Tana Douglas, described as “the world’s first female roadie,” says she ended up getting kicked out of hotels because of Go-Go’s behavior on tour.
Douglas established his name as a crew member during a stay with AC/DC, Elton John and other. In her new memoir, Highshe identified the all-girl band as one of the most difficult groups she had ever dealt with – and very different from her previous experience working with Runaways.
“It was too early in my career for me to feel comfortable working with an all-girl band,” Douglas said (via Spin.) “I saw the flag they got in the press at times, not being taken seriously by bands and crews alike, just because they were girls. I wasn’t ready for that. But I ended up enjoying the company of Joan [Jett] and also Lita Fordthe lead guitarist for the group.”
She continued: “The Go-Gos were a different story. They had a completely different attitude than the Runaways and went through what I refer to as their Brat Phase. Both Belinda Carlisle and Jane Wiedlin were members of the first 100 LA punk club, but the only sign of this was the way they trashed hotel rooms and were generally unpleasant.
She explained that it was normal for the crew to check into hotels later in the day than the band members did. By the time she got to the front desk, “there would already be drama from the girls and an irate hotel staff refusing to register any more women with the entourage. That meant I had to sneak into a lot of these hotels. I spent a considerable amount of time trying to swearing in a foreign language that I wasn’t with the girls or liked them. Still, I’d end up sleeping on the bus.”
Douglas recalled the time she tried to check into a hotel in Germany by insisting she had “nothing to do with ‘those girls’.” She said: “[A] belligerent Belinda dashed through the lobby, knocking over indoor plants and side tables in her path. She screeched to a halt right next to me, looked me in the eye, smiled, knocked over a tall glass vase and yelled, ‘Fuck ’em!’ Then she left. As the vase smashed into tiny pieces, the receptionist looked at me sternly and pointed to the door. Yep! Another night on the bus for me.”
She also recalled the Go-Go’s “party trick” of picking a man from their audience, inviting him backstage and spending time “collectively demeaning him as much as humanly possible.” She continued: “They would find this hilarious. I think it was no different to what a lot of male bands came up with, but it made me uncomfortable. For me, as the only girl in an all-male crew, it was a whole different set of rules than for an all-girl band with a hit song. So I stayed away.”
Loud: A Life in Rock ‘n’ Roll by the world’s first female roadie is published on Sept. 20.
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