Video Review: The Go-Go’s “Turn To You”

A server passes by a young man (Rob Lowe) and his date (Kathy). He hands her a glass of punch. Snippets of conversations can be heard around them. One girl remarks “what a dirty old man” and laughs. The male chaperone whispers in the female chaperone’s ear.

On stage, The Go-Go’s, dressed as men (with the exception of Gina Schock) begin to play. Couples begin to dance. The young man walks away and Valentine sighs, disappointed that he’s gone.

Jane  pulls up to her date’s house. He hands her the corsage. With a grimace, she tosses it in the car. On the dance floor, Belinda  (now a woman), who is shy, tries to talk to people. But they walk away. She looks around, wondering what she did wrong. Three guys stick their arms out like guitars and pretend to play along with them.

Lowe hears his name. When he turns around, it’s Belinda (still a woman). He talks her by the hand and leads her onto the dance floor. The dance is short-lived, as one of her classmates (Charlotte Caffey) asks to cut in. Lowe says yes and dances with her instead. Then, another young man (Gina, in drag) asks to cut in. Low says ok and walks away. Charlotte rolls her eyes and keeps her distance. The three guys check out the drummer.

Gina (again, in drag) approaches Kathy, who is swinging her arms to the beat. Charlotte (as a woman) gives Belinda (in drag) her corsage. Belinda  tosses it back to her and laughs. Gina  (in drag) does a magic trick with one of his classmates. She enjoys it. One of the students drains their flask into the punch.

Belinda  (now a woman) is sitting on a bench. She smiles when Lowe comes back. He whispers in ear and begins to kiss her. Kathy sits down next to them and taps Lowe on the shoulder. Lowe waves her off. When he turns around, he sees that it was original date. Belinda (now a man) takes a deep breath and gets into Jane’s car. Belinda (in drag)leans in to kiss her. Belinda  (as a woman) realizes she’s alone and looks around.

The students clap for the band. Belinda (on stage, in drag) gives them a nod.

Rating: 5/5

Given that at the time homosexuality was taboo, the Go-Go’s went for the edge and continued to gnaw at it until it was gone. They play with traditional stereotypes (the band is male) while the drummer is the lone female. The women on the dance floor are concerned with who their partners are and not much else. The men make sure to the women have enough to drink.

However, when Charlotte (as a female) gives Belinda (as a man) her corsage, there’s the realization that perhaps Charlotte is a bisexual who prefers pretty men. At the end, when Belinda  (as a male) chooses Jane, giving her a kiss (which isn’t shown) challenges the taboo. Currently, transgender would be an issue, too. Does Belinda (as man) identify as a lesbian or as a male? What about Gina (as a male)? As a male, Gina gives off the impression being transgender. No matter the decade, the video fits into it.

Director: Mary Lambert  Year: 1984

The Go-Go’s Turn To You


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