John Bridges is a published author of history, and politics. His doctorate is in criminal justice. He's a fan of trivia and the Golden Girls
We Got The Beat
The Go-Go’s are a band that originated in Los Angeles, California in 1978. They did not come to prominence until the 1980’s where they became iconic symbols of a generation. They were a bit more unique than many girl bands of the times because they wrote their own music and played their own instruments (tasks usually assigned to external musicians). The bands original genre was punk, and as they progressed into the pop genre, some members drifted away from the group and were replaced by other musicians.
The bands name was not derived from the Whiskey a Go-Go club where they frequently played during their early years. It is also not a derivation of the name Goldman, the company that helped them produce their own records. The name is actually taken from a song by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, “Going to a Go-Go”.
Venus (On a Mountain Top)
Bananarama is an all-girl group that began in 1981 in London, England. Dillon and Woodward were childhood friends, while Fahey was attending fashion school alongside Dillon. The 3 were destined to become an iconic group, but there were little signs initially. It had an unlikely success as two of the 3 group members were living in a shelter and as their time allotment was coming to an end, they were very close to becoming homeless. They were rescued from this fate by a member of the Sex Pistols, who offered to let them live in a space above his rehearsal studio.
The unusual name is derived from the combination of Banana, which they borrowed for the children’s television show, “The Banana Splits”. The Rama was derived from one of the groups favorite bands, Roxy Music, who had a song titled, “Pajama Rama”.
The Waitresses formed as a group in Akron, Ohio in 1978. Their sound was decidedly punk. They are most known for the songs, “Christmas Wrapping, I know What Boys Like, and Square Pegs”. The biggest hit, “I know What Boys Like” was actually made in 1978 but people were not ready to accept their musical style until 1980, when the song was actually released. The song “Square Pegs” inspired a situation comedy by the same name, and served as the theme song for the show.
The origin of their name is unknown. They were influence by fellow Akron artists, Devo.
Walk Like and Egyptian
The Bangle’s were an all-girl band (with an occasional male bassist) that formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California. It consisted of permanent members Susanna Hoff, Debbi and Vicki Petersen and Michael Steele. Their first album had a cult following, in part due to featuring Leonard Nimoy in one of their videos. They garnered the attention of 80’s icon, Cyndi Lauper, who invited them play her opening sets. This also raised their exposure and caught the notice of none other than Prince. Prince had written the song “Manic Monday” for another artist but decided to give it to the Bangle’s. The band now had a prominence of their own, which let to their most successful song, “Walk Like and Egyptian”. Just the mention of this song, often provokes the music to play in the ears of 80’s children.
The bands name derives from their original name, The Bangs. As their first album was 2 days away from being produced, they were threatened with a lawsuit by a boy band on the east coast that had already claimed the name The Bangs. With little time left to decide, and a desire to keep the audience they had already cultivated, they made the small adjustment in the name and changed it to The Bangles.
Push It (Push it Good)
Salt N Pepa
During the mid-80’s, girl groups became edgier thus paving the way for girl groups of the 90’s. The group originated in New York City, NY and (despite the names implication) consisted of three members, Cheryl James, "Salt" and Sandra Denton, "Pepa". Latoya Hanson and Deidra Roper took turns in the third position. James and Denton were co-workers at Sears and both were nursing students at Queensborough Community College. They became close friends. They were first discovered through participation in another student’s school project. This collaboration resulted in their first single, “Showstoppa”. Their original name was “The Super Naturals”. The name change was due to marketing and branding decisions and derived from the opening line of the song, “Push It”.
For those who are fans of Missing Persons, it will be featured in an upcoming article. Although the group has the iconic 80's Girl Band sound....there is only 1 girl in the band.