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The Go-Go’s Gina Schock talks new book and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

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The Go-Go’s Gina Schock talks to Yahoo Entertainment about her new book, "Made in Hollywood: All Access with the Go-Go's," and discusses being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Video Transcript

LYNDSEY PARKER: So it's good to see you, Gina. You have a lot going on. The Go-Go's documentary came out. You're getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, friggin' finally, and I want to talk all about that. But now you have this book.

It's sort of a memoir, sort of an autobiography, but it's also a beautiful coffee table book with all of your photos. It's kind of like a book form of Go-Go's hoarders. Did you keep everything?

GINA SCHOCK: Yes, yes. But, you know-- and I'm not a hoarder, OK? I keep everything in its place, but I am very sentimental about things, and they mean a lot to me in that respect. And I guess I wanted to hold on to a piece of something that was happening at that moment so that one day I could look back at it and go, wow, that was great.

But I didn't-- had no idea that I would sort of become, like, the Go-Go's unofficial archivist. Do you know what I mean? Like, I didn't realize all that I was collecting until 30 years later or whatever, you know?

LYNDSEY PARKER: The Go-Go's stories obviously been told from multiple perspectives. I want to zero in a little bit, obviously, on something that was unique to your story, the hole in the heart scare you had right around the time when the Go-Go's were at a pretty fraught moment, because you have, like, a whole chapter in the book dedicated to this, and you have, like, pictures of you in the hospital. You have pictures of you from the bonding trip you took. So what exactly happened? Because, like-- I mean, first of all, you were how old, 26?

GINA SCHOCK: 26, I think. Yeah, yeah. It was-- it's like one of those things that happens to other people that doesn't happen to you, and how could this be happening? It was being stuck in a-- I've said this many times, but it was like being stuck in a bad movie. When we would go on long tours, you'd have to take a-- get a physical to get insurance. And so we all got physicals, and mine came back that I had a heart murmur.

So my doctor was like, Gina, plenty of people have heart murmurs. It's not a big deal. Don't worry about it. But we're going to do another-- we're going to do further testing. And so they did. And then I found out that I had a hole in my heart. And it was pretty shocking.

LYNDSEY PARKER: I read in the book that the hole was actually the size of a golf ball. If it had been discovered only a year or two later, you might not be here now.

GINA SCHOCK: Yeah. It would have been irreparable because, yeah, they wouldn't have been able to operate. She said, you would have died by the age of 31. It was so scary. We all dealt with it the best way we knew how. And it did bring us together at that moment in time, when things were kind of falling apart.

Everybody was-- it was sort of the height of the drug intake. Everybody had lots of money. It was a crazy time, but not in a good way. Yeah. Like I said, we took that trip to Palm Springs. In case I didn't make it, we're going to have one last party.

LYNDSEY PARKER: That sounds like a great trip, but I imagine the doctors might have been like, don't go partying in Palm Springs right before you have heart surgery.

GINA SCHOCK: I was only down to take Valium or mushrooms, and so--


GINA SCHOCK: That was-- keep the other drugs away from her. But we're so used to living a certain lifestyle, and we didn't-- drugs back then weren't a big deal because we were kind of kids experimenting and doing what you kind of do when you're in a-- when you're a "rock star," you know? I mean, we weren't thinking about it, honestly.

And we just dealt with things the best way we knew how. There was nobody there to give us a handbook on how we're supposed to behave or the dos and the don'ts. We were exploring and finding things out on our own. Back then, we weren't the best communicators.

We were just experiencing everything at a first time and trying to navigate through all that was happening around us and even with ourselves, discovering more about ourselves and how we-- how everything relates to one another. It was a tough time. And when-- and then when you add in something like me having the heart surgery, that just freaked everybody out. But then after a while, we got back into the routine.

LYNDSEY PARKER: As you were mentioning, you guys didn't have any rules. I mean, it sounds kind of dark, but I have to say, I laughed when I read in the book where you say Belinda Carlisle came to visit you in the hospital after you just had heart surgery and offered you cocaine. I'm sorry. That was-- I mean, maybe-- I'm not saying people should do that. Don't do this at home.


LYNDSEY PARKER: Don't do this in the hospital, but that's pretty-- that's a good '80s story, rock and roll story.

GINA SCHOCK: But it is a perfect '80s story, right?


GINA SCHOCK: The decade of excess. Everything is happening, and you're part of it, and it's all OK. Now, I can look back at that and laugh. At the time, it was really [BLEEP] stupid to do, but she wasn't thinking. She was just--

LYNDSEY PARKER: Being polite.

GINA SCHOCK: Yeah. It was just so typically Belinda to do something like that. She always made me laugh. And, of course, when she offered me that, I screamed, and we both laughed. Of course, and that really hurt to laugh, but I don't think she would have seriously given me coke if I had asked her for it.

LYNDSEY PARKER: I hope not. I hope not. And you were actually, like-- not just later that year, weren't you, like, performing with, like, your arm in a-- like, basically while you were still very much in recovery, you were performing?

GINA SCHOCK: I don't remember how many months it took. I just know that I was in a lot of pain. And because they just sort of-- they saw your sternum in half. And so to move-- you can't move without it being some really intense pain.

I mean, I just fought through that and tried to deal with it in the best way I could, because I knew I had to go on tour. So I had to get my [BLEEP] together. And I wanted to. I mean, I didn't want to just lay in bed.

I-- it was-- you don't want to lay there and think about things. You want to get up and do something so your mind isn't stuck on what you just went through, which was really heavy. And thank god, we had each other to rely on. Even though there was a lot of problems, there was still always this thread of family.

We always were like family. You might not like your family, but you always love them at the end of the day. And there's times when you don't even speak to them for however long, but it always comes back, because there's something that holds together, that keeps it together. That's the way this band is, still, after all these years, you know? I still think we're all pretty tight.

LYNDSEY PARKER: It's interesting because in the foreword or the introduction to your book, "Made in Hollywood," you say something-- I'm paraphrasing, but you say something to the effect of it still kind of surprises you, whether it's the fact that "Beauty and The Beat" was the first album that-- to go to Number 1 that was all female written and played. But has it sunk in by now, particularly when you've been going through all of these archives, like, oh, wow?

GINA SCHOCK: No. I was too in the moment to even think ahead, honestly. I mean, everything was happening so quickly, and I was young and didn't quite understand everything that was going on. I was just taking photographs, having fun. I didn't realize what they would mean to me or to our fans or anyone until I put this book together.

And I'm like, I almost feel like it's-- that's some other person. Like, can that really-- is this really my life? Because it's really been pretty magical, I've got to tell you. In retrospect, I am just so [BLEEP] grateful. I can't believe that this has been my life. It was my dream as a child, and I grew up, and it all happened for me. I am very proud of this band and all we've accomplished, and I think we have made a difference.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Absolutely. You made a difference in my life, for sure. And that's why I've expressed such elation over the fact that the Go-Go's finally not got-- only got nominated for the first time for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-- the nomination itself was so overdue-- but then now you're getting inducted. And your book, "Made in Hollywood," and the ceremony are happening in the same week.

GINA SCHOCK: That's crazy, right? I couldn't have-- you couldn't have planned that. Everything's really great. I haven't felt this good. Just everything's working out beautifully, I don't know. And to be inducted with other folks like Tina Turner and the Foo Fighters, who I have great respect for, it's going to be a very special night. I'm so excited, but I'm kind of-- I'm very nervous about it, too. I'm a little stressed.

LYNDSEY PARKER: What are you nervous about?

GINA SCHOCK: Well, I just want everything to go really smooth and-- smoothly. And I-- who knows how-- somebody might-- I might drop a stick, or somebody's guitar string might-- a string might break or a-- yeah, I don't know. I just want everything to go really smooth for the band. And I-- we don't know what's going to happen, but we'll be there, doing what we do.


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