Just 24 hours later I’m back at home and starting to write about the Rock Hall of Fame induction. The sparkle of last night is already fading somewhat, so I want to capture it all quickly. It’s jarring, but kind of nice to have all that intensity just whoooosh away. I feel like the stretched out leftover balloon after all the air has blown out as it careens around the room.
One thing I realized when I got back to Austin, was exactly how much space this entire event has taken up: the immense amount of energy, anticipation, thought and emotion that has been pulsing underneath my regular life from the moment we found out we had made it in. Sometimes fear, anxiety—and adding an extra zest of unpleasantness to that particular cocktail, even some imposter syndrome of varying strengths and lengths lacing through at times.
There was the usual Go-Go wear and tear, starting with: would Belinda be able to even come? I stayed Zen through that drama, certain that things would work out exactly as they needed to. There was an onslaught of press, which we try and distribute evenly, and in different combos. Press is exhausting. I don’t mind it, but since I like to do a great job if I’m going to bother doing anything, for me, press means having energy, listening close, giving thoughtful answers without rambling, trying to be insightful and be funny, and figure out how to not say the same answer to the same questions. Trust me, there’s skill involved in giving a good interview!
We had endless band biz email chains—virtually impossible to stay on top of, about everything and anything: all of us trying to find items to time capsule the exhibit itself. What photos can they use?—we haven’t been together since January 2019—we have nothing recent! The guests—what only one!!—the exhausting outrage that gives way to acceptance!! The ordeal of arranging purchase tickets for family and friends who want to trek to Cleveland. The hiring of crew, techs, sound, production. And the “who will we ask to induct us list”—more about that in part 3… this is all a snapshot example of the biz we talk over—all of it over emails or texts as we are spread over 4 different time zones, 2 countries, and 3 states.
There were the outfits to figure out. The Go-Go’s have never coordinated or dictated attire—each one of us knows exactly what we like and have very different styles and expressions of ourselves. For this event, we each put considerable thought into finding, designing, embellishing, and putting together our outfits. The looks might not always end up how you imagine them, but at least it’s your look. I found basic pieces from Selfridges in London and took them to Ft. Lonesome here in Austin to personalize in the way they do so beautifully. For my red dress that I wore on red carpet and at table, the idea we went for was Nudies meets dystopian deconstruction! The long vest for stage was a piece that some designer—never could find a name on the garment—makes from demolished other designer pieces, all sewn together in a Frankenstein overcoat that I asked the Ft Lonesome team to embellish with butterflies representing loved ones I’d lost in the last year.
I started early on thinking about my hair. Anyone that knows me or has followed my music career knows my hair is where I start my whole look from. I wanted to keep the slight gray that had grown in since Covid, but not have typical aging person gray hair. I’d been wanting a shag haircut for several years. A few months ago I had lunch with my friend (the fabulous actress Beth Broderick who lives here in Austin) and her hair cut was fantastic—not a rock n roll shag, but I had a feeling whoever had given her that great cut would be a good fit for me. Thanks to Jose Luis (Salon) Jose and Teresa for giving me a perfect shag and making my gray look cool.
Now for the really boring part: like most sane, well-adjusted people (ha) I ate my way through the 2020 Covid year and was horrified when I stepped away from the Zoom screen and out of the sweatpants to find practically nothing in my closet fit anymore. At age 62, it’s not like a zippy couple of weeks of workouts at the gym will take care of things the way it did back in my younger years. I committed to discipline and sensible restraint and with the help of Love Cycling Studio, lots of walking, a little weight training and the apps Fastic and Lose It I managed to get back to looking and feeling fit and strong in a little under 7 months.
Meanwhile, real life was ongoing, a stomping march over the excitement. Audrey moved out for college, a beloved friend’s illness and death, some scattered work opportunities, a 3-week vacation, a few book clubs and events, a speaking gig, writing, recording and music—releasing a single, some Texas bullshit policy/politix scheming and activism, house and yard repairs and work, car trouble—you know, regular ass stuff.
The months folded into October, which was crazy busy. It was good to be occupied, the activity kept me present even with that constant thrum and throb of the impending induction ceremony underlying everything. The band gave me the huge honor of speaking first, on behalf of Go-Go’s when we accepted our award. I got pretty consumed with crafting a statement that said as much as possible in as short as possible time. I loved the challenge and honor of the responsibility and by now have given enough speeches that it didn’t scare the hell out of me. You can read my entire speech here. We came up with a list of people to thank, split them between the band, finalized outfits for the different obligations. I started practicing the songs daily.
Even though I’m always picking up a guitar to write or play or learn something, it’s not the same as standing, holding a bass and playing songs through. The thicker strings can be a little rough on my fingers. I remember my parts quickly, but the physical part is what I want to be comfortable with. I did not want to have regrets about not preparing enough in any respect or regard.
Next up : Part 2 — The Cleveland Shuffle