The Go-Go's rock the stage at annual 'We Write the Songs' DC concert
© ASCAP Foundation We Write the Songs Event

Lawmakers and some of the music industry's biggest stars rocked to the steady beat and bass line of "We Got the Beat" on Tuesday night in Washington, D.C. at the 11th annual "We Write the Songs" concert.

Attendees were treated to a live performance by the legendary all-female rock group The Go Go's of their hit new wave song, popular for its part in the iconic opening montage of the 1982 teen classic "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."

Phones were out to record Charlotte Caffey, the Go-Go's bassist, and guitarist Jane Wiedlin on stage, and even lawmakers were left dazzled by the performance. The two were introduced by Rep. Martha RobyMartha Dubina RobyOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Pelosi: GOP retirements indicate they'll be in the minority, with Democrat in the White House MORE (R-Ala.).

"I’m going to do my very best to do this as a professional member of Congress, and not the star-struck teenager I feel like in this moment,” Roby joked.

ADVERTISEMENT

The concert, hosted by the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers Foundation (ASCAP) at the Library of Congress, is intended to showcase song writers and the creative process behind their chart-topping hits.

Caffey said “We Got the Beat” came to her after binge-watching a "Twilight Zone" marathon on TV.

“All of a sudden around midnight, this idea, actually the whole song began downloading into my brain,” she remembered. “I ran around looking for my tape recorder to sing into it.”

The annual concert also tops a busy week for members of ASCAP, who flock to Capitol Hill to inform lawmakers on the important issues facing the creative community.

The group's members will be meeting with lawmakers on Wednesday to discuss the challenges faced by song writers in the digital age. At issue is the Music Modernization Act, signed into law in 2018, which makes it easier for copyright holders to be paid when their music is streamed online. But advocates say more must be done.

“I think the Music Modernization Act is a really good start, but we need to keep the conversation going,” said Wiedlin. “It’s very strange that in this day and age, song writers have got almost no income.”

Paul Williams, the president and chairman of the board of ASCAP told ITK that music is bipartisan, and creators can work together with government to build on the existing law.

“What we do is a labor of love," said Williams. "But it's still a labor, and we need to be properly compensated.”

Tuesday night's bash brought out a number of lawmakers, including Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTrump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans Democratic congressman calls for study of effects of sex-trafficking law McConnell says he's 'honored' to be WholeFoods Magazine's 2019 'Person of the Year' MORE (R-Ky.) and Reps. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsDoug Collins wants hearing with GOP witnesses before articles of impeachment Collins swipes at Nadler: 'Does the chairman even know what's going on?' Three legal scholars say Trump should be impeached; one thinks otherwise MORE (R-Ga.), Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. JohnsonBlack lawmakers condemn Trump's 'lynching' remarks Maloney to serve as acting Oversight chairwoman after Cummings's death The 13 House Democrats who back Kavanaugh's impeachment MORE (D-Ga.), Judy ChuJudy May ChuHillicon Valley: FCC moves against Huawei, ZTE | Dem groups ask Google to reconsider ads policy | Bill introduced to increase data access during probes Dems call out Oracle for lack of diversity on its board Bicameral group of Democrats introduces bill to protect immigrant laborers MORE (D-Calif.), Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchBipartisan lawmakers introduce amendment affirming US commitment to military aid to Israel Ethics sends memo to lawmakers on SCIF etiquette Pelosi signs bill making animal cruelty a federal crime MORE (D-Fla.), and Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisHillicon Valley: Trump officials propose retaliatory tariffs over French digital tax | FBI classifies FaceApp as threat | Twitter revamps policies to comply with privacy laws | Zuckerberg defends political ads policy GOP criticizes Pelosi for sidelining election security for impeachment Rising GOP star thrust into spotlight with Trump defense MORE (R-Ill.).

“I support intellectual property and I come to the event every year to support what ASCAP does,” Paul told ITK.

The Go-Go’s were joined by several other song writers who performed at the concert, including Eagles guitarist Don Felder, who co-wrote the classic rock anthem "Hotel California." 

Felder's performance was highly anticipated by the crowd, including Paul.

“Well, I really love Hotel California," the senator said.