Meet Gina Schock, who’s best known as the drummer for that all female band, the Go Go’s. Gina’s been a galvanizing force behind the Los Angeles group’s success for more than four decades. And to date, the Go Go’s remain the only all women rock band to play their own instruments, write their own songs, and have their debut album skyrocket to number one. Due to a whole lot of hard living and rock and roll drama, the band called it quits after only a short time together. They did find one another again, though, and during the hiatus, Gina concentrated on songwriting. She’s also recently released a terrific coffee table book called ‘Made in Hollywood: All Access with the Go Go’s”. Below you’ll find part of the transcript from my interview with a very funny, very quirky, Gina.
Gina and I share one thing in common. We are the born within a month of each other. Unfortunately for me, her life has been a little more interesting than mine. Says Gina, “I don’t know about that. But it has been quite a journey for me, you know, and everything is sort of, like I cannot believe at this point in time, how everything is just blossoming into a whole other series of big events in my life that I thought wouldn’t be happening at this point in time. You know, what I mean? That the 80s were when we were really big, but there’s just so much going on right now Sandy with the gigs, and then on a personal level, it’s a lot going on with me. And I’m just like, well, busier than I’ve ever been since the 80s. I don’t have a minute’s time. Oh, all of a sudden, I’m getting calls from people, it’s like really weird, and but I’m loving it!”
After a lifelong journey of believing in the power of positive thinking, Gina Schock, the baby of a middle class family, is shocked to experience the fruits of her ambition when she joins the iconic all-female punk rock band, The Go-Gos, and finds unprecedented success.
“You discover all these things about yourself. I would just say, the last year, I have been so busy writing this book and putting together the photos that it’s kept me from going crazy. I’ve been on the phone every day with the fellow that helped me organise this and get this together. So I’m super excited. I mean, this is the culmination of, well, everything!”
The Power of Positive Thinking
Gina Schock was determined to make her dream of being a rock star a reality. She left her hometown of Baltimore at the age of 21 in her father’s pickup truck, believing anything was possible. She never stopped believing in the power of positive thinking, and worked hard to perfect her craft. After endless practice and saving her allowance money for new equipment, she got her first gig with an all-girl band. After joining The Go-Gos, her hard work and dedication paid off and the band skyrocketed to fame. 40 years later, Gina is still touring and the band is still thriving. She wouldn’t trade a single moment of her journey for anything.
The breakthrough hit: "We Got The Beat"
The Struggles of Being an All Girl Band in the '80s
It was tough. Nobody wanted to deal with an all girl band because there hadn’t been an all girl band that had been hugely successful. So they’re not going to put out hundreds of 1000s of dollars to get something. There’s no test run, thank God that we had people like Miles Copeland, who had IRS records and was smart enough to take advantage of what he saw was an opening in the industry because there was nothing like the Go Go’s around at all.
I brought in my insane work ethic. And they gave me fun in return. They said lighten up about it, it’s not so serious. Let’s have some fun on stage. Let’s not be so incredibly serious about every little thing. And I needed that. So the combination obviously worked really well. And we just got busy and we stopped this bullshit of rehearsing a couple times a month, until we were rehearsing five days a week and it didn’t take long before it started to pay off. I knew when I saw these girls that there was something there that needed to be discovered.It was the right fit. Fortunately for all of us, it worked beautifully. And before you know it, we were we were selling out, you know, people lining up around the block coming to see us. I just knew we were going to be big.
Jane Fonda - the coolest woman on the planet - brings the Go-Go's back together
The reason the girls got back together in 1990 is because of Jane Fonda. You know we’d broken up in 85 but then everybody started talking again. Calls went back and forth and all of us got calls separately from Jane Fonda who was trying to get a new initiative up on the ballot in California and asked us if we wanted to be a part of it. Well, we’re all green and environmentalists so we all agreed. And then when we got together and all our differences were forgiven. At the end of the day, the girls and I are family. We are family and sometimes you don’t like your family but at the end of the day you always love them. We’ve been through so much shit. None of us had been in relationships longer than we’ve been in relationships with each other. Jane Fonda got us together to do a show. And the rest is history. Including their long overdue induction into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. (see below)