In 1996, Kevin “Kato” Hammond discovered the Internet at his day job at the Newspaper Association of America, where he worked as a database operator. He tried searching Netscape for “go-go music.”
Nothing came up. He searched again, then again, and finally found one very brief mention in a British music guide.
That didn’t seem right to Hammond, an avid go-go fan and musician who had played with several go-go bands during the late ’80s and early ’90s. So he built his own AOL webpage and named it after one of his favorite Rare Essence songs, “Take Me Out to the Go-Go.” TMOTTGoGo.com was officially launched in March 1996. Next year, the website will mark its 20th anniversary.
Hammond is a veteran of go-go bands Pure Elegance, Little Benny and the Masters, and Proper Utensils; at the time of his site’s launch, he was an established go-go insider. Getting access to the musicians was easy, and so was finding writers and collaborators willing to volunteer. To expand the TMOTTGoGo brand, Hammond began publishing a monthly print magazine in ’98 and started an Internet radio station the following year.
Now Hammond, who turns 50 later this summer, has embarked on another DIY project. Last week, he released a self-published book, Take Me Out to the Go-Go: The Autobiography of Kato Hammond.