When sisters Aixa and Nicolette Vilar attended Glendale High School circa 1999, they were just another pair of bored local teens who dreamed of achieving fame as rock stars. The result was their extraordinary all-Latina pop-punk band Go Betty Go, an outfit whose classic, stripped-down '77-style songs quickly established them as a popular force on the local rock circuit.
With Aixa on drums, Nicolette on the mic, the powerhouse guitar of Glendale's Betty Cisneros and bassist Michelle Rangel, Go Betty Go began a Tuesday night residency at Highland Park's Mr.T's Bowl that regularly packed in a horde of faithful fans. It was just the beginning.
Within a few short years, Go Betty Go had built a national reputation, were the subject of extremely favorable articles in numerous newspapers and magazines, did television and radio spots, earned a prominent spot on coast-to-coast punk rock road show the Warped Tour, had placed a song on the soundtrack of a Fantastic Four video game and, in 2005, released “Nothing is More,” their second album. Those Go Betty Go gals were making it, big time, and just as it seemed the band's explosive success was going to take them to the very height of the business, Nicolette did the unthinkable, right in the middle of their tour with MxPx: She quit the band.
Seven years later, and almost as abruptly, comes the equally stunning news that Nicolette and the band are reuniting once again. While Go Betty Go continued performing, with vocalist Emily Wynne-Hughes and bassist Phil Buckman, the group has been on informal hiatus for two years.
It's safe to assume that quite a few local music fans remember Go Betty Go, and this reunion should be pure pleasure. The band's creative, passionate, bilingual pop punk is loaded with appeal, and this reunion, in an odd way, gives them the chance to pick up where they left off.
Veteran Music journalist