I had been hearing and reading about this video for years but never knew where I could get a copy. I happened to mention this fact to my pal Jeff Hermann one day and he informed me that he actually owned a copy. He had gotten it long ago when he used to write for Film Threat. The only problem was that he had no idea where the tape was. My desire to see it was thus satiated, hearing a detailed description of the tape and knowing that I could see it if I made myself a pest.
However, a few months ago I called Video Search of Miami to inquire about a tape. Out of curiosity I asked if they carried The Go-Go’s Video as part of their Celebrity Porn collection. "No, and to tell the truth, I really don’t think it exists," was the reply.
"Well, I have a friend who has a copy-"
"Oh, sure, everybody’s got a friend who has a copy. I'll believe it when I see it."
The gauntlet had been thrown down: I had been challenged. I related this snotty exchange to Jeff and he made it his duty to track down his 8mm video and loaned it to me a week later.
So what’s all the fuss about?
The Go-Go’s Video is an hour long and roughly divided into three sections. Everything takes place in a Holiday Inn at about nine in the morning (apparently after a long night of partying) with the primary setting being the bathroom.
What really surprised me is that fact that The Go-Go’s Video is actually a misnomer. The only member of the group we get to see for any length of time is guitarist Kathy Valentine with a brief appearance by singer Belinda Carlisle. The primary players are David—the drunk/stoned/horny/flaccid guy, The Director—the disembodied, obnoxious horny control-freak, and Elaine—the vociferous star of the whole ordeal.
The majority of the video is Elaine talking to the rest of the players and expressing her love of life, the sound of her own voice, and zest for the here and now in the way that some self-absorbed drunks do. The conflict of the story comes when Kathy Valentine and Belinda Carlisle try to convince Elaine to react to David after he drops trou and starts masturbating. It sounds strange, and it is. They don’t want Elaine to fellate David (although he certainly does, always mumbling, "Gimme head, just a little head") but to pretend like she’s interested in his fruitless attempt at self-gratification. Valentine imagines their efforts will produce a work similar to Andy Warhol’s Blow Job but it comes across more like America’s Most Phallic Home Video as The Director repeatedly zooms in on David’s limp dick.
Highlights from the first section include a discussion of "fucking" versus "making love," lots of talk about no one ever seeing this video (as they try to convince Elaine to be an actress) and an aside by Belinda Carlisle confessing that she slept around with a lot of guys in the past. After about fifteen minutes, Carlisle disappears(presumably to go puke), never to make her presence known again except, perhaps, as an off-screen voice egging on Elaine.
We find out a lot about The Director in the middle section of the video when he is alone in the bathroom with Elaine, getting her reaction to the previous events. At first he makes some lame attempts at innuendo to which Elaine is oblivious. She continues chattering while his propositioning takes a more pointed turn. By the end of this segment he’s demanding that she show him her "tits" and gets a rather vile tone in his voice as he threatens to slam her hand in the door in her attempt to leave. Luckily, she manages to escape before harm befalls her.
The final and most talked about section deals with the deflowering of David as Valentine practices the age-old tradition of torturing the guy who passed out at the party. David manages to remain unconscious through Valentine’s shaving cream bath and doesn’t even flinch when she burns off some of his posterior hair. What finally stirs the restful quaalude dreamer is a ten-inch vibrator inserted into his anus by a male hand. I’m not sure if it was The Other Guy who, earlier, made occasional appearances outside the bathroom door, acting like a Greek Chorus, or if it was The Director finally getting some of his sexual aggression out on David’s poor hiney. Regardless, David is not amused.
The whole thing kind of fizzles out from there. A few other women, who were present for David’s violation, are interviewed and the whole thing ends with Valentine telling The Director to rewind the tape so they can watch it which is followed by the signal breaking up with the loss of control track; the video age equivalent of the final shots of Two Lane Blacktop or Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The rumor is that The Director worked with The Go-Go’s doing other video work (perhaps Totally Go-Go’s?) and made this video available to more than just friends when he felt cheated by the band. I wouldn’t doubt that he just made it public because he’s such a cock.
In the right mood, The Go-Go’s Video is an easy watch due to its inherent appeal to the viewer’s voyeuristic tendencies—who wouldn’t want to watch someone else’s home videos, especially when they feature famous people and debauchery? At other times it’s tough to sit through due to Elaine’s incessant yammering and the break-up of signal. The picture often goes from color to black and white and the end segment is marred by camera tube ghosting.
I imagine that if the Go-Go’s were still popular today or if more members of the group were involved with this video that it would be a more interesting watch. As it is, I found the tape to be pretty amusing if not merely to satisfy my scopophiliac craving. Supposedly, Video Search of Miami will be offering it for sale soon (since someone had to prove that the video does exist to shut them up). I know I would have paid $25 for it before I saw it but now I’m not so sure.