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 Go-Go's rock the stage at annual 'We Write the Songs' DC concert The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Restrictive state abortion laws ignite fiery 2020 debate Thirty-four GOP members buck Trump on disaster bill 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 PaulThis week: Congress set for clash on Trump's border request Washington braces for Trump's next move on Iran Overnight Defense: Latest on Iran after Trump halts planed strike | Dems call Trump's approach 'erratic' | Key Republican urges Trump to retaliate | Esper reportedly getting Defense secretary nomination MORE (R-Ky.) and Reps. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsHicks repeatedly blocked by White House from answering Judiciary questions Judiciary chair: Hicks broke with Trump on accepting foreign dirt on opponents Democrats bristle as Hicks appears for daylong Capitol Hill testimony MORE (R-Ga.), Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. JohnsonDemocrats lash out at Trump's bombshell remarks Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote The Go-Go's rock the stage at annual 'We Write the Songs' DC concert MORE (D-Ga.), Judy ChuJudy May ChuOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Senators unveil sweeping bipartisan health care package | House lawmakers float Medicare pricing reforms | Dems offer bill to guarantee abortion access The Go-Go's rock the stage at annual 'We Write the Songs' DC concert Pelosi faces tipping point on Trump impeachment MORE (D-Calif.), Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchLawmakers spar at testy Mueller hearing Dems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments Overnight Health Care: Democratic bill would require insurance to cover OTC birth control | House Dems vote to overturn ban on fetal tissue research | New rule aims to expand health choices for small businesses MORE (D-Fla.), and Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisThis week: Congress set for clash on Trump's border request Hillicon Valley: House panel advances election security bill | GOP senator targets YouTube with bill on child exploitation | Hicks told Congress Trump camp felt 'relief' after release of Clinton docs | Commerce blacklists five Chinese tech groups House panel advances election security bill requiring paper ballots 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.