She's Got the Beat

Eighties pop queen and gay icon Belinda Carlisle is moving to a new beat on this season of Dancing With the Stars -- and proving right out of the gate that she's a survivor.

BY Jeremy Kinser

March 15 2009 11:00 PM ET

BELINDA CARLISLE AND THE GOGOS XLARGE (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM

You were quite a party girl during the first incarnation of
the Go-Go's, then you became a poster girl for how getting
clean can have a positive effect on one's career. What advice
do you have for the Lindsay Lohans and Amy Winehouses of the
world?

It's simple: Don't do drugs. I know that sounds corny and easy
to say. When I was in high school the antidrug films they
showed actually had the opposite effect on me. They made me
want to try drugs. I've been there and done that and drugs are
not the answer. I feel bad for those girls.

How would the Go-Go's have survived the scrutiny of
websites like TMZ and Perez Hilton?

Not very well. We didn't have all those cameras everywhere we
went... I hate the paparazzi. What they do isn't right. They
follow me around everywhere now and I'm not even
high-profile. TMZ got a photo of me in a bathing suit when I
was in Hawaii. I was not happy about that.

You, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Prince were all born
within a few weeks of each other in the same year. What do you
think was so special about the summer of 1958 to create the
soundtrack of the '80s?

Wow, that's right. Madonna is one day older than me. There must
have been something special about that summer for all of us to
have been born so close together.

Your son James Duke has grown into an intelligent and
handsome young man. Last year he posted a series of political
vlogs on YouTube. Does he have show business aspirations or is
he more likely to follow in his father's footsteps and become
involved in politics?

Can you believe he was only 15 when he made those videos? He's
definitely interested in a political career. He was a
congressional page last year. He's also a big proponent of gay
rights.

Do you think moving to France and not raising him in Los
Angeles made the difference?

Probably. He has a purity and innocence lacking in kids in L.A.
He also has a global perspective on things. He's probably going
to go to Georgetown University. My little baby! [
Laughs

]

What are your plans after the show wraps?

I'll finally go on my trip to India, although it's monsoon
season now so I'll probably wait till September or October. I'm
also working on an Indian music project and writing my
memoirs.

Terrific. I remember an article you contributed to
Details

magazine about the summer of '69 [Carlisle confessed to being
"deflowered" by the banana seat of her bicycle]. You're a
very candid raconteur.

Oh right, I remember that
Details

article. [
Laughs

] Well, my memoirs will be published next February by Crown
Books. I'm not going to trot out all the old war stories, but
there will be some dirty laundry and I hope it will be
inspirational.

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