One of the most upsetting facts about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is that female inductees only comprise about 8 percent of its total body; the disproportionate number, in fact, has influenced numerous induction speeches by women in recent years, with Stevie Nicks and Janet Jackson both going deep about the institutional failures that allowed this to happen. At Saturday’s ceremony, the Go-Go’s carried on that torch: The seminal pop-punkers, who performed a rousing medley of “Vacation,” “Our Lips Our Sealed,” and “We Got the Beat,” made sure the boys were sweating a bit.
“By recognizing our achievement, the Rock Hall celebrates possibility, the kind of possibility that creates hopeful dreamers. By honoring our historical contribution, the doors to this establishment have opened wider and the Go-Go’s will be advocating for the inclusion of more women,” bassist Kathy Valentine said, still basking in the glory of Drew Barrymore’s cosplay antics. “Women who have paved the way for us and others. Women who started bands, who sing and write songs, who excel on their instruments, who make and produce records. Because here is the thing: There would not be less of us if more of us were visible.” She continued, reminiscing about the dawn of the Go-Go’s in the L.A. punk scene: “Being in a band is a trip. It’s not like anything else. It’s kind of like being married. In our case, a polygamist same-sex marriage that ends up getting divorced and remarried and divorced and remarried. Our band has been, at different times, like the most rinky-dink traveling circus you could ever imagine, like a snarling wolf pack, and very much like family. And that we are a sisterhood and women is significant.”
As for the other members, drummer Gina Schock used her speech to reiterate that “this is a long time coming,” while vocalist Belinda Carlisle had to read from her notecards “because I’m too nervous.” Guitarist Jane Wiedlin thanked the director of the Go-Go’s recent Showtime documentary, Allison Eastwood, for being able to “introduce the world to a band that really was kind of maybe fading away or whatever.” God bless them all.
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