‘The Go-Go’s’ Makes the Rockers’ Case for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The Go-Go's
Fryderyk Gabowicz/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

They had the beat, all right. Director Alison Ellwood’s infectiously vibrant documentary portrait of the female rockers charts their rise from punk to pop to the top of the charts. The Go-Go’s makes the case—as do the band members in colorful interviews—that they deserve to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, if only to commemorate their peerless achievement as the only all-female group to write their own songs, play their own instruments and hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

How they got there and what happened next is a classic rock-‘n’-roll, rise-and-fall showbiz story. Emerging from the Los Angeles punk scene with catchy hit songs just in time to ride the MTV video revolution of the early 1980s, these dazzling divas were ruthless in their ambition and reckless in their appetites.

Dropping two original band members, and later their devoted manager, during the ascent to superstardom, the band struggled with the pressures of fame, including drugs. Pay discrepancies fueled further disharmony, leading to a bitter breakup. They’ve made up since, because you just can’t stop the beat.

The Go-Go's Documentary Showtime

(Cassy Cohen/Courtesy of SHOWTIME)

The Go-Go’s, Documentary Premiere 9/8c, Showtime