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 RobyThe 14 other key races to watch on Super Tuesday Collins Senate bid sets off game of musical chairs for GOP Global health is the last bastion of bipartisan foreign policy 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.

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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 PaulDemocratic senator to offer amendment halting 'military weaponry' given to police Second senator tests positive for coronavirus antibodies Senate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks MORE (R-Ky.) and Reps. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsGOP women's group rolls out endorsements ahead of contested races Bossie, Lewandowski warned Trump he was in trouble in 2020: report The Hill's Campaign Report: GOP beset by convention drama MORE (R-Ga.), Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. JohnsonProgressives urge Democrats to hear from federal judge deeply critical of Roberts, conservatives House approves bill banning flavored tobacco products Clinton advises checking your voter registration during Trump's State of the Union MORE (D-Ga.), Judy ChuJudy May ChuHouse Democrats press Treasury on debit cards used for coronavirus relief payments Democrats blast CDC report on minorities and COVID-19 Minority lawmakers gain unprecedented clout amid pandemic MORE (D-Calif.), Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchHouse members race to prepare for first-ever remote votes Judge rules Florida can't block felons from registering to vote because of unpaid fines Trump taps members of Congress to advise on reopening MORE (D-Fla.), and Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump visits a ventilator plant in a battleground state The Hill to interview Mnuchin today and many other speakers The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga says supporting small business single most important thing we should do now; Teva's Brendan O'Grady says U.S. should stockpile strategic reserve in drugs like Strategic Oil Reserve 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.