Jerri Blank meets the Go-Go’s

Sometimes you think things matter, then they don’t. Not compared to the big things. Case in point: There was something really important I just had to talk about last weekend. It got put off, but you know what? I now realize it was no big deal. Really. We can all forget about it.

Far more important: What’s the goddamn apostrophe doing in “Go-Go’s”? And more shocking: Why didn’t I notice before now? I was playing the group’s second album just the other night as part of my obsessive project of listening to every record in my collection in reverse chronological order, and it suddenly occurred to me: These crazy, madcap girls don’t know how to spell! Good thing their “Vacation” isn’t a remake of Connie Francis’s, where you have to spell the word!

(I was going to say “the Go-Gos’ second album” up above, but how would they spell that? Go-Go’s’? Go-Go’s’s? Cripes.)

The B-52s had the same issue. They used to spell their name with an apostrophe, but had the good sense to realize the error of their ways (albeit some 30 years into their music career) and change it. Maybe the Go-Go’s [sic] eventually would have changed their spelling too had their career survived more than a couple of years.

I do love them. (I love a lot of people with bad spelling and grammar skills…just not as much.) They probably thought, as they were learning to play their instruments and putting the group together, that spelling didn’t matter. This was new wave, fer godsakes!

Jerri BlankThe whole thing puts me in mind of a favorite episode of Strangers with Candy, where the main character, Jerri Blank (a 46-year-old high school freshman played by Amy Sedaris), tries out for cheerleader even though she can’t read. You might wonder, as my friend Marsha did upon viewing the episode for the first time, what the hell difference that makes. You find out when Jerri thinks “V-I-C-T-O-R-Y” spells “win!” and then “fandango?” and then “hobocamp.” I split a gut first time I heard that, and so did Marsha. Comedy at its best.

What was I talking about? Never mind. Not that important compared to news that the group just got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Guess how it’s spelled?

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