The b-52s are still ready to party. and be taken seriously. huffpost z gastroenterol journal

Well, definitely after [guitarist] Ricky [Wilson] died in 1985. There was a big question mark. None of us said, “This is it,” but we certainly all thought that this might be it. We could not even dream of starting up and also we were expected, the record company thought we would tour and get another new guitar player and we were like no, that’s not going to happen. We are all in really deep grief. And Ricky is Cindy’s brother. Anyway it couldn’t happen … We just didn’t have the energy, we were grieving. But then after a few years we realized like wow, we have something great here. … Being together conjured up, “Ricky’s here,” really in a lot of ways, and a lot of [the 1989 album] “Cosmic Thing” was a tribute to him because there’s a lot of, I don’t want to say nostalgia, but there was a lot of looking back, that kind of thing. “ Deadbeat Club” really just came out of a jam. That’s usually how we write ― by jamming, and then it just popped out ― “Deadbeat Club.” That’s something we used to call ourselves when we used to hang out. Didn’t have any money and we would just drink iced tea and get free refills and hang out at some place for three hours. We’d make plans, make big plans.

I remember when we were writing there was a point where Keith Strickland said, “This can’t go on the album, it’s not ready and it’s not going to make it.” He was right, it wasn’t ready. The chorus part, “The Love Shack is a little old place,” that was only happening once. I was lobbying to have it happen more. [Producer] Don Was said, “Well that’s the chorus. We have to have that.” He really made it come together and then once we put the chorus in, we had it. A lot of our old songs don’t have a typical song structure. They don’t have a verse-chorus, verse-chorus-bridge. With “Love Shack,” once we put that chorus in, it did have more of a song structure. Even though the verses are all kind of different, the chorus was there along with “The Love Shack” ― I think that really made it a hit. Once we heard it in the studio, we played it for R.E.M. and they were like, “Yes this is a hit.” We had something there. That kind of went through an evolution. It wasn’t immediate, like some songs we just pretty much wrote it and that was it. “Love Shack” went through several [iterations] and I’m curious to hear the first evolution of it, which I don’t really know where that is. Probably Keith Strickland has a version of it.

Well, it was, actually interestingly enough ― The Huffington Post. I had said that I hoped it would be a trans anthem. At the time, trans was used ― I even had looked it up, trans was used as a general term for anyone who was LGBTQ. Huffington Post, when they quoted me, it said, trans and they put in parentheses “gender,” and I never said that. That’s what really sparked this huge controversy because I never said that I hope it will become a transgender anthem. The song is about ― it was inspired by a friend of mine who was gay. When he was growing up, he used to wear his sister’s clothes and it’s just about that or anyone who feels betrayed by the mirror kind of thing. It’s meant to be empowering. I learned a lot though. I really got schooled. It’s also the height right then of transgender people fighting for recognition. … Anyway, there was a lot of misunderstanding. I think that through it, my wife Monica [Coleman] and I, we had some dialogues with different transgender people. I feel like we became more enlightened. I hope we came to some understanding, but I certainly meant no harm. It was really a misunderstanding. In the end of it, I felt good. It came out to be something that I grew ― in my understanding. …Things get really ugly on the internet. That’s the first time that ever happened to me.

Fantastic. Actually, our anniversary is Aug. 3. We were together since 2004. We were together a long time before we got married. It was really beautiful, we were married in Hawaii. We keep wanting to go back there. … Actually, the first time The B-52s played in Hawaii on our very first tour, we played in this little club in Honolulu. We got there. The promoter met us, and put leis around us, and when we left, they had pulled guns on us. We played some little tiny club, and the microphones weren’t grounded. We got, as Cindy would say, the “electric kiss.” I was playing guitar and all of a sudden I was like, “Aaahhhh!” People thought it was part of the song but I was getting a shock. We all got shocked. We had to cut the set short but they continued to sell tickets through the night. So, people were really angry. Cindy and I literally took our wigs off, and we ran. They pulled a gun on the crew and said they were going to keep our equipment. Anyway, we had interesting experiences. … But Hawaii’s always been a place to me that’s magical. So, the wedding was beautiful. I think it really changes things when you’re able to get married. I mean the Marriage Equality Act was super important. I think you cannot believe it happened as fast as it did. For a lot of gay people ― it’s very surprising. You thought that this is going to be a struggle forever. I think that people really accept this. I think younger people accept it. Even when Ricky had AIDS, it was so much negativity, so much ignorance surrounding LGBT, the whole thing. There was a lot of negativity and laws still in place. Just fear. Things have come a long way ― that’s one positive thing in this crazy political world. Hopefully it won’t be rolled back. I hope our legacy will be of enduring, and that people think of us as an important band. Kate Pierson

I feel like we want to be taken seriously. I know being a band that’s mostly gay and has women in it, I just think that there are the male icon bands, they are always, and they deserve it, but they are always touted as: “These guys are heavy-duty.” I think bands, because we have a sense of humor, we are not always taken as seriously. Not that I want people to be serious, but to be serious about us as a legitimate band. We were one of a kind. I think for that reason also, it’s kind of hard to understand us. We can’t really be put in a category. I hope our legacy will be enduring and that people think of us as an important band. But I think Ricky’s guitar playing, our style of writing, the fact that we had men and women in the band and gay and straight. I think it’s an important band and the way we wrote by jamming, we really had a different approach. And I think we really made a difference in the way, certainly Athens music, went and we were the first kind of band to come out of Athens, of that kind of era.