There were plenty of reasons for The Go-Go’s to be excited about the release of their song “Our Lips Are Sealed” in 1981. It was the first single from their debut album, Beauty and the Beat. They were on their way. Then came the video.
The song’s co-writer, Go-Go’s guitarist Jane Wiedlin, says the group didn’t want to make a video. Lead singer Belinda Carlisle thought that music videos were silly and unlikely to catch on. After all, MTV was just getting started in 1981. But the president of I.R.S. Records wanted them to do it. He even pulled unused funds from The Police’s video budget to finance the production. As new artists on the label, the Go-Go’s weren’t really in a position to say no.
The concept was simple: shots of The Go-Go’s performing the song on stage mixed with fun footage of them driving around sunny Los Angeles in a vintage convertible. The band still had reservations when the camera began rolling. However, it looks like they had fun frolicking in the fountain toward the video’s end, even though they were sure the police would show up at any moment. Not their aforementioned label mates, but the actual police department.
The shots of The Go-Go’s roaming around L.A. have an innocent, and now nostalgic, home movie quality about them. The Southern California sunshine had a way of washing off any hint of the band’s reluctance to being on camera. And the group clearly got over their aversion to videos because they went on to make many more.