This week on the music beat
The Go-Go's and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion made music news the week of October 16, 1998
Go-Go Dolls In 1981, the Go-Go’s hit the charts with ”Our Lips Are Sealed.” Now, almost 20 years later, those frosted lips are talking. The ’80s pop princesses have struck a deal with director Ted Demme (Beautiful Girls) and his wife, producer Amanda Scheer-Demme, to develop a feature film that’ll look unstintingly at the band’s drug-addled, sex-crazed past. Guitarist Charlotte Caffey promises a movie that’s ”edgy, kitschy, hysterical, historical, and honest.”
Honest? Go-Go male groupies included a Brat Packer and a Los Angeles Dodger. How will producer Demme handle the debauchery? ”Tastefully,” she says. ”The way Boogie Nights told the story of pornography is the way we’ll tell the story of the Go-Go’s — drugs, sex, and rock & roll. Otherwise it would be the Spice Girls movie.”
Easy Ryder Critics’ darlings the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion may never go multi-platinum, but they won’t have to sing the blues about lack of cred with Hollywood’s hipoisie. Actors Winona Ryder, Giovanni Ribisi (Saving Private Ryan), and John Reilly (Boogie Nights) all appear in the JSBE’s upcoming video for ”Talk About the Blues,” each playing a member of the band (Ryder plays Spencer), while Spencer and company portray actors in a movie. ”It’s sort of a spoof of videos hyping movie soundtracks,” says the video’s director, Evan Bernard, who reports that the actors worked gratis. ”I heard a rumor that Jon Spencer’s going to play Winona in the made-for-TV movie The Winona Ryder Story,” says a tongue-in-cheek Bernard. Don’t laugh too hard; Spencer seems to be seriously considering new career options. Says Spencer: ”The thing people will be most surprised by is seeing the Blues Explosion act. People who’ve seen the footage keep asking ‘When’s the movie coming out?’ and Matador/Capitol [Spencer’s label] are talking about bankrolling a real movie — the stuff is that good.” If Spencer can deconstruct a role the way he can a rock song, the acting profession may never be the same.