Belinda Carlisle broke away from The Go-Go's years ago and foraged ahead with a successful solo career. Now she has returned to say goodbye one final time.
Windy City Times: Hi, Belinda. When did you meet The Go-Go's in the first place?
Belinda Carlisle: We put ourselves together back in 1978.
WCT: Currently, you have seven solo albums and The Go-Go's have had four.
BELINDA CARLISLE: Yeah, something like that. I kind of lost count there have been so many.
WCT: I will ask you the same question that I asked Susannah Hoffs from the Bangles. How do you stay looking so good?
BELINDA CARLISLE: Susannah looks great! Thank you so much. What can I say? I am very happy. I do a ton of yoga. I don't depress myself. I don't drink or smoke anymore. I think all of that adds up.
WCT: Why did you decide to move to France?
BELINDA CARLISLE: I have been lucky enough to live anywhere in the world and my husband can, too. We always give it six months and now I have lived here for about 17 years.
WCT: And you have done a French album so it all worked out.
BELINDA CARLISLE: Yes that was three years ago when I did that.
WCT: You performed in the musical Hairspray last year.
BELINDA CARLISLE: Actually, I finished in January so I did that for four months total.
WCT: The Go-Go's farewell tour hits the road this summer. I am so disappointed that you are not coming to Chicago.
BELINDA CARLISLE: We only have three weeks to do stuff because everyone has so many things going on. I will be working this summer in Europe. I am bummed out, too. I thought we would have been coming up to Chicago but we are not.
WCT: Well, then people will have to drive out to see you.
BELINDA CARLISLE: Exactly. [ Both laugh. ]
WCT: With your son coming out of the closet, has that made you more active in the gay community?
BELINDA CARLISLE: Only in as much as I did a PSA for him and the article we did together for Out Magazine. I have always been pretty active in the gay community. I guess more so now because I have a friend that is political and pulls me in. Ninety percent of my friends are gay.
WCT: You have a new book that is coming out called Lips Unsealed. What made you feel like writing a book at this point?
BELINDA CARLISLE: I felt after 50 years that I had something to say. I always thought that I wanted to write a book. I wanted it to be more than a dirty laundry story or a rock n roll story. It had to be something else. I think after the past few years of sobriety that now I had something that could be inspirational. I had the backdrop of music. That's why I did it.
WCT: You have a fashion line coming out?
BELINDA CARLISLE: I have my website that will be up and running in October. I am on Indian time. It is a manana culture so it might go a little bit longer. It is my pet project now. I have put a lot of time into it.
WCT: What website can people go to then?
BELINDA CARLISLE: [ They can visit ] www.Carlisle-Mason.com . We will have diet things too. We have a small inventory but it is building quickly.
WCT: You will need a "Vacation" after this summer!
Belinda Carlisle's new book, Lips Unsealed, is available at www.borders.com . The website GoGos.com has more information about the farewell tour.