I would guess that 98% of the stories I run on artists who had their heyday in the 80’s aren’t what you would call “feel good.” I’m gonna swim in that other two percent now and talk about one of my very first TV crushes Belinda Carlisle. Belinda has a memoir coming out today called Lips Unsealed a play on words from her hit “My Lips are Sealed” with the all-girl band The Go-Go’s.
Carlisle exploded into the pop world with The Go-Go’s and their hit “We’ve Got the Beat” off of their debut album Beauty and the Beat (1981). They went on to make history as the first all-female band that both wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to top the Billboard album charts. Belinda also had a very successful solo career in the mid to late 80’s with hits like “Mad About You” and “Heaven is a Place on Earth.”
From cocaine and alcohol abuse to a public battle with her weight Belinda’s stardom ride has frequently been a wild one. Her memoir digs deeply into this frantic past, focusing much of the time on her budding stardom during the early 80’s. Via the Amazon page for Lips Unsealed there is a quote from Publishers Weekly:
Alongside dizzying stardom came the requisite drug-and-alcohol frenzy, and much of this memoir is a chronicle of one party after another and a list of celebrity who’s who. Carlisle writes candidly, and her chronic fear of being exposed as a fake is heartfelt and winning.
Belinda recently sat down with Robin Roberts of ABC News to discuss Lips Unsealed. Here is what she had to say:
From Robert’s comments and Belinda’s responses it really does at least seem like Lips Unsealed is a candid and eye-opening look into a woman who has lived an extraordinary life. To further underscores this candid vibe here is a brief excerpt in which Belinda discusses the night she decided to give up her addictions to cocaine and alcohol in 2004.
I went on the biggest binge of my life, which is saying something considering I had used, boozed, and abused for thirty years. When I looked at my eyes in the mirror, I didn’t see anyone looking back at me. The lights were out. I was gone.
It scared me — yet I didn’t stop until I had an extraordinarily frightening out-of-body experience where I saw myself overdosing and being found dead in the hotel room. I saw the whole thing happen, and I knew that if I kept doing coke, I was going to die.
At that moment I shut my eyes, and when I opened them again I made the decision I had put off for much too long. I opened myself up to life. I appreciated the good, faced the bad, and began to find the things I needed.
As she states in the interview, the real lesson to be learned in this memoir could very well be that it’s never too late to change. In honor of the 80’s survivor I offer this blast from the past, a video I remember watching on TBS Night Tracks. I remember thinking Belinda Carlisle was one of the prettiest women I had ever seen and it certainly didn’t hurt that she rocked. I was head over heels for that girl:
That video really takes me back! “The Go-Go’s” are launching a farewell tour in July, you can check out dates here. I am glad to see Belinda alive (with a little plastic surgery assistance of course) and in a place where she has found some peace, love and understanding.