-Go's Go to Ho-Jo's. Then came the news about CDs causing brain cancer and the bottom fell out of the music business, and after the quake and the riots and the plague and the war and the famine and the locust and the rivers turning into blood, most everyone was too broke or sick or bummed or hungry or plain disgusted to think about music anyway.
"The girls" were in their forties, but looked pretty good -- as good as anyone looks anymore -- in their raggedy minidresses and Vinilyne boots. And the music they played wasn't the computerized Mucopop of their last and most successful album, Go-Go's Going Gone -- it was kind of wild and not quite together, and seemed to be about something other than music, something about making a place for yourself in an unkind world, generating a little light in the darkness.
It was punk rock. They'd gone back to their roots.
But I guess we all have. Or will, soon enough.

copyright robert lloyd 1989 and 2006