Thursday, January 26, 2012

Belinda Carlisle May Have Had The Most Awesome Career Of All Time

Think about it.

If someone asked me to come up with the most absurdly awesome pop singer career I could think of, designed to appeal specifically to me, Little Earl, I think this is what I would have come up with. No, scratch that; what I would have come up with wouldn't have been as good.

Upon closer inspection, I came to realize that Belinda Carlisle appears to have collaborated with, performed on the same bill as, or at the very least met, members of every single one of my favorite bands. The Beatles? Check. The Beach Boys? Check. The Rolling Stones? Check. Fleetwood Mac? Check? The Bee Gees? Check. Roxy Music? David Bowie? Queen? Elton John? Check check check check.

Elvis? No, but she claims he is her favorite singer and she wears white underwear in his honor (Elvis apparently liked white underwear). Frank Sinatra? No, but she once had an amusing encounter with Sammy Davis, Jr. in a Hollywood restaurant. Michael Jackson? No, but she claims he once called her hairdresser to ask if she wore a wig (she didn't). Nirvana? No, but her former Germs band mate Pat Smear went on to become essentially the fourth member of Nirvana during their last year or so of existence.

You name it, she's done it. Number One album, and single? Yep. Selling out Wembley Stadium? Yep. Marrying the son of a movie star? Yep. I was even surprised to discover that, although her solo career essentially dried up in the US around 1990, she remained extremely popular in the UK throughout the early '90s, even scoring Top Ten hits as late as 1996.

1996! I mean, this was when the UK music scene was really happening with, you know, real artists. And people were still listening to Belinda Carlisle? Christ on a cracker.

What had begun as a vague, casual interest had now slid into a sick, twisted obsession. I rapidly consumed every Belinda Carlisle YouTube clip I could get my hands on. I did Belinda Carlisle YouTube clips the way Belinda Carlisle did coke. Did you know that there are whole secret YouTube caverns and crevices dedicated solely to Go-Go's and Belinda Carlisle clips? I have been there. I have been to the mountaintop.

So, to summarize: Girl goes from being in arguably the first L.A. punk band ever, to being the lead singer of one of the greatest New Wave bands ever, to becoming a late '80s Top 40 cheesemeister, to becoming a European chart fixture at the height of Britpop ... I mean, here is a woman who managed to consume every chemical known to man, send pictures of her vagina to men's hotel rooms, pose for Playboy, and still came off classier than Madonna ... why, this has to be the greatest, zaniest career of all time. A career so zany, you couldn't make it up if you tried. A career so zany, someone needed write a book about it. Just to put it all in perspective, to try to make some sense of the whole shebang. Hell, I would do it myself - that is, if it hadn't been done already.

Ah. For you see, during my research, I quickly discovered that someone had recently (June 2010) beaten me to the very punch. Imagine my surprise when I learned the author's name:

Belinda Carlisle.

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