07.20.2001 (Friday), 11:38 PM

It's a Girl's Girl's Girl's Girl's Girl's World...

Humming that damn "ooh baby do you know what that's worth, you make heaven a place on earth" song or maybe it was "love revolution 21" chou-chou-chou-ii-kanji...

Man, I struck paydirt today and tonight. I am totally in L-O-V-E with a girl group that I really shouldn't be in L-O-V-E with since their main audience is probably 15-year old Japanese girls. And then there's that group from long ago with all of the distant memories which came rushing back like a hot flash.

My friend Howard and I started a fanzine long ago based on something Gina of the Go-Go's said when they opened for Madness at The Old Waldorf. I think it was 1979. Just before they started to play the diminutive Gina dwarfed by her drum kit yelled out "Forget It!" We looked that look and mentally said to each other, "damn, what a great name for a magazine!" So we set out to produce a magazine that had 1) only drummers on the cover of each issue and 2) the Go-Go's in at least one issue. Howard "typeset" by hand, that is, he typed and then reduced the text on a copy machine. I lasted one or two issues before Howard and I had a bit of a falling out...it was a stupid situation best saved for another day...

So tonight on everyone's favorite whipping boy of a channel, VH1, which is actually pretty good at times although Janet believes that they have a big wall of tapes with nothing but video clips sorted by year and there's one guy who does nothing but create specials by doing some fancy editing...was a concert by The Go-Go's. And in Central Park, no less. It was recorded recently after what had to be a series of stop-start-stop-start reunions. Howard and I showed up for one of those reunions and like good punk rock boys, we opted to "buy our tickets at the door the night of the show". We were so fucking SOL that we hung around at the backstage door to see if we could glom the guestlist. Hah. The very same Gina who named the magazine also told up that we should have called ahead of time as she and the girls slammed through the backstage door closing it behind them.

OK, enough history. I have seen the Go-Go's over 20 times and have interviewed them and even sat consoling Jane while she was suffering with the flu at the end of one of their shows. Setting the most-recent Gina comment aside, I still got that giddy thrill seeing them work on that Central Park stage. Sure they all look older and a bit wiser and damned if I could not take my eyes off Jane *and* Kathy (convenient really, on the same side of the stage) and dug the entire hour's worth of memories. Ah, even the new songs are pretty good. They played the Behind The Music Go-Go's episode right after the concert too. BTM is generally a pretty good show and kept looking for one of them to be holding up the magazine devoted to them in their "early days" footage but it was not to be...that's just my sometimes inflated sense of self-worth I guess. Still, I now understand what Jane may have really been sick with that night...no matter, they had my rapt attention.

And speaking of rapt attention, that Japanese group I mentioned provided me several hours of pleasure (stop it...) at work. Morning Musume is by all rights, a girl group for teenage girls, not 40 year old men...well, ok not 40 year old men who do not regularly wear raincoats and little else... This super-group creation (as most J-Pop acts are) of a fellow named Tsunku are quite possibly the most dynamic of all that have come and gone. At various incarnations, they had 8, 12, 9, 10, 5, and 11 members all of which look one hell of a lot like teenage girls...they weren't all teenage girls though...but that doesn't matter. Unlike most teen "idoru" (idol) groups in Japan, these girls can S-I-N-G, sing. Well, I'm sure the fact that all of them sing together makes up for the fact that teenagers generally have a limited range...but they pull it off. There is so much to them as a pure marketing machine that I could write a book (hey...there's a thought..) but I'm content for now to load up my Napster-gained mp3s of my favorite Morning Musume songs into Winamp and set it on endless loop. No matter how many times the songs play, they still have my ear(s)...

Posted by wjc