SHE'S (STILL) got the beat: After six years spent apart from the preeminent all-female band of the '80s, drummer Gina Schock is glad to be Go-Going again Schock is providing the pulse for the current reunion tour of the Go-Go's, calculated to drum up sales for the band's current 14-track "Greatest" retrospective, and newly re-recorded "Cool Jerk" single on IRS.

Schock says the five Go-Go's, once inseparable, haven't seen much of each other since the 1984 split. "There were a lot of bad feelings," she says. "But time really does sort of heal things, and we all started talking again.

The reunion was sparked by "this really bizarre coincidence," Schock says. "I was out promoting my solo record, and I was walking out of a hotel in Philadelphia and {lead singer} Belinda {Carlisle} was walking in. We hugged and kissed, and she said, God, she missed me and I said I missed her and it's been too long and we gotta talk. I mean, we all still had each other's phone numbers. Everybody was just nervous and apprehensive about trying to reconnect. And I just made the initial calls and said 'Hey, it's OK, everybody misses each other, let's talk.' So then we did and one thing led to another."

How the Go-Go's ever came to be called a "girl group" in the first place is something of a mystery. After all, none of them was a kid when their exuberant first single "We Got the Beat" hit the charts.

"Hey, no one calls us 'girl group' anymore," Schock says. "If they do they've been stuck in the mud for about 20 years. But I guess they gotta call you something, they gotta think of some name. We're just the Go-Go's. I mean, it's not that we think the Go-Go's are like important musically or anything, but I think we inspired some other women to get into music and start bands. We showed it could be done, on our own terms."

Formed in Los Angeles in 1978, the Go-Go's were notable mostly for their semi-pro enthusiasm and postpunk simplicity, virtues that back then got them filed under new wave. Their sound, which paved the way for the Bangles and others to come, was a rediscovery of basic pop virtues, and a distaff Beatles/Beach Boys spirit bubbled through such effervescently danceable hits as "We Got the Beat" and "Our Lips Are Sealed" and platinum albums like "Beauty and the Beat" and "Vacation." They went from playing the 9:30 club to Capital Centre, opening for the Police and the Rolling Stones. And they posed for the cover of Rolling Stone. In their underwear. (They just rehashed that stunt by posing peekaboo-style behind a banner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals; a fund-raising poster of the shot will be on sale at their shows.)

Yeah, the Go-Go's were fun-fun-fun back then, learning to play their instruments, bringing a pajama-party atmosphere to interviews, and making the tabloids with their romantic involvements. It was all clearly just for laughs, and nobody was thinking hard about a long run.

"We can't see ourselves being 40 years old jumping around stage in our miniskirts," Schock told a Post interviewer in 1982.

The next year found the gals in the band entangled in a series of crises -- medical (lead guitarist Charlotte Caffey's wrist-paralyzing carpal tunnel syndrome, Schock's open-heart surgery), managerial (management changes and royalty disputes) and emotional (Carlisle's media-glare relationship with L.A. Dodger Mike Marshall) -- that threatened to bring the Go-Go's to a stop. The traumas resulted in the more serious "Talk Show," their most solid but least successful record, but it wasn't enough to keep them together.

"It was all the typical things that break up a band. You name 'em," Schock says. "Getting bored, not getting along. You know, you see these people everyday, it's like getting a divorce. There were many more things that were good about our relationship than bad, that's for sure."

So now, after a somewhat acrimonious split, involving all sorts of legal hairpulling, the Fab Five have decided to make nice and sell some records. After all, only lead singer Carlisle has had any success worth noting on her own, with a string of big singles and albums. Rhythm guitarist Jane Weidlin had a few almost-hits, most memorably, "Rush Hour." But you'd probably be hard-pressed to remember any post-Go-Go's product by Caffey, bassist Kathy Valentine, or Schock, who had her own band, called House of Schock.

"My solo project was really hard work, harder than I thought," says the Baltimore-bred Schock. "In the Go-Go's, all I had to worry about was playing the drums, chipping in on the arrangements and writing a song occasionally. With my own project I had to sing, play drums, play guitar, and write all the material."

To spruce up their greatest hits collection, the Go-Go's remastered their early tunes and recorded the Capitols' 1966 "Cool Jerk" (already on "Vacation" and long a staple of their live act) with Fine Young Cannibals' producer David Z. at the board. They just finished a corresponding video. which Schock says features "a lot of dancin'."

The new look is a bit more slick than the thrift-shop chic of the early '80s and the reconstituted Go-Go's sound is slightly more technology-wise, in keeping with the times.

"My drums are all triggered with samples now, along with all my real drum sounds, and everybody's been updating their equipment," Schock says. "And we've rearranged a lot of the tunes. I'm likin' what I'm hearing.

"But our stage show is still very basic, not choreographed or anything. It's just about the band, just about the music. We want to create a real party atmosphere, everybody have a great time, because that's what we're going to be doing."

THE GO-GO'S -- Appearing Sunday at DAR Constitution Hall. Call 800/543-3041.