Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

The Go-Go’s are considered by many to be one of the best all-female bands of all time.

Meanwhile, Belinda Carlisle—The Go-Go’s lead singer—has had a wildly successful career on her own. She’ll be performing at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Saturday, Sept. 12.

Before Carlisle and The Go-Go’s were riding the charts, she played the drums, using the moniker “Dottie Danger” in the Los Angeles punk band The Germs.

During a recent phone interview, Carlisle laughed when I brought up the subject of The Germs. She said she’s proud of her brief time with the band in 1977.

“I was really fortunate to be part of a movement that comes around every so often,” Carlisle said. “… I met Darby (Crash) and Pat (Smear) before the punk scene. I was actually the drummer who never played. I had mono, and I had to go back home to my mom and dad, because I was ill. Lorna (Doom) and I went to high school together, and then one of the other girls from our high school took over for me on the drums. But I was a Germs spokesperson, and I handed Darby his (performance props) broken glass, peanut butter and salad dressing. It was hysterical and super fun—a bunch of kids, and no one in Los Angeles knew what punk rock was at all. It was the beginning of something special, and we knew it was really special.”

In 1978, Carlisle and her bandmates formed The Go-Go’s. After seven successful years, during which The Go-Go’s helped bring new wave music into the mainstream, the group broke up in 1985 due to addiction issues and personality conflicts. (The Go-Go’s reunited in 1999, and have been touring off and on ever since.)

In 1986, Carlisle re-emerged as a solo artist.

“I knew that I had the opportunity to have a solo career,” she said. “I was enabled to work with musicians who respected The Go-Go’s. … Having it all laid on you, it was kind of a scary thing. That transition was a bit difficult. I can do either-or, and feel pretty comfortable now.”

Carlisle has seven solo studio albums under her belt, and she said there is one album she’s very proud of: Voila, an album of French covers and pop standards she released in 2007.

Voila is nearest and dearest to my heart. I didn’t think anybody would really listen to it. It became a critical hit around the world, but not so much a commercial hit,” she said. “That was the first time ever that I got to work and not really care if anybody heard it or not. I worked from my heart, and it was all about doing exactly what I wanted to do.

“I knew after that experience, I never wanted to work any other way. I’d always been on a hamster wheel, from age 17 to age 43, so this part of my career is interesting and a lot more fun. It’s very laid-back, and I have an amazing back catalogue that I can work from. I can do pretty much whatever I want to do, and I like it that way.”

Voila was partly inspired by the fact that she and her husband live in France part of the time.

“I was introduced to a lot of amazing artists, and a lot of great music comes out of France,” she said. “You have the icons Serge Gainsbourg and Edith Piaf, and I was introduced to Leo Ferre. I always felt there was a little bit of a diva in me, and I knew that it was something I felt very comfortable doing. When I demo-ed Jacques Brel’s ‘Ne me quitte pas’ to see what it sounded like, it was very natural. It was a project that was really fun for me to do.”

It’s no secret that some of Carlisle’s biggest fans are members of the LGBTQ community. In fact, she recently said to Advocate, “I love looking out in a crowded theater and seeing a sea of gay men.” She said most of her friends since she was 17 have been lesbian or gay.

“From the beginning, I’ve had a pretty big gay following,” she said. “I think for me, personally, it’s because I lost a lot of friends to AIDS. Of course, my son being gay made me think a lot harder about it. I know even though there’s been a lot of progress made through recent years, there’s still a lot of homophobia and a lot of fear. … I’ve always been around the community, and I’ve always felt really comfortable. I’ve been very blessed for them being big supporters of my career.”

Carlisle has been open about her struggles with drugs and alcohol. However, she beat her addictions in 2005 at the age of 47, she said; she has credited yoga and Nichiren Buddhism as the foundation for her sobriety. She’s also taken up Kundalini yoga and Kundalini chanting.

“Nobody really has any down time anymore, and that’s the one benefit: To be able to be reflective. I find that chanting puts you in the rhythm to whatever divine thing is going on out there,” she said. “I find that it puts me in the rhythm of nature and life, and I find it to be a mirror into yourself, and you really can’t escape yourself from yourself. When I got sober over 10 years ago, I had been chanting for about two years. I knew I had a big addiction problem, but I think (chanting) maybe made me confront it more and be more honest with myself about it. That part of my life was really difficult, and I was chanting four hours a day when I got sober. The life force it gives you is unbelievable and unquestionable.”

In fact, chanting will be the basis for her upcoming album, which she said she just finished.

“It’s a chant album. It’s put to a pop format, so they’re pop songs, but they’re for chanting,” she said. “It’s Kundalini yoga chanting, which I’ve been really into for 10 years. I thought I was ready this past year to actually do it.”

Belinda Carlisle will perform at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 12, at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, in Indio. Tickets are $29 to $59. For tickets or more information, call (760) 342-5000, or visit

Published in Previews

As we head into July, we can expect the summer to become even more unbearable. Therefore, we recommend these fun events to get you out of the house—and keep you cool.

The first thing worth mentioning: The Hacienda Cantina and Beach Club in Palm Springs is now open! At 9 p.m., Thursday, July 3, the venue will be holding a Pre-July 4th Party with DJs inside the Hacienda. There is no cover charge. On Friday, July 4, the Hacienda will continue the free party, this time at the pool, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Sunday, July 6, also from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., DJs Yolanda Be Cool (right) and Overjoy will be performing, and again, there is no cover. These events are for those 21 and older. Hacienda Cantina and Beach Club, 1555 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-778-8954;

The Desert AIDS Project is marking its 30th birthday with its annual Mid-Summer Dance Party at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club’s Commune from 8 p.m. to midnight, Friday, July 25. Playing at the event will be Independent resident DJ All Night Shoes, as well as Femme A; there will also be a special performance by Cameron Neilson of The X Factor. Tickets are $40 to $75; the late-night party pass, for entry after 10 p.m., is $20. For tickets or more information, call the Desert AIDS Project at 760-992-0440, or visit

Speaking of the Ace Hotel and Swim Club, the venue is offering some great events in the Amigo Room on top of the regular weekly and monthly schedule. At 10 p.m., Friday, July 4, Sean Wheeler and Zander Schloss will be performing an Independence Day show. If you have never seen Coachella Valley local and Throw Rag frontman Sean Wheeler perform with Circle Jerks and Weirdos bassist Zander Schloss, you should go: They are a fantastic acoustic duo who always put on a great show. Admission is free. At 10 p.m., Saturday, July 5, Stronghold Reggae will feature DJ Journee and Dash Eye. Again, admission is free. Check out the website for even more great events. Ace Hotel and Swim Club, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-325-9900;

The Purple Room in Palm Springs has added a revue show, hosted by friend of the Independent Brian Wanzek and his famous alter ego, Bella da Ball. Act II will follow The Judy Show on Sunday nights at 8:30 p.m. There’s no cover. The Purple Room, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive; 760-322-4422;

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has one July music event worth mentioning. The Go-Go’s will be stopping by as part of the “Replay America” tour at 8 p.m., Saturday, July 26. Also performing will be Patty Smyth and Scandal, Martha Davis and the Motels, and Cutting Crew with Naked Eyes. Tickets are $65 to $170. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995;

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has a slate of excellent events in July. At 8 p.m., Saturday, July 5, Art Garfunkel (right), half of the legendary Simon and Garfunkel, will be performing. After staying away from the stage for a few years, Garfunkel is back, and this should be a great show. Garfunkel released his last solo album, Some Enchanted Evening, back in 2007, but he has dates booked through the summer, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll be hearing more from Garfunkel going forward. Tickets are $29 to $59. Korean rapper Kim Jong-Kook and Haha have teamed up for a summer tour and will be stopping by at 8 p.m., Saturday, July 12. Tickets are $45 to $110. If you’re a fan of The Voice, you’ll be happy to know that The Voice Tour will be here at 8 p.m., Saturday, July 26. Tessanne Chin, Will Champlin, Dia Frampton and others will take the stage. Tickets are $39 to $79. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000;

Spotlight 29 has some nice tribute acts booked in July. Gregory Wolfe will be performing a tribute to Rod Stewart at 8 p.m., Saturday, July 5. Tickets are $20. Dean Colley will be paying tribute to Neil Diamond at 8 p.m., Saturday, July 26. Tickets are $20. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566;

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace is shrugging off summer and putting on amazing shows throughout the season. At 8 p.m., Wednesday, July 2, Ronnie Spector will be performing. Spector, the famous ex-wife of music producer Phil Spector and former lead singer of the Ronettes, is the original bad girl of rock ’n’ roll. Tickets are $25. At 8 p.m., Saturday, July 19, the Los Angeles punk band X will be stopping by for … an acoustic performance? Strange! X’s lineup includes Exene Cervenka (who recently went crazy and claimed a recent Southern California mass shooting may have been a hoax), John Doe, Billy Zoom and DJ Bonebrake. Tickets are $27.50. At 8 p.m., Sunday, July 20, the indie-rock dance group !!! (Chk, Chk, Chk, below) will be stopping by. !!! is one of the most energetic and entertaining bands touring today. At an intimate venue like Pappy’s, their show is going to be insane. Tickets are $17. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956;

Published in Previews