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Lips Unsealed: A Memoir PDF, ePub eBook

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Lips Unsealed: A Memoir

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Lips Unsealed: A Memoir PDF, ePub eBook The women of the iconic eighties band the Go-Go’s will always be remembered as they appeared on the back of their debut record: sunny, smiling, each soaking in her own private bubble bath with chocolates and champagne. The photo is a perfect tribute to the fun, irreverent brand of pop music that the Go-Go’s created, but it also conceals the trials and secret demons that th The women of the iconic eighties band the Go-Go’s will always be remembered as they appeared on the back of their debut record: sunny, smiling, each soaking in her own private bubble bath with chocolates and champagne. The photo is a perfect tribute to the fun, irreverent brand of pop music that the Go-Go’s created, but it also conceals the trials and secret demons that the group—and, in particular, Belinda Carlisle—struggled with. Leaving her unstable childhood home at the age of eighteen, Belinda battled serious weight issues and grappled with her confusion about being deserted by her biological father. This talented but misguided teen found solace in the punk rock world that so openly welcomed misfits—even though acceptance had its price. Not long after forming, the Go-Go’s became queens of the L.A. punk scene. With a chart-topping debut album, Belinda found herself launched to international superstardom—and with that fame came more access to A-list parties, and even more alcohol and drugs to fuel Go-Go’s mania. Inevitably, Belinda began to self-destruct. This spellbinding and shocking look at her rise, fall, and eventual rebirth as a wife, mother, and sober artist will leave you wistfully fantasizing about the eighties decadence she epitomized, but also cringing at the dark despair hidden behind her charming smile. Lips Unsealed is ultimately a love letter to music and the story of a life that, though deeply flawed, was, and is still, fully lived.

30 review for Lips Unsealed: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jaidee

    4 " candid, revealing, on the way to health" stars !! Third Most Fun Review Written in 2018 Award I am a mild fan of both Belinda Carlisle and the GoGos: This is Belinda Carlisle's memoir covering her life up until 2009. This appears to be a cathartic and therapeutic exercise for her and her many struggles. She had a working class to poor childhood with a mother who was often emotionally unavailable due to her own struggles in keeping the family together and bona fide depressive disorder where sh 4 " candid, revealing, on the way to health" stars !! Third Most Fun Review Written in 2018 Award I am a mild fan of both Belinda Carlisle and the GoGos: This is Belinda Carlisle's memoir covering her life up until 2009. This appears to be a cathartic and therapeutic exercise for her and her many struggles. She had a working class to poor childhood with a mother who was often emotionally unavailable due to her own struggles in keeping the family together and bona fide depressive disorder where she was hospitilized. Belinda's father abandoned the family early on and she was raised by a hypercritical and volatile stepfather and was expected to take care of her younger siblings. She grew up insecure about her worth and weight and left home at the age of 17, hungry for fame in the punk world in LA. Unfortunately for Belinda, the interplay between her insecurity, self-centredness, cocaine and alcohol addiction and irresponsibility led to a very self-destructive, dangerous and painful life despite her many moderate successes and the love that was bestowed upon her by some very good friends and her husband (director and politician Morgan Mason) and her son who is now a gay social activist. The book describes in great detail her denials, lies, cruelties, emotional pain, narcissism that her cocaine addiction led her through. I must admit that although I felt compassion for her experience I also felt a degree of disappointment, disgust and anger at her many opportunities for help that she wasted as well as the great deal of pain that she put her friends, family and loved ones through. Belinda Carlisle left me personally though an Album that remains on my playlist to this day. This album is Runaway Horses that was released in 1989. I discovered this album a year later when I spent a few months between school travelling up and down the California Coast with a girlfriend and two other friends that we met in Oregon. It was one of the best summers of my life ...full of carefree fun, adventure and laughter. Sleeping on beaches, drinking strawberry wine, reading good books and attending all sorts of concerts and theatre productions (often just sneaking in). This album was listened to daily for two months along with The Cure, The Smiths and Pet Shop Boys with a smattering of early Culture Club, Eurhythmics and Duran Duran. Here is a clip from my favorite song from this album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uErml... Still love that song and remember dancing around bonfires with my friends in California ! I also have seen the GoGos and Belinda live a number of times and enjoyed the concerts thoroughly. An excellent book. Dear Ms. Carlisle please stay sober and enjoy your many blessings !!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    Pretty good. I am, and always have been, a big Go Go's fan. It started off really interesting but by the end was a little monotonous and I felt like screaming "Either get off the blow or die already!"

  3. 4 out of 5

    Georgette

    I loved the Go-Gos. I still love the Go-Go's. What I wasn't too hot about was Belinda's autobiography. While it was quite enlightening to read about her struggles with addiction and weight issues, it seemed throughout the book as if she was striving for more sympathy, by piling on more and more of things that went wrong. She glossed over the Go-Go's(in my opinion) and the fact that they were a pretty big part of the 80's(girl groups, that unlike the Monkees, played their own instruments, did the I loved the Go-Gos. I still love the Go-Go's. What I wasn't too hot about was Belinda's autobiography. While it was quite enlightening to read about her struggles with addiction and weight issues, it seemed throughout the book as if she was striving for more sympathy, by piling on more and more of things that went wrong. She glossed over the Go-Go's(in my opinion) and the fact that they were a pretty big part of the 80's(girl groups, that unlike the Monkees, played their own instruments, did their own videos, and wrote their own songs.) They contributed a lot to the music scene, but it seemed to me as if it kind of played a back seat here, to her own struggles. Obviously, it's her own autobiography, she's entitled. However- without that band- where would she be? Just a thought. I did enjoy reading about her finding her way out of addiction, and finding a sober lifestyle and a happy family. You hope that all of them will make it out, but more often than not, that isn't the case. There's just something missing from this book. I read it and thought "She seems self-absorbed". I'm not a fan of self-absorption unless aliens, zombies, or cannibals are involved.

  4. 4 out of 5

    christa

    I fell in love with Belinda Carlisle in the back of a clunky brown passenger van in the summer of 1987, my walkman spinning the cassette of her debut solo album, "Belinda." On the cover, the most beautiful woman in the world was dressed in all black against a Hubba Bubba pink backdrop, her bob flung whimsically in a way that said "I'm the kind of girl who tosses her hair. I'm always having fun." To see her on MTV supported this personae. In her videos, Belinda Carlisle spun and rolled in the sand I fell in love with Belinda Carlisle in the back of a clunky brown passenger van in the summer of 1987, my walkman spinning the cassette of her debut solo album, "Belinda." On the cover, the most beautiful woman in the world was dressed in all black against a Hubba Bubba pink backdrop, her bob flung whimsically in a way that said "I'm the kind of girl who tosses her hair. I'm always having fun." To see her on MTV supported this personae. In her videos, Belinda Carlisle spun and rolled in the sand, dance-flirted on sun porches, made love to a convertible's head rest with her voice -- a voice that sounded equal parts cigarettes and Tab. Her clothes always dangled off bare shoulders, like she had dressed hastily in the morning before sneaking out a bedroom window. Never trashy,though. What people mean when they say: "Why, she's a natural beauty." In her memoir "Lips Unsealed" the former Go-Go reveals that this was all a front. That beneath the tousled red hair and pearly whites, she was a coke head in an internal state of controlled chaos. She was on and off the wagon so many times that she should have splinter scars on the backs of her thighs. This shouldn't come as a surprise. The Go-Gos reputation for partying hardy was well-documented, and frequently Carlisle's own binges ruined live performances -- both televised and at sold-out concerts -- and pissed off her band mates. In 2005 she snorted her last snort after envisioning herself OD'd in a hotel room -- death by hotel room being popular in the crowd she ran with. (Consider her old friend with benefits Michael Hutchence of INXS). Not to mention that her longtime husband Morgan Mason -- he of the kissy face moments in the video for "Mad About You" -- was pretty much done with her secret stashes and wonky-eyed returns from touring. Carlisle was a chubby club girl -- nicknamed "Belimpa" by her high school classmates -- in the late 1970s, hanging in the Hollywood punk scene with her gal pals. One night, sitting on a curb, they decided to start the band that would eventually become the internationally beloved Go-Gos. Amount of musicality between them: Nada. (Carlisle told those shrieking sociopaths on "The View" recently that in those days, it was pretty uncool to actually know how to play an instrument). Soon after they were touring in Europe, and went on to become the first all-girl band to write and play their own instruments and land a number one record. By then they had shed their punk roots and were producing something a little more poppy than they were first comfortable with. Of course, the Go-Gos were pretty short-lived. They were divided between the party girls and the not-so party girls, and there was some resentment about their front woman's bigger hotel rooms, and role as spokeswoman. Rightfully so: While the other women learned their instruments and earned songwriting credits, Belinda Carlisle was completely divorced from the creative process. Ms. Carlisle went on to get married, develop a solo career that started up here, and progressively attracted less and less interest. There were reunion tours with the Go-Gos, and drug binges across the globe that included a particularly harrowing experience involving mountains pallets of coke guarded by machine guns. There were weepy promises made to her husband, and a brief reprieve from addiction while she was pregnant with her son. Add to this a Madonna-inspired eating disorder, fueled by seeing how svelt the Queen Material Girl had gotten and comparing herself unfavorably. Then there is the time she gets coked up in the bathroom at her son's school ... Speaking of purging: This book is a big one. Carlisle puts it all out there, leaving seemingly no part of her life for the sequel. This memoir doesn't necessarily paint the newly-minted AARP member as a real sweetheart. And since she's being so goll darn honest, she fact checks a few of the rumors that have spun about her over the years no matter how inane and forgettable they are to the general public. Things like: 1. No, she didn't screw David Lee Roth; 2. She did not do coke while she was pregnant with her son; 3. She wasn't dropped from her label after "Live Your Life Be Free" because of a public altercation with the then label president. These dolled out digs are a little trite, but hey, if she's going to splay her story without romanticizing an ounce (or gram, as the case may be), she's allowed a bit of self indulgence. She is exactly what you would expect from a 1980s rock star, right down to the part where she cleans up her act and includes the Dalai Lama on her reading list. These days Belinda is living in the south of France. She's a spokesperson for a weight loss system. Her son is en route for college, and she's still married to the romantic lead from her music videos. She was on one of those reality dance competitions. She has been sober five years. The Go-Gos had planned a summer last-ditch reunion tour, but Jane took a digger when hiking and her ACL surgery called for canceling. Many years ago I wrote a bloggy love letter to Belinda Carlisle, and said that I didn't really want to know about her real life. I wanted her to be that woman skipping through an apartment, singing and tossing her hair. Beaming and shiny skinned. I didn't want to see her strung out at 8 a.m., Rod Stewart screaming at her for keeping him up all night. But that is untrue. This book was delicious. I've been having mini-Belinda video fests for the past few days, and falling in love with her all over again. Let's just say: I feel the magic like I've never felt before.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    I was at the library and saw this book in the return pile and thought, Hey! Belinda Carlisle! I was a Go Go's fan, owned their first 2 albums in my record collection. Judging from the title, I thought this should be a good read about the Go Go's told by the lead-singer herself. However.... Belinda, Belinda, Belinda! You seriously glossed over the years with the Go Go's and wrote a book about a coke/alcohol addiction lasting 30yrs! Hardcore! Why are you still alive?! And why did it take you 30yrs I was at the library and saw this book in the return pile and thought, Hey! Belinda Carlisle! I was a Go Go's fan, owned their first 2 albums in my record collection. Judging from the title, I thought this should be a good read about the Go Go's told by the lead-singer herself. However.... Belinda, Belinda, Belinda! You seriously glossed over the years with the Go Go's and wrote a book about a coke/alcohol addiction lasting 30yrs! Hardcore! Why are you still alive?! And why did it take you 30yrs to get your s**t together?! I had heard the rumors about BC's partying ways, but holy crap! She is one lucky girl that was never found alone, dead in some hotel room. Although I give her credit for being forthright about her drug addiction and its destruction...(over and over and OVER again!) I find it hard to believe that never once did any of the Go Go's bitch-slap BC for her self-indulgent ways (C'mon, Jane!). Or perhaps those cat fights were conveniently left out of the book. Regardless, there was no depth to any lesson that was ever learned well into her solo career and beyond. Each chapter had a new beginning with the same 'ol repeated ending. I found myself screaming in frustration "Please! For the Love of God! Snap out of it!!" I was annoyed with a woman who became a wife and mother but was too self-absorbed to ever give up her recreational lifestyle. For anyone. Her husband and son are saints. It wasn't until the final chapters that Belinda claimed sobriety and happiness in life, studying meditation and yoga with travels to India. Unfortunately by then, she had lost me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    This book was extremely scattered. Apparently Belinda Carlisle thinks the Go-Go's had more of a profound effect on music than I thought, but ah well... She is deliciously self-absorbed, and of course she finds yoga, and spirituality that help her quit her rampant drug use. Apparently her husband and son were not enough to do the trick. I read this after seeing an interview with her, and kind of thinking she seemed cold and detached, and this book left me with no different of an impression of her This book was extremely scattered. Apparently Belinda Carlisle thinks the Go-Go's had more of a profound effect on music than I thought, but ah well... She is deliciously self-absorbed, and of course she finds yoga, and spirituality that help her quit her rampant drug use. Apparently her husband and son were not enough to do the trick. I read this after seeing an interview with her, and kind of thinking she seemed cold and detached, and this book left me with no different of an impression of her.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    If you are a Go-Go's fan and/or a Belinda Carlisle fan, you will enjoy her autobiography entitled Lips Unsealed. Although her book is marketed as a memoir, I believe it to be more autobiographical. In an autobiography, the author discusses one's entire life from birth to the present. In a memoir, the author focuses on an aspect or a snapshot. Belinda focuses on three main points of her life: her musical influences and coming-of-age as a Go-Go, her alcohol and drug addictions that haunted her for If you are a Go-Go's fan and/or a Belinda Carlisle fan, you will enjoy her autobiography entitled Lips Unsealed. Although her book is marketed as a memoir, I believe it to be more autobiographical. In an autobiography, the author discusses one's entire life from birth to the present. In a memoir, the author focuses on an aspect or a snapshot. Belinda focuses on three main points of her life: her musical influences and coming-of-age as a Go-Go, her alcohol and drug addictions that haunted her for most of her life, and her family. Overall, it's an interesting read. Belinda's courage to share her demons and her story with millions of readers is admirable. I recommend this book; it's not just fluff and photographs that some celebrity autobiographies/memoirs are made of. In this read, she's got the beat. (Couldn't resist. ) :)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    I liked the stuff about the LA punk scene in the early 80s. But the tales of the $300-a-day coke habit for 20+ years were really repetitive, as these things tend to be. Still, there were some especially impressive feats in cocaine intake. For example, JOHN BELUSHI cautioned Belinda about her drug use. That's right, John Belushi. And also, Rod Stewart scolded her for partying too hard and keeping him up all night. Rod Stewart! And also, she did coke in her five-year-old son's elementary school ba I liked the stuff about the LA punk scene in the early 80s. But the tales of the $300-a-day coke habit for 20+ years were really repetitive, as these things tend to be. Still, there were some especially impressive feats in cocaine intake. For example, JOHN BELUSHI cautioned Belinda about her drug use. That's right, John Belushi. And also, Rod Stewart scolded her for partying too hard and keeping him up all night. Rod Stewart! And also, she did coke in her five-year-old son's elementary school bathroom after dropping him off for the day. While this latter admission probably took a lot of courage to put on the page, overall, her writing seemed guarded and superficial. In any event, I'm glad Belinda now embraces yoga not drogas.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The early chapters reminded me of Mötley Crüe's "The Dirt," from the perspective of an all-female band from the same era. This is the best part of the book, from Carlisle's early childhood and family issues through the formation of the Go-Go's and their subsequent highs and lows. There are plenty of fun tidbits for music fans to gobble up in those early chapters. her writing style is at about a high school freshman level, but it's accessible and expresses her sunny, SoCal party-girl personality The early chapters reminded me of Mötley Crüe's "The Dirt," from the perspective of an all-female band from the same era. This is the best part of the book, from Carlisle's early childhood and family issues through the formation of the Go-Go's and their subsequent highs and lows. There are plenty of fun tidbits for music fans to gobble up in those early chapters. her writing style is at about a high school freshman level, but it's accessible and expresses her sunny, SoCal party-girl personality well. Too soon, however, the story devolves into Carlisle's "struggles" as a pampered solo artist, her uninteresting affair with an LA Dodgers outfielder, and her rather storybook marriage to an heir of Hollywood royalty. There are some confessions having to do with illicit drug deals in foreign countries and rock-bottom coke-binge moments, but by the time she reaches her inevitable sobriety and starts talking about chanting Buddhist mantras for hours every day, you get a sense that you've already finished the part of the story anyone would find interesting besides Carlisle herself. It's fascinating to read about a young, hungry rocker clawing her way to fame, then fighting the demons that come with that success. It's decidedly less so to read about a middle-aged, wealthy, famous pop singer contemplating spiritual awakening from the comfort of her villa in the South of France. Definitely worth reading for the early West Hollywood punk-scene stories, but the later chapters do drag a bit.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Books

    Just to give a quick background: I grew up with Belinda Carlisle’s music, but I never knew she was the lead singer for the Go-Go’s. In fact, I can’t say I’ve ever heard of them before reading this book (YouTube, here I come!). I only know Belinda’s music from when they were hits on the radio in the late eighties / early nineties, and I was in high school then. She always seemed like a straight shooter and that was my perception of her all these years. Now after finishing her memoir, my view of he Just to give a quick background: I grew up with Belinda Carlisle’s music, but I never knew she was the lead singer for the Go-Go’s. In fact, I can’t say I’ve ever heard of them before reading this book (YouTube, here I come!). I only know Belinda’s music from when they were hits on the radio in the late eighties / early nineties, and I was in high school then. She always seemed like a straight shooter and that was my perception of her all these years. Now after finishing her memoir, my view of her has changed drastically. On the one hand I would like to say that I appreciated her honesty and openness with this autobiography. But the truth is, after reading it, my reaction to it was pretty much: “whatever”. I have no sympathy for drug addicts, and I don’t care for the stories of recovering addicts as those – in my opinion - are mostly recounts of how they destroyed the lives of their loved ones, and then after they’ve gone through the difficult process of recovering, everyone is supposed to just forgive and move on. My opinion might sound narrow-minded and harsh, but I know of too many families and children who have suffered because of a loved one’s drug habit and the lies and deceit that go hand-in-hand with it. This is just the way I feel about it, and all this memoir represented to me in the end was pages of name-dropping with loads of spiritual and angst-filled BS in between to fluff it out. Why I’m giving it a three-star rating is because of its overall entertainment value. It kept me captivated while making the journey alongside this rockstar from her difficult childhood to fame and fortune. In comparison to Shania Twain’s memoir which I also recently read, this book has less emotional baggage and isn’t as emotionally draining to read as Twain’s autobiography, From This Moment On. Overall, I’d say this is a worthwhile read, even if only to see how the other half lives.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    This is the year for the rock memoir. There are new books by Keith Richard, Paul McCartney, Pat Benatar and Belinda Carlyle to name just a few. About a week ago I read Pat Benatar's Between a Heart and a Rock Place: A Memoir and just finished this one today. The experience of the music industry as lived by these two women couldn't be more different. Both came from modest families, but Benatar's was stable and Carlyle's was not. Besides the chaotic home life, Carlyle's trials as a teen basically a This is the year for the rock memoir. There are new books by Keith Richard, Paul McCartney, Pat Benatar and Belinda Carlyle to name just a few. About a week ago I read Pat Benatar's Between a Heart and a Rock Place: A Memoir and just finished this one today. The experience of the music industry as lived by these two women couldn't be more different. Both came from modest families, but Benatar's was stable and Carlyle's was not. Besides the chaotic home life, Carlyle's trials as a teen basically assure a chaotic adulthood. Of the two books, Carlyle's is most riveting. I read it in less than 24 hours. She is brutally honest about her addiction: she needed it because she lacked self esteem. With a childhood like hers it would be unusual for anyone to emerge with confidence. You can live vicariously through her drug addled life. Her stories of scoring be they in her own apartment building or in Brazil or Thailand or wherever are fascinating as are her tales of men on the make. You can enjoy a good party without the hangover. She meets tons of celebrities and gives short, usually benign but interesting descriptions. There is no "telling all" about, only sketches of, the psycho-dramas of the band; Nor is there much about the business part of the music business. As she sobers up, it becomes a different book. Sad to say, it seems to drag. I think this is because it's a big shift from all that comes before it. Perhaps on its own, as a book on self discovery this part would work better. Fans will definitely want to read this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    I used to have a simple dislike for Belinda Carlisle. Now I have a more nuanced and complicated dislike for her. But I will give her this: she had a lousy childhood, and she made something of herself, for which I give her credit. And I really enjoyed reading about the early days of the GoGos, when they were like any other punk band trying to make their way. The stardom and coke and glamor stuff that comes after is pretty boring. While reading, I was inspired to check out her solo albums just to I used to have a simple dislike for Belinda Carlisle. Now I have a more nuanced and complicated dislike for her. But I will give her this: she had a lousy childhood, and she made something of herself, for which I give her credit. And I really enjoyed reading about the early days of the GoGos, when they were like any other punk band trying to make their way. The stardom and coke and glamor stuff that comes after is pretty boring. While reading, I was inspired to check out her solo albums just to make sure I wasn't selling her short in my memory. It's all pretty schlocky, but I do love "Mad About You." I wish Charlotte Caffey would write some memoirs now!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Danelle

    I'm surprised Belinda Carlisle remembers as much as she does (or claims to) with how coked out of her mind she was during the rise of this all-girl band from So Cal. I had no idea she was such an addict. (JOHN BELUSHI warned her about her cocaine problem shortly before he died! Shouldn't that be, like, a gigantic, glowing, blinking, neon, red flag?!) I was surprised to learn that the band got their start in punk music. I'd have to say the first part of the book was the ONLY part I really enjoyed I'm surprised Belinda Carlisle remembers as much as she does (or claims to) with how coked out of her mind she was during the rise of this all-girl band from So Cal. I had no idea she was such an addict. (JOHN BELUSHI warned her about her cocaine problem shortly before he died! Shouldn't that be, like, a gigantic, glowing, blinking, neon, red flag?!) I was surprised to learn that the band got their start in punk music. I'd have to say the first part of the book was the ONLY part I really enjoyed reading. The roots of the punk movement in California. The who's who of this new scene that was coming from London. Interesting stuff. After that, I quickly got irritated with the book (& the author). Beyond those beginning chapters it's all about the drugs. She spent 20 some years just getting wasted. Constantly. In hotel rooms. In empty apartments. In Thailand. In London. In Belgium. In LA. In her son's elementary school bathrooms. Enough already! I just got disgusted with it all as it became so painfully redundant. The whole "I-need-to-stop-but-I-can't". What frustrates me the most is that she got herself in the mess and spent half of her life wanting, but not really wanting to get out of it. And I can't really buy into the whole "and on [insert date], I just quit." She ends the book by describing how incredibly spritual she is now, thanks to Yoga and how she's thankful for her life and blessings. (Blah - I'm 50 and spritual now). She says she's lucky, and that, I absolutely agree with. Anyone else would've ended up dead, not in a beautiful house in the south of France with a loving husand & son, and a jet-setting lifestyle.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Becky Sandham Mathwin

    A junk book I picked up at the library on a whim. I'm not a big Go Go's fan so I don't really know why I thought I'd be interested in this. I really don't care for Belinda too much (or at least how she portrays herself in this memoir). I finished the book but I skimmed through parts of it. What a narcissistic person. I give her credit for being very honest about her drug and alcohol problems but feel sorry that her husband and son had to put up with her issues for so long. I know drug/alcohol ad A junk book I picked up at the library on a whim. I'm not a big Go Go's fan so I don't really know why I thought I'd be interested in this. I really don't care for Belinda too much (or at least how she portrays herself in this memoir). I finished the book but I skimmed through parts of it. What a narcissistic person. I give her credit for being very honest about her drug and alcohol problems but feel sorry that her husband and son had to put up with her issues for so long. I know drug/alcohol addiction is a disease, but I have a tough time understanding how someone who was middle aged, had a child and had all of the resources available to her didn't seek help earlier.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Belinda Carlisle did a heck of a lot of cocaine! The book is entertaining and I like it, though it's lacking a bit of style. It's presented as a no-nonsense, just-the-facts, chronological telling of her life, and what a wild drug-filled irresponsible dangerous rock star life it is. From the punk scene in LA to stardom with the Go-Go's and decades traveling around the world, and her mid-life embrace of sobriety. I suspect she may have actually written the book herself, which is rare for celebrity Belinda Carlisle did a heck of a lot of cocaine! The book is entertaining and I like it, though it's lacking a bit of style. It's presented as a no-nonsense, just-the-facts, chronological telling of her life, and what a wild drug-filled irresponsible dangerous rock star life it is. From the punk scene in LA to stardom with the Go-Go's and decades traveling around the world, and her mid-life embrace of sobriety. I suspect she may have actually written the book herself, which is rare for celebrity memoirs.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dachokie

    Not a Happy Tale ..., September 28, 2010 When I saw this book, I thought it was a "must-read" for me. The Go-Gos' music musically documented a period of my generation, just like "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" did visually. Similar to Robert Plant or Mick Jagger, Belinda Carlisle easily commanded attention as a gregarious vocalist of a popular music group ... and over the years, the tabloid stories and a surprise "Playboy" picture spread generated obvious clues that she had a story to tell. Initia Not a Happy Tale ..., September 28, 2010 When I saw this book, I thought it was a "must-read" for me. The Go-Gos' music musically documented a period of my generation, just like "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" did visually. Similar to Robert Plant or Mick Jagger, Belinda Carlisle easily commanded attention as a gregarious vocalist of a popular music group ... and over the years, the tabloid stories and a surprise "Playboy" picture spread generated obvious clues that she had a story to tell. Initially, I found the book unfulfilling and viewed it as just another celebrity who "had it all", only to blow it. But, weeks later, Carlisle's autobiography stills clings to my memory and it becomes clear that her story is not so much unique as it is memorable. First and foremost, I admire Belinda Carlisle for her courage in revealing the painful reality of her life in such an open and raw manner. She starts her memoir by detailing a troubled childhood that is told in a manner that easily generates empathy and sympathy. The image Carlisle presents as a young girl is both heart wrenching and powerful enough to stick with the reader through the entire book. It becomes difficult not to conclude that her early life experience factored heavily into the difficulties she experiences throughout her life. This portion of the memoir is delivered with much more clarity than the remainder of the book in my opinion. In traditional pop/rock music fashion, Carlisle escapes the misery of home by seeking refuge in a variety of punk music clubs and on a drunken whim, decides with a gaggle of friends to form a band. Although it is interesting to discover that the Go-Go's were formed in such a hasty manner, I felt that this juncture of Carlisle's life was glossed-over as the band seemed to morph very quickly from a group of untrained drunks with a dream ... to suddenly recording an album. Being the primary reason for her fame, I was hoping Carlisle would divulge a little more detail on the band's beginnings. It is at this point, the alcohol and drugs take control of the memoir's content, the details become more convoluted and parts of the storyline become slightly difficult to follow in a chronological manner. One moment the focus is on a show at Los Angeles club and next, the group is recording, then in London only to be back in Los Angeles again ... the transition between events was occasionally abrupt. Apart from the nomadic nature of her life, Carlisle effectively illustrates her personal road of self-destruction, paved with a lethal cocktail of chemicals and low self-esteem. Most of the book is a rollercoaster ride of making music and getting high. Although, music is what defines her, you never get a sense that her music career was a true source of happiness, even when she claims it to be. What is fully displayed, however, is the misery and frustration of her addiction, reinforced by a detailed stream of relapses. It's the drugs, not the music, the gets top billing in Carlisle's life story. The rocky road that was (is) Belinda Carlisle's life is not really shocking ... it is depressing. She succeeds in creating a sense of despair throughout her memoir and it is, at times, difficult to read about. Although, in the end, she writes of finding true happiness, it is hard to believe, as the more recent pictures of her in the book seem to reveal underlying pain. It is hard not to be a fan of Belinda Carlisle after reading her story.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Neil McGarry

    As an ardent Go-Go's fan, this was a must-read for me. Belinda was never my favorite of the five (Jane Wiedlin and Kathy Valentine are more my speed), but if she had been, Lips Unsealed might have changed my mind. Beginning from her early childhood, Lips Unsealed follows Carlisle's career from struggle to stardom to decline, and the most common element of it all is drugs and music--and the inability to cope with either. There are some great insights into the music industry in this book, although As an ardent Go-Go's fan, this was a must-read for me. Belinda was never my favorite of the five (Jane Wiedlin and Kathy Valentine are more my speed), but if she had been, Lips Unsealed might have changed my mind. Beginning from her early childhood, Lips Unsealed follows Carlisle's career from struggle to stardom to decline, and the most common element of it all is drugs and music--and the inability to cope with either. There are some great insights into the music industry in this book, although most of it comes during the space devoted to her tenure with the punk-turned-pop Go-Go's. The reader is treated to a warts-and-all look at the distinctly non-glamorous path a band must walk before they achieve success. (If they do.) Once Carlisle goes solo, she becomes largely a record-company pawn, although it's clear (and dismaying) that some of the schlock she performed ("Heaven on Earth") was as popular with her as it was with MCA. The most interesting thing about Lips Unsealed is the way Carlisle paints a clear picture of her utter enslavement to drugs and alcohol, yet seems unaware of just how poorly she appears to the reader. While she freely owns up to lying frequently to her friends and family and neglecting her child-rearing responsibilities, she avoids drawing the conclusions that logically follow. For example, her husband Morgan's unwillingness to confront her addiction does not indicate he is a negotiator but an enabler, a connection she never seems to make. Or that fact that she gave up cocaine when she found out she was pregnant in no way excuses her decision to use cocaine while she was trying to get pregnant. However, this in my view enhances the tale, even if it does nothing for my personal view of the tale-teller. All in all, Lips Unsealed is a worthy read, for anyone interested in Carlisle, the Go-Go's, or people who just make bad decisions.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Juliette

    Oh brother. Did you know that Belinda Carlisle, lead singer of The Go Go's and adult solo artist, had a raging cocaine addiction for almost 30 years? I did not, but now, after reading her memoir, do. I hate to say this, but she does not come across as a very nice person. Her memoir begins with her childhood in Southern California, and includes interesting details about the early L.A. punk scene. The story follows her success in The Go Go's, her love affair with INXS front man Michael Hutchense, Oh brother. Did you know that Belinda Carlisle, lead singer of The Go Go's and adult solo artist, had a raging cocaine addiction for almost 30 years? I did not, but now, after reading her memoir, do. I hate to say this, but she does not come across as a very nice person. Her memoir begins with her childhood in Southern California, and includes interesting details about the early L.A. punk scene. The story follows her success in The Go Go's, her love affair with INXS front man Michael Hutchense, relationship with L.A. Dodger Mike Marshall, cocaine addiction, her solo career,Playboy pictorial and marriage to big wig Hollywood film producer, Morgan Mason. Carlisle seems entitled and clueless. I really get the feeling that being married to a film producer gave her the ability to fuel her addictions and "rock star" lifestyle way longer than any other fleeting 80s singer. She doesn't seem to have an understanding of how entitled she is, and even refers to herself as a "rock star" and "punk" throughout the book. Here's a cringe inducing quote, "The earthquake hit on a Monday. We left (for France) on Friday. We would have gone sooner except that we had to get a visa for our Filipina nanny." Once sober, Carlisle (of course) discovers yoga and travels to India several times, including with Hollywood yoga guru Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa. So yes, this book is an interesting read about Carlisle's rise to fame, but gets a bit cliched and shallow at the end. It's cool that she is sober and healthy, but she just seems a bit vapid.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I love the Go-Go's. 'Beauty and the Beat' was the first record album I bought with my own money, and I've been a huge fan of the group for as long as I can remember. Following them in fanzines and the press, I'd always heard about Belinda's antics so I had to read this book to get the story from 'the horse's mouth'. The book is good. She doesn't get into too much detail, but she's very open. The tone is conversational, and it was very interesting to hear about the group's start and her early lif I love the Go-Go's. 'Beauty and the Beat' was the first record album I bought with my own money, and I've been a huge fan of the group for as long as I can remember. Following them in fanzines and the press, I'd always heard about Belinda's antics so I had to read this book to get the story from 'the horse's mouth'. The book is good. She doesn't get into too much detail, but she's very open. The tone is conversational, and it was very interesting to hear about the group's start and her early life. The partying was much as I expected, and while she describes things as she saw them, the book isn't very gossipy. Her addiction story is incredible (as is the patience of her husband and son). I liked that she was able to tell a new-agey story without sounding like a basket case. One point I have to quibble with - the Go-Gos aren't a punk band. Their attitude may have been punk-rock, but their music wasn't at all. I'm not saying that's a bad thing (they probably made more money that way), but she's not totally honest there. And when she mentions that her solo music is along the same vein, she's completely kidding herself. Her solo work (again, while good) is made for easy-listening and adult-contemporary radio. I also wanted to know the other points of view - what was going on with Charlotee and Jane? Where does Morgan get his patience from? Maybe they have books in the works. If you're a fan of her work, this book is worth reading.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Misty

    I was (and remain) a HUGE fan of the Go-Gos. My cousins and I used to dress up and sing and dance to their records; I wanted to be Belinda Carlisle. No surprise, then, that when I found out this book existed, I was dying to read it. Well...meh. It was good, and I learned a lot about Belinda Carlisle that I never knew - that woman has done some serious cocaine, for example. Whoa. But I was ultimately disappointed, because I felt like she glossed over a large part of the Go-Gos' career. She does te I was (and remain) a HUGE fan of the Go-Gos. My cousins and I used to dress up and sing and dance to their records; I wanted to be Belinda Carlisle. No surprise, then, that when I found out this book existed, I was dying to read it. Well...meh. It was good, and I learned a lot about Belinda Carlisle that I never knew - that woman has done some serious cocaine, for example. Whoa. But I was ultimately disappointed, because I felt like she glossed over a large part of the Go-Gos' career. She does tell about the drug problems some of them had, and some of the crazier times they experienced touring, and she touches on their internal conflicts, but she never really tells any real stories. She doesn't really delve into how the conflicts began, why Jane really left the band, personal details regarding their relationships. It's almost like they were 5 girls who happened to meet, hit it off, started a band, did pretty well, started hating each other, and kept breaking up and getting back together. End of story. I felt like there was MUCH more to the story overall that she just wasn't telling. Otherwise, the main thing(s) that I took away from this book were that she fought, and eventually beat, a serious addiction to drugs, and her husband is quite obviously a saint. Pretty good. Could've been a lot better.

  21. 4 out of 5

    jess

    This book is actually not great but I enjoyed it. The storytelling is flat and shallow, the gossip is slim and Belinda really wants you to appreciate how far she fell so you can appreciate how far she's come during recovery. It is more of an addiction memoir than a chronicle of the Go-Go's. While it's not a great addiction memoir, I managed to find enough to like about it. I appreciated the parts about growing up in the 1980s Los Angeles punk scene, living in gross punk houses and crashing on co This book is actually not great but I enjoyed it. The storytelling is flat and shallow, the gossip is slim and Belinda really wants you to appreciate how far she fell so you can appreciate how far she's come during recovery. It is more of an addiction memoir than a chronicle of the Go-Go's. While it's not a great addiction memoir, I managed to find enough to like about it. I appreciated the parts about growing up in the 1980s Los Angeles punk scene, living in gross punk houses and crashing on couches of notorious hollywood characters, going on tour with the Go-Go's and hearing about the interpersonal friction that made their collaborations so tense. Belinda also struggles with things like body image/weight, girl friendships, celebrity, romantic relationships and parental issues in a pretty feminist and conscious way. I loved when she talked about how she created and imagined her fashion aesthetic in this deliberate broke punk way. She always felt like the chubby, rolly polly Go-Go, even though she "photographed well." aww. ok. anyway, fans of Belinda probably won't find much new information here, and people who just love memoirs will probably be irritated by how hollow the writing is, so I'm not sure who would love this book. Still, Belinda Carlisle!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

    I quite liked this book. I wanted to give it 3.5 stars but alas that is not an option here. I have great memories of being a little girl listening to the Go-Gos and then Belinda herself as a solo artist. I always thought she was adorable. The ending about how she found yoga and chanting was a bit meh for me as that is not my thing but hey whatever lets you sleep at night as I always say. I think it was a very honest memoir and you get to see a side of her that has been hidden from the world. I w I quite liked this book. I wanted to give it 3.5 stars but alas that is not an option here. I have great memories of being a little girl listening to the Go-Gos and then Belinda herself as a solo artist. I always thought she was adorable. The ending about how she found yoga and chanting was a bit meh for me as that is not my thing but hey whatever lets you sleep at night as I always say. I think it was a very honest memoir and you get to see a side of her that has been hidden from the world. I was expecting more wild stories about the Go-Gos notorious partying and found such stories in short supply from this book. Belinda talks about what she drank, what drugs she did, who she was with and where she was at various parties but the funny stories of all girl band hijinks seemed absent to me. I was thinking that minus the pills and coke, I myself have crazier stories from my youth than the ones she told. I wish she would have talked a bit more about her relationship with her parents and her siblings after she became famous. It's like they didn't exist once she was 18 for the most part. Maybe she just chose not to talk about them for whatever reason. I also was left wondering if she ever forgave her fathers (birth and step) later in life and had any kind of relationship with them.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    When I think of drug abusing music stars from the 80's, Belinda Carlisle didn't really come to mind before I read this book. But the extent of her addictions (and the fact that she was able to survive them) is actually quite impressive. Most of the book revolved around her moving from one demon in her life to the next. I probably shouldn't have even read this, since it totally shattered the girl next door image of Belinda Carlisle that teenage Ben had naively held onto for the past twenty years. When I think of drug abusing music stars from the 80's, Belinda Carlisle didn't really come to mind before I read this book. But the extent of her addictions (and the fact that she was able to survive them) is actually quite impressive. Most of the book revolved around her moving from one demon in her life to the next. I probably shouldn't have even read this, since it totally shattered the girl next door image of Belinda Carlisle that teenage Ben had naively held onto for the past twenty years. (Although obviously I was expecting that to happen going into reading this.) If you're looking for specific details of debauchery from rock star parties though, there really weren't too many in this book. Most of the party details were glossed over (likely because she was too coked out to remember any of them). Some of the music anecdotes were still interesting though. I think my favorite part had to be her description of the punk bands that dominated the LA scene in the late 70's, which apparently including not only the Go-Go's, but also Devo and Madness. Because nothing screams hard core punk rock quite like "Whip It" and "Our House."

  24. 4 out of 5

    Etcetorize

    I was a teen girl in the 80's so of course that means I was a big fan of the Go-Go's and later a bigger fan of Belinda Carlisle in her solo years. This book is a good account of how the band formed, their early trials before they became famous, and what lead to the downfall and eventual break up of the band. There isn't a large amount of emotion in the recounting of the tales of the past for Carlisle, then again, maybe that's because she was completely out of it for most of her life. I was startl I was a teen girl in the 80's so of course that means I was a big fan of the Go-Go's and later a bigger fan of Belinda Carlisle in her solo years. This book is a good account of how the band formed, their early trials before they became famous, and what lead to the downfall and eventual break up of the band. There isn't a large amount of emotion in the recounting of the tales of the past for Carlisle, then again, maybe that's because she was completely out of it for most of her life. I was startled at just how long it took her to become clean and sober, something I had thought she had done many years ago. It was an easy read but there wasn't a whole lot more in it than what was in the Go-Go's "Behind the Music" special. However, I didn't know about a couple the solo releases and am looking forward to finding them. No matter what, I'll always be a big fan of the music. What went on in Carlisle's personal life made it what it was and nothing can change that. I just hope that she really has found peace and that this purging of her story can allow her to truly move on.

  25. 5 out of 5

    V. Briceland

    When it comes to celebrity memoirs, I can't think of any I've read that have quite as many eye-popping drug-related revelations as Carlisle's tell-all. In fact, I'm not sure how any of them are going to top Carlisle's confession about taking a large opium ball as a suppository. And I'm not sure I'm really want to find out. Carlisle's memoir is a fairly absorbing read about her outsider childhood and adolescence and the founding, flare-ups, and eventual reconciliations between the Go-Go's, mostly When it comes to celebrity memoirs, I can't think of any I've read that have quite as many eye-popping drug-related revelations as Carlisle's tell-all. In fact, I'm not sure how any of them are going to top Carlisle's confession about taking a large opium ball as a suppository. And I'm not sure I'm really want to find out. Carlisle's memoir is a fairly absorbing read about her outsider childhood and adolescence and the founding, flare-ups, and eventual reconciliations between the Go-Go's, mostly set against a background of drug and alcohol abuse that continued for the vast majority of Carlisle's career. Her frank confessions of repeatedly lying in public and to the press about having kicked her habit while still hitting the hard stuff, however, leaves the reader unsettled and uncertain about the reliability of this particular narrator. And that's a shame, because like the best of the Go-Go's output, I want this particular song to end with a jangling major chord.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    I was never a big Go Go's fan (and always hated that apostrophe in the band name) and really wasn't sorry Belinda Carlisle was the first one to get kicked off of Dancing with the Stars a year or so ago, so I'm not sure why I wanted to read this book, but I did. And now I feel that's a few hours of my life I'll never get back. However, there were parts that were interesting (I didn't realize they started as a punk band) and of course there's always the rock gossip that is always amusing. However, I was never a big Go Go's fan (and always hated that apostrophe in the band name) and really wasn't sorry Belinda Carlisle was the first one to get kicked off of Dancing with the Stars a year or so ago, so I'm not sure why I wanted to read this book, but I did. And now I feel that's a few hours of my life I'll never get back. However, there were parts that were interesting (I didn't realize they started as a punk band) and of course there's always the rock gossip that is always amusing. However, I felt a lot of this was a whinefest and while she tried to convey that she was a big pain much of the time, it didn't come across as sincere--at least that's my perception. She was a heavy drug user until a few years ago and reading about her repeated abuse on friends and family got a little old. Anyway, read this is if you liked the band and want to know deets but skip if you never really cared for them--or her.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    I am a sucker for rock star memoirs. These people are generally very messed up. That makes me feel better about my messed up life. I think I like to see the decision making process of those that are touted in the press as "people to be like". Mostly I like to read the retarded decisions they made, and kept making, because no one tells the famous "no". Belinda was no exception. I liked the honesty here, but it became tedious to read "another coke" chapter. There was not much to glean in the learn I am a sucker for rock star memoirs. These people are generally very messed up. That makes me feel better about my messed up life. I think I like to see the decision making process of those that are touted in the press as "people to be like". Mostly I like to read the retarded decisions they made, and kept making, because no one tells the famous "no". Belinda was no exception. I liked the honesty here, but it became tedious to read "another coke" chapter. There was not much to glean in the learning department here. Just that she was happy to have lived through it. I enjoyed her interactions and observations of other celebrities, but they were few and far between. Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys was a particularly good story. I would like to say that I will give up rock star biographies,..but i'm already eyeing Steven Adler's bio. Oh man..

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    When I think of Belinda Carlisle, the first song that comes to mind is her hit "Heaven is a Place on Earth" that came out while I was in high school. I was a fan of hers, loving the music she wrote and came out with. Little did I realize until reading this book, what she really was like...into the hard core rocker party scene...and its only been in recent years that shes come to terms with her past problems and seems to have a great outlook on life. This book was a good read...I enjoyed reading a When I think of Belinda Carlisle, the first song that comes to mind is her hit "Heaven is a Place on Earth" that came out while I was in high school. I was a fan of hers, loving the music she wrote and came out with. Little did I realize until reading this book, what she really was like...into the hard core rocker party scene...and its only been in recent years that shes come to terms with her past problems and seems to have a great outlook on life. This book was a good read...I enjoyed reading about Belinda and her wild past...as someone who has admired her music, this was an eye opener. Its also a behind the scenes look at how a musical group is born and the literal highs and lows they go through on the rise to fame. I managed to read this book a lot faster than I first thought...her story drew me in as she is a great writer. An excellent read for sure!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Detroit

    After the demise of the Go Go's, things tail off here in a hurry, Belinda Carlisle mostly content to expose her boiling grey matter going up in flame and roll out a very long list of insecurities, quirks, addictions, and daddy issues, snorting up enough medicinal powder along the way to stagger a herd of rhino, her weight going through more ups and downs than the stock market over the past few years. She marries well, births a beautiful son, and winds up with a respectable solo catalog but you j After the demise of the Go Go's, things tail off here in a hurry, Belinda Carlisle mostly content to expose her boiling grey matter going up in flame and roll out a very long list of insecurities, quirks, addictions, and daddy issues, snorting up enough medicinal powder along the way to stagger a herd of rhino, her weight going through more ups and downs than the stock market over the past few years. She marries well, births a beautiful son, and winds up with a respectable solo catalog but you just get the feeling that no matter what happens to our Belinda, it will all just wind up as fodder for a storming pity party. It all gets a bit - actually quite a bit - tiresome after a while until you finally just feel like grabbing her by the scruff of her entitled neck and slapping her into the middle of next week. Or chumming the fish. Whichever comes first.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Devin Tait

    I started reading this book on a Saturday morning, just intending to pass some time before I would begin my day. Well, the "day" never happened, because I could not put the book down - I just read it from cover to cover, stopping only to eat lunch. It was that much of a page-turner. Admittedly, I am a huge Go-Go's fan, and grew up with Belinda's solo music, and I own all of her CD's. It was great to hear her behind-the-scenes versions of what went on behind the making of each album, the tours, t I started reading this book on a Saturday morning, just intending to pass some time before I would begin my day. Well, the "day" never happened, because I could not put the book down - I just read it from cover to cover, stopping only to eat lunch. It was that much of a page-turner. Admittedly, I am a huge Go-Go's fan, and grew up with Belinda's solo music, and I own all of her CD's. It was great to hear her behind-the-scenes versions of what went on behind the making of each album, the tours, the in-fighting between band members, and of course, her drug habit. The flow of the book is very structured and moves at a very quick pace. I would recommend this book to anyone who appreciates female musicians.

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