Friday, January 20, 2012

Belinda Carlisle Did Coke. Lots Of Coke.

So, as I perused Go-Go's and Belinda Carlisle videos on YouTube, in search of the answers to so many questions, I kept reading oblique references to "drug use." Just what kind of "drug use" were we talking about here? As far as I could tell, Carlisle was so clean-cut she made Barbra Streisand look like Janis Joplin. She seemed like the kind of girl who would scream if she broke a nail. Apparently those D.A.R.E. ads didn't work for her.

Turns out Belinda Carlisle did coke. Lots of coke. Mountains of coke. Enough coke for a small Eastern European country. More coke than Stevie Nicks, Marvin Gaye, and Richard Dreyfuss combined. Take the hypothetical amount of coke that Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, the Eagles, and Oasis may have consumed over the course of their entire careers, multiply that by five, and you might - might - be somewhere near the amount of coke that has been snorted by Belinda Carlisle.

Folks, this might explain everything. This might explain how, in just a few short years, she went from being a contemporary of X to a contemporary of Tiffany. Apparently she was on coke for years and years. It's quite possible that she may have had no idea what was going on the whole time.

The plot only thickened after I found an interview Carlisle did with Jenny Stewart of in 2009. Some excerpts:
If you had a five-hour window, where you could do any drug in the world with the assurance that nothing bad would happen and you'd be safe ... what drug would you do, and under what circumstances --

[Excited]. I can tell you exactly what it would be. I don't need to think about it! OK, it would be mushrooms, and it would be in the countryside in Ireland, which was one of the best days of my whole life when I did that! I went on a complete mushroom trip for an entire day, with a backpack filled with fruit, and it was so much fun.

Were you with anybody?

Oh, yeah! I was with an actual mushroom priest, and had a complete ceremony, and the whole thing -- and it was completely sacred, and it was AMAZING! I never would have guessed mushrooms. Yeah, definitely mushrooms. You probably would have guessed cocaine, but no -- no coke or anything speedy. Mushrooms, for sure. Totally.

You referred to what was maybe a bad party once as a result of "too much cocaine, Quaaludes and boredom." Totally random -- do you remember the number that was on a Qaaulude pill?

Yup -- seven-fourteen. Yes! [Laughs] That's scary, huh? But I used to love them.

What happened to them? Why did they stop making Quaaludes?

Well, because they were too good, that's why. [Laughs] They were just too good. I mean, I used to love the whole sort thing where you know, you'd get them, and then you'd take one. And then you'd just sort of wait for your fingers to get numb, and then your mouth would go numb, and then everything would just sort of get all . . . pear-shaped, basically.

Was there ever a super gorgeous lesbian groupie or even just a fan that made you think, "Wow!"

Oh, well, yeah -- that's happened quite a few times through the years. And not just to me, but to all the girls in the Go-Gos. And come on, it's always flattering, I mean, I'd rather have it from someone attractive than from someone ugly.
Damn. Belinda Carlisle was no delicate flower. This woman had been around.

Then Stewart proceeded to play a rather naughty game with Carlisle:
Would you be willing to play "Who would you rather sleep with?" I chose some female rock stars from the '80s, and you tell me which one you'd rather sleep with -- and why.

I'll play; it sounds funny.

OK -- Debbie Harry or Pat Benatar?

Debbie Harry. I mean, from what I said before and also because I wanted to be Debbie Harry when I was 17.

Joan Jett or Stevie Nicks?

[Thinks] Ummm . . . hmmm. Oh, Joan Jett! 'Cuz she's cute.

OK -- I just had to -- Joan Baez or Janis Ian?

[Laughs hard] Janis IAN? Oh, my God, that's so scary! I'd say Joan Baez. [Laughing]

But why?

Well 'cuz she's more attractive! [Still laughing].

Exene (from the punk band X) or Phranc the lesbian folk singer?

[Laughing] Oh, my God, that's slim pickin's right there! Hmmm. Well, I think I'd have to go with Phranc the lesbian folk singer.

Corey Haim or Corey Feldman?

Ewwww!!! Oh, God! [Laughs hard, then silence.] Hmmm. [Laughs harder.] Oh, God. OK, probably Corey Haim. [Laughing.]

But why Haim? You have to give a reason.

I don't know! I have no idea! [Laughing.] Well, because ... isn't Corey Feldman the one who moondanced? He was the one Corey that did the moonwalk, right? Anyone who does that? I mean, come on. No way.

OK, last one. Madonna or Cyndi Lauper?

Oh, I'd definitely go with Madonna. Just so I could say "I've been with Madonna."
For somebody with such a tame solo career, Carlisle sounded pretty ... zany. I was digging her style. Instead of finding answers, I felt as though the mystery was only deepening. I became even more intrigued when I discovered another surprising facet of this woman's career.

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