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 RobyBarry Moore wins Alabama GOP runoff to replace Martha Roby The 14 other key races to watch on Super Tuesday Collins Senate bid sets off game of musical chairs for GOP 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 PaulThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Rand Paul says he can't judge 'guilt or innocence' in Breonna Taylor case Overnight Health Care: Health officials tell public to trust in science | Despair at CDC under Trump influence | A new vaccine phase 3 trial starts MORE (R-Ky.) and Reps. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsTrump, Biden running neck-and-neck in Georgia: poll Trump, Biden tied in Georgia: poll Loeffler paints herself as 'more conservative than Attila the Hun' in new campaign ad MORE (R-Ga.), Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. JohnsonFive takeaways as panel grills tech CEOs Lawmakers, public bid farewell to John Lewis Johnson presses Barr on reducing Roger Stone's recommended sentence MORE (D-Ga.), Judy ChuJudy May ChuDHS opens probe into allegations at Georgia ICE facility Hispanic caucus report takes stock of accomplishments with eye toward 2021 Lawmakers of color blast Trump administration for reportedly instructing agencies to end anti-bias training MORE (D-Calif.), Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchShakespeare Theatre Company goes virtual for 'Will on the Hill...or Won't They?' Florida Democrat introduces bill to recognize Puerto Rico statehood referendum Matt Gaetz, Roger Stone back far-right activist Laura Loomer in congressional bid MORE (D-Fla.), and Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisHouse passes legislation to boost election security research House Republicans investigating California secretary of state's contract with Biden-linked firm House Democrats' campaign arm releases ads hitting 10 Republicans on health care 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.