To me, this is nothing short of mind-boggling, but I have been friends with the original bass player for The Go-Gos for years. She is on the far left of the picture above. I just found out this morning. A mutual friend posted something about her on Twitter and referenced her history with the band, so I looked into it. Sure enough, she was the original bass player for the biggest all-girl band of all time. I only knew her as Margot.
She and I used to often drink together at the same local bar in the East Village - Bar On A. Or, B.O.A. I have written about it here before a handful of times, though that was back when I lived in NYC. I have been writing here for ten years now, non-stop. If I were Jack Kerouac I would have just now finished On The Road.
I always thought she was more a Chilean dissident. She spoke much of South American politics and the brutality of the Pinochet regime. She was Chilean and knew much more about the politics of the region than I would have otherwise, so I listened a lot. I remember her excitement and enthusiasm when the demented old thug finally bit it. I was happy for her, and also reveled a bit in his death. Fuck the humorless.
She had been squatting in a building in the East Village for who knows how many decades. It was either next door or very close to Eddie Adams' bath house studio on 11th St. between Ave A and B. I went to her place once and the floors were, quite literally, sheets of untreated plywood. There were holes here and there that she warned me not to step near. The innards of the building could be glimpsed in some of them. Dark places that were inhospitable to human life. She had detritus scattered everywhere and a fair number of books. There was no heat. Because she was squatting the building's owner had disabled the radiators, or that's what she suspected he had done. I was envious of the amount she paid for her place. I don't remember the amount, but it equated to free in my mind. I immediately adopted the squatting mentality, I only lacked the appropriate situation to enact my faith in the process.
I was not there for sex. Or rather, she and I never had sex. I'm not sure why I was at her place. Drugs would have been the more likely reason, though I do not remember doing drugs with her, but that means nothing. I was doing a sufficient amount of them at that time that there are no documents that might piece together my story in any meaningful or coherent way. My days in NYC were like an enormous jigsaw puzzle whose pieces were set on fire one at a time.
Margot was kicked out of the band before they "made it big." She was missing a lot of practice because she wanted to remain true to their LA punk roots, then she contracted hepatitis, also. They wanted to wear dresses and makeup and make pop music, which they did. She sued, they settled. That money was long gone by the time I knew her. What fascinates me almost more is that she went on to work with Martin Atkins, who also worked with Public Image Ltd., Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, and Killing Joke. She worked with him on a musical project called Brian Brain, but it went nowhere. I would have hardly stopped bothering her if I knew who she was. Her secrecy was perhaps calculated.
I read most of this on Wikipedia today. Such was my fascination with having known her. I texted everybody that I knew from that circle and (almost) nobody knew that she had this storied past. There was no hint of any of this left. She was soft spoken. Also, an activist of some sort - environmental, I think. I remember her giving a speech somewhere that I wasn't able to make, but had wanted to.
She and I stayed in touch for a while on social media after I moved to California, but I noticed that she's no longer on any of the platforms.
Who can blame her, really?
Go-Go music really makes us dance
Do the pony, puts us in a trance
Do what you see just give us a chance
That's when we fall in line
'Cause we got the beat...