How the Go-Go’s Got No Respect From Rolling Stone Magazine


With a documentary on the pioneering all-female band premiering on Showtime, here’s a look back at a career pinnacle that turned sour

Alison Ellwood’s “The Go-Go’s,” a documentary about that pioneering all-female band that premieres on July 31 on Showtime, is one of my favorite nonfiction films of 2020. But as I said when I interviewed Ellwood and the band at the Sundance Film Festival in January, I can’t even pretend to be an objective reporter when it comes to this movie, because I’ve known the Go-Go’s since before their first album came out in 1981, and I wrote about them often and with affection over the years.

As someone who was around the band during their first years of existence and sporadically since then, I found that Ellwood told the story with sympathy but also honesty. The Go-Go’s were always tougher than their frothy, happy image suggested, and there was always infighting and excesses of various kinds — and the film shows all the dimensions of the story, and also has the footage to make a case for them as a damn good band, too.

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Steve Pond

Awards Editor • • Twitter: @stevepond