This is a private videotape that, until recently, could only be procured via underground sources with connections to the right people. However, thanks to the Internet and capitalistic swine wishing to profit from the foolish indulgences of celebrities, it can now be purchased with relative ease by anyone on eBay or other auction sites.
Many people have claimed this video is a disappointment and a waste of money because there are no images of any Go-Go's romping in the nude. Fair enough criticism, I suppose. Everyone has their own vested interests when it comes to these things. My interests have always been with how the private lives of those in the public eye often differ quite dramatically with the public personas that are so carefully orchestrated and packaged for the consuming masses. This video doesn't disappoint on that front.
Just a few months prior to the shooting of this rather shocking video, The Go-Go's had held the number one chart position for 6 weeks with their album Beauty and the Beat, played a huge arena tour with The Police, and had been heavily marketed as wholesome fluff. They played their own instruments and wrote their own songs, but, ultimately, their most marketable quality was that they were five cute, fun-loving, girls in bright lipstick and mini skirts.
Of course, their publicists didn't elaborate as to just how fun-loving these women really were.
This is the introductory scroll that appears on my copy of the tape:
"In moments, you will be taken behind the scenes into a world seldom seen by the hordes of adoring fans. This tape was never intended for public consumption. In fact, many times you'll hear the girls say, "No one will ever see this tape. Do whatever you want." It is believed that this tape was privately shot by a roadie for the Go-Go's circa November 1982 -- long before state-of-the-art video camera equipment. The image is black and white and of lesser quality than today's "home videos." But it remains a fascinating look at the dark side of rock and roll".
Here's the play-by-play of the video in painfully minute detail:
The carnage begins with singer, Belinda Carlisle, bassist, Kathy Valentine, and a female aquaintance (possibly a fan), Elaine, gossiping and discussing the double standard applied to women with regard to having multiple sex partners. The picture is grainy, but despite the technical limitations, we are able to clearly see a male crew member, David - the pathetic leading man of this atrocity, arrive and stand behind the 3 women as they are talking. With apparently no prompting, he casually pulls down his pants, and, as the camera zooms in for a close up, he begins fondling his flaccid penis. The audio is rather bad, and it's worsened by the acoustics in the bathroom of the Holiday Inn where much of the tape was filmed, but Kathy is plainly heard saying somewhat sarcastically, "He's on film and he's soft.". Belinda, heavy-lidded and swaying in an obvious drug haze, observes David's unfortunate condition and helpfully suggests that he should "jack off". She taps on the camera lens and pulls it to her face where she gives the world her infamous, drug-addled musings on masturbation:
"If you can't get sex, then the perfect thing for you to do is to jack off. If you have enough imagination, if you have enough drive, then you gotta jack off. And why can't girls jack off instead of humiliating themselves knowing that they're going to be laughed at afterwards?"
Later, she offers a matter-of-fact description of her sexual past:
"Let me tell you something. About 3 or 4 years ago, I used to sleep around a lot and didn't really have any discretion about who I slept with; who I messed around with. I mean, I set standards, but, I mean, I would sleep with everybody. But the thing is, is that it was fun at the time when I was doing it, but afterwards, I couldn't help but feel, like, so depressed and so humiliated."
The tape plummets further into the depths of embarrassment as Kathy decides that, since they have a masturbating man at their disposal, they should utilise him and create an 'art' film. They try and cajole Elaine, their female aquaintance, into helping young David, seated oh-so-seductively on a toilet seat with his limp member in hand, achieve an erection. Elaine, to her credit, refuses to use her hand or mouth on him, despite Belinda's assurance that "No one -- no one -- will see your face". Kathy then decides it would be 'interesting' to simply film David "beating off" as Elaine watches him and reacts. Kathy, the most vehemently in favour of creating the art film, forcefully tries to direct Elaine and becomes visibly irritated when Elaine's acting appears less than sincere. Kathy is heard at one point saying in an annoyed tone of voice, "Just do it! Try and act passionate, like it's gettin' you off! For just one minute!"
Unfortunately, David had ingested 4 quaaludes which hindered his capabilities and, despite his pleadings for someone to "Just give me a little head and then I'll get hard.", and Belinda's willingness to provide him with masturbatory images of all 5 Go-Go's in "camisoles that show off the tits", the entire event was anti-climactic. Kathy appeared on film to offer this summation:
"The thing is, some things start, some things finish, some things never happen at all, some things you try to make happen as we saw tonight. But the thing is, don't expect a conclusion to everything. Just enjoy it for what's happening. It was high entertainment value this evening on a KUNT broadcast . And, uh, you know, sorry it didn't get all the way done, but that's the end of our show tonight. Thank you, thank you."
The next portion of the tape is, perhaps, the most disturbing. The cameraman calls Elaine into the bathroom and they have a private interview session. As he is filming her, he is asking for her explanations for refusing to be filmed in a sexual situation. She admits that she felt she was being "pushed". She adds that she is a "moody" person and that, though she's not personally against such behaviour, she just hadn't been in the mood. He prompts, "What if you were to get slapped around until you get in the mood?" Her reply is mumbled and unintelligble.
He later says, "Can I tell you a big secret?" and proceeds to admit to her, "confidentially", that he "jacks off" to the films he makes of people. "So give me something to jack off to," he commands, "because I'm going to beat my meat to this shit." She stalls for a moment and the cameraman continues to prod her by telling her he's heard she has tits shaped like a "champagne glass" and that he'd like to see them before he leaves town with the group. She declines and there is a small, but edgy pause. He's angry. The smallest trace of fear can be seen in Elaine's eyes as they follow his hand which appears suddenly from behind the camera as he slaps her. She turns her head away and laughs uncomfortably - almost defiantly - and says, "End of show. Bye.". She tries to opens the door, but the cameraman reaches out and grabs her by the back of the neck and puts his hand against the door to keep her from opening it completely. With the fingers of her right hand inside the partially opened door, she points at him with her left hand and says, with surprising force, "Don't hurt me." He hisses angrily, "I wouldn't fucking hurt you, just get your fucking hand out of the door." She refuses and he threatens to "crush the fuck" out of her hand, to which she calmly replies, "And I'll kick that very expensive camera." After a few very tense minutes, he relaxes his hold on the door and Elaine quickly exits. That's the last we see of her in the video.
The third and final part of the tape features David again. He's passed out cold in a bed, daylight is streaming in through the window, and there are many voices heard in the room - most of them women. Kathy, still going strong, has a can of shaving cream and is methodically covering various parts of David's body. Invariably, someone pulls his pants down, and we see Kathy trailing what appears to be a match or a small candle along his ass. The cameraman's voice is heard making fun of the size of David's penis and calling out for a particular woman to bring her vibrator to him. We hear the loud buzzing as the vibrator is switched on and a hand, presumably the cameraman's, is shown guiding the sex toy toward David's rectum. It's inserted quickly and deeply and disturbs David enough to momentarily rouse him from his stupor. The cameraman removes his hand from the inserted vibrator and giggles like a maniac as the phallus slowly slips back out onto the bed. He grabs a pillow and forces the vibrator back in again and uses the pillow to hold it in place. David audibly protests and he is left alone until he ambles out of the bed, drenched head-to-toe in shaving cream, and walks across the room to the bathroom. The last image we have of him is his back as he bends over a sink to wash his face.
The film, in its final moments, pans over to Kathy where she, once again, manages to sum up the situation so precisely and opines: "
This has got a lot of artful stuff, you know, it's got a lot of meaning. Stop taping now and rewind...."
Belinda and the rest of the Go-Go's have matured considerably since this incident and have been quite public about conquering their destructive
Jane Wiedlin, who was apparently at the party, but didn't appear on camera, was interviewed and had this to say about the video:
"It was just one of those stupid nights when
everyone was drunk and high and we had a video camera and we had this
brilliant idea that we were going to make an art film, like an Andy Warhol
movie, and we were trying to get some girl to have sex with one of our
crew, and it was just a big stupid drug disaster mess, and I feel sorry for
that guy because it is pretty humiliating or whatever, but it was just an
example of, you know.... typical excess!"
All of my efforts to find updated information on all the assembled unknown players have been fruitless. I heard murmurings that David, so traumatised by the unflattering exposure, had attempted to sue the band for damages, but that rumour is still unsubstantiated.
Elaine came across as quite strong-willed and confident. I'm sure she's doing just fine.
I am left only to hope that the cameraman attended an anger management course.