by Anne M. Raso
We were lucky enough to get to meet up and chat with Belinda Carlisle last week at the Barnes & Noble at 150 East 86th Street in Manhattan. She was looking as gorgeous as ever (sporting an interesting black crinkle fabric ensemble that looked very Issey Miyake) and did a Q&A with gal-pal Sandra Bernhard to promote her autobiography, Lips Unsealed (from Crown Publishers).
Belinda signed a pile of 100 books as she told us rather frankly that she had to leave a lot of things out of the book (probably partially not to upset fellow Go–Go members, who cancelled a summer farewell tour on June 10th right after bassist Jane Wiedlin suffered an ACL injury). But the stuff she left in is fascinating! Carlisle admits that while having a successful career (although a few solo albums failed to cause a stir in the US), an almost unheard-of lengthy showbiz marriage to actor James’ Mason’s son Morgan and an openly gay son as into politics as his dad (who was once a special assistant to the President), she had a cocaine problem from the late 70s until 2005. She was, amazingly enough, able to clean up her act without the help of a 12 step program.
Pal Sandra Bernhard lovingly grilled the singer-actress-author-entrepeneur in front of an audience of about 400 (they had to bring in extra chairs to accommodate everyone).
Belinda is really into chanting and lives both in the South Of France and in India. Besides promoting her book and playing Thelma Von Tussle in the West End edition of Hairspray this fall, the stunning SoCal gal, now 51, says she wants to concentrate on areas “where people don’t care what I look like.” So, moving away from show business (although we do not think she will ever entirely leave with that huge legion of fans that she has), Carlisle has created a unique website called mason-carlisle.com where interesting items of all sorts from India are hand-selected by Go-Go #1 herself.
We suggest picking up Lips Unsealed just for one simple fact: Carlisle’s insecurity about her looks (although she is obviously gorgeous) and never thinking she deserves all the success she got hits a nerve with all of us insecure folks. Deep inside, she is still the five-year-old girl whose father left one day and did not resurface until she was famous. This is definitely a book worth spending your $26 on and then passing along to all your girlfriends.
(Our official macwire.com rating is 4 1/2 out of 5 stars because we wish she dished the dirt on her bandmates and romantic life just a little bit more. We were excited to read about her short-lived relationship with Michael Hutchence that became a friendship after both their bands toured together in 1984.)