Carl TimponeWith The Go-Go’s sunny, chipper pop-rock hits like “Vacation” and “Our Lips Are Sealed,” it might be hard to remember that the band came up in the Los Angeles punk scene in the late 1970s.

Go-Go’s guitarist Jane Wiedlin is remembering those days in a new book of essays and rememberances, Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk, compiled by John Doe of legendary L.A. punk band X. Billboard is streaming an excerpt from the companion audiobook that features Wiedlin recounting her band’s origins.

In the excerpt Wiedlin admits that the group was formed because, “Eventually it became painfully obvious that you needed no prior knowledge to form a punk band and that we were the only kids left who hadn’t done so.” She adds, “we were perfectly capable of being just as incompetent as anyone else.”

That “incompetence” included making history as the first and only all-female band whose members wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to top the Billboard album charts.

To mark the 35th anniversary of their signature song “We Got the Beat,” the Go-Go’s will be performing at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards airing Sunday, May 22 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. The band heads out on a farewell tour beginning August 2.

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