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"The '90's things were pretty doom and gloom for music," Go-Go guitarist Jane Wiedlin says. "Nirvana and all the bands that tried to be Nirvana were amazing rock bands, rock/pop bands, but they were pretty depressing, I'd say. Then you had the whole teen thing happen, which is pretty inorganic, pretty artificial, and I think you have a lot of people think back to the '80's very fondly, this time when it was real bands and real music made by real people, but kind of uplifting and fun."

The world of rock and roll isn't always as fun, however, as one expects. VH1's "Behind The Music" series has documented the perils of the road, the petty jealousies and differences, and the penchant for rock's excesses. Some-or all-of those factors contributed to the decimation of Journey, INXS, The Go-Go's and The Bangles. Journey and INXS are back out with new lead singers this summer, while The Go-Go's and The Bangles claim their differences are behind them. And maybe they weren't quite as bad as it appeared. "We wouldn't be able to be together now," Go-Go bassist Kathy Valentine says, "we wouldn't have been able to bury the hatchet and heal if it had been that horrible."

 

"There was so much going on at the time that we broke up, and just a lot of confusion and a lot of weirdness," The Bangles' Peterson reflects. "Getting back together, it was, 'That was then, this is now.' It's a whole different ball of wax."

She laughs about the "Behind The Music" disclosure of the similarities between so many groups, all of whom were built up, then destroyed, by the rock & rollercoaster. "You can almost predict it," she says of rock bands' turmoils. "It's so funny. You can't help things like that happening when you're working so closely with other people, you know. It's a relationship, and like any relationship, they can either continue or you break up."

The break-ups give the musicians a time to grow up, and to move on to other matters. For The Bangles, Susanna Hoffs entered a solo career, Vicki Peterson joined roots-rock band The Continental Drifters, Debbi Peterson got married and had a baby, and Michael Steele retreated to a secluded life in Northern California. Two members of The Go-Go's-Belinda Carlisle and Jane Weidlin-had short-term successes as solo artists, and all five of them continued to make music in some capacity.

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 15 - September 2018
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