6. Sources

To my knowledge, there are no substantive biographies or critical studies of The Bangles in print at present. This ought to change.

There are a few books in which The Bangles are a piece of the story. Most essentially, Bill DeYoung’s chapter on the band in his I Need to Know: The Lost Music Interviews (2019), an extension of a feature that he wrote for Goldmine in 2000 for which he spoke to each Bangle and Miles Copeland, was the central source for the Different Light and Everything eras in this essay. Tell Me When It’s Over: Notes From the Paisley Underground, edited by Clive Jones (2006), is an atlas of the Paisley Underground: a collection of contemporary interviews with every band, apart from The Bangles, who are barely mentioned. Barney Hoskyns’ LA music history Waiting for the Sun (1996) has a section on the Paisley Underground; here, The Bangles are introduced as being “pretty terrible—four girls-next-door in sixties mini-skirts who could barely play their instruments.” Jim DeRogatis’ Turn On Your Mind (2003) is also good on the Underground, also fairly dismissive of The Bangles. Marc Spitz and Brendan Mullen’s We Got the Neutron Bomb (2001) has a key interview with Michael Steele about her time in the Runaways.

But the best chroniclers of The Bangles are on the internet; by far the best of these is Rachel Macari. She is to The Bangles what Nicholas Pegg is to Bowie—the most comprehensive and reliable source chronicling their work. Her history of the early (up until Different Light) Bangles from 2018 was invaluable for this piece, as was her Bang Go the Bangles, which has a Concert Chronology and a chronological Song Guide. There’s also a great site devoted to Michael Steele, which has a gig chronology and interviews with Steele’s friends and former bandmates: the Mark Buchholtz, Laura Molina and Joe Iaquinto quotes are from here.

Otherwise, the story of The Bangles is the one they’ve told the press over the course of forty years.

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Articles/Interviews

Alter, Gaby, “Classic Tracks: ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’,” Mix, 1 September 2009.

Anft, Michael, “The Bangles Haven’t Been Goofing Off,” Evening Sun, 24 March 1989. [40 songs written for Everything]

Appleford, Steve, “Bangles Sense Bias,” Los Angeles Daily News, 2 September 1989. [“feeling I get sometimes”]

Balaban, Samantha, “How Prince Worked His Magic on the Bangles’ ‘Manic Monday’,” KSUT, 24 June 2019. [“tape and glue”]

Bauder, David, “Everything Goes Into New Album,” Spokane Chronicle (AP story), 2 December 1988.

Bell, Max, “The Bangles,” No. 1, 1 March 1986.

Benarde, Scott, “Bangles Pay Dues—Now Ready to Roll,” Fort Lauderdale News, 21 September 1984.

Blair, Iain, “A Different Bangles,” Chicago Tribune, 2 April 1989. [“James meets Prince…first time we stepped out…our ideas about arrangement”]

Branst, Lee, “Bangles Beat Is 80s Sound,” News Pilot, 14 December 1984. [“politics of personal relationships”]

Browne, David, “Bangles’ Rock: The Hollow Thud of Fluff,” Daily News, 27 March 1989. [“fluff and tummy revealing costumes…name only”]

Clerk, Carol, “Globe Trotters,” Melody Maker, 28 March 1987.

Corcoran, Michael, “L.A. Women,” SPIN, December 1988.

Cromelin, Richard, “Local Girls Make Good,” Los Angeles Times, 4 May 1986. [“it was obvious it was a real band”]

Derrough, Leslie Michele, “Susanna Hoffs Sparkles on ‘Someday,'” Glide, 8 October 2012. [“Ramones and Blondie…golden singer-songwriter people…acrylics and color fields…every chord change I made was perfect”]

DeVault, Russ, “Bangles Trying to Shake Off ‘Cute’ Persona,” Atlanta Constitution, 19 June 1989.

Ellen, Barbara, “No Sex Please, We’re Bangles,” NME, 27 May 1989.

Flipside No. 34, ca. late 1982. [Bangles interview with Rodney Bingenheimer].

Flipside No. 35, ca. late 1982. [Bangs to Bangles name-change mentioned.]

Francis, Pat, “Rock Solid: Episode 141, Debbi Peterson,” 20 March 2014.

Frazier, Tony, “Ever Busy Bangles to Appear at Frontier City,” The Daily Oklahoman, 5 June 1987.

Gleason, Holly, “Heroines Take a Fall,” Rolling Stone, 15 June 1989.

Goldberg, Michael, “The Bangles: A Female Fab Four?,” Rolling Stone, 13 September 1984. [“daydreams about McCartney”]

Graff, Gary, “The Bangles Want It Their Way,” Detroit Free Press, 2 April 1989. [“out for a pizza”..two days of overdubs]

Hann, Michael, “The Paisley Underground,” The Guardian, 16 May 2013. [“weren’t world beaters as musicians…wouldn’t go beyond those three…the New Wave scene was over”]

Harris, Will, “Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles,” AV Club, 11 October 2011. [“just a club band at that point”]

Harvey, Dennis, “Bangles: Guitar Heroines,” Michigan Daily, 26 October 1984.

Hibbert, Tom, “Girls on Top,” Q, April 1987.

—. “The Bangles,” Smash Hits, 26 February 1986.

Hilburn, Robert, “The Bangles at the Roxy: Do They Measure Up?,” LA Times, 29 January 1983.

Hunt, Dennis, “Going a Round With Miles Copeland,” LA Times, 5 June 1988.

Isaacs, Barbara, “Star-Spangled Bangles,” Democrat and Chronicle, 27 March 1989.

Jacobs, Jay S., “The Bangles: Some Things They Said,” PopEntertainment.Com, 1 November 2003.

LA Weekly, “Teentalk,” 14-20 September 1984. [“valley of the uncool”]

Lababedi, Iman, “Bangles for Sale,” Creem, June 1985. [“won’t have made it until we’re on AM radio…uprooted liberal East Coast family…little bohemian art scene”]

Larsen, Peter, “Susanna Hoffs Talks About the Bangles…,” OC Register, 18 June 2018. [“we were pretty brazen about it”]

Lee, Craig, “Bangs Ignites (sic) Rock Music Audience,” LA Times, 8 May 1982. [“fine line between innocent fun”]

—. “The Bangs (in ‘Newest Music: Ten Bands To Watch Out For’),” LA Weekly, 26 August 1982.

Lee, Edith, “Bangles Taunt, Tease But Slow to Please,” Journal and Courier, 11 April 1989. [“falling in love with the wrong people”]

Lounges, Tom, “Bangles Cut a Path in Music Industry,” The Times (Indiana),  4 November 1988.

Lynskey, Dorian, “We’re the Mrs Robinsons of Rock,” The Guardian, 13 March 2003.

McCartney, Kelly, “The Origin of the Bangles,” Cuepoint, 5 June 2015. [“not functional without that component…studying the soundtrack”]

Micek, John, “Tell Me When It’s Over: The Paisley Underground Reconsidered,” Pop Matters, 29 April 2002.

Nashville Intelligence Report, No. 13, May 1983 (Bangles interview by “Andy”).

Okamoto, David, “Cyndi Lauper: The New Big Bopper,” Tampa Tribune, 29 October 1984.

Orlean, Susan, “California Girls,” Rolling Stone, 26 March 1987. [“small bone at the back of the head…writing in the style of Joni…married a stranger”]

Patterson, Rob, “The Bangles Are Making Good Pop Music,” The Scrantonian, 3 July 1983.

Paul, Scott, “The Fans—All Girl Band on L.A. Scene,” unknown (presumably LA-based) newspaper, ca. 1979.

Podany, Amanda Hills, “Rock Like a Historian,” LA Times, 2 January 2005.

Pollock, Bruce, “Susanna Hoffs: Eternal Flame,” SongFacts, 20 December 2012.

Pouncey, Edwin, “Yesterday and Today,” Sounds, 2 February 1985.

Santelli, Robert, “Debbi Peterson: She Knows What She Wants,” Modern Drummer, October 1986. [“controlling factor”]

Snow, Mat, “Manic Impressives,” NME, 8 March 1986. [“rock and roll is sitting alone in your room”]

Sollenberger, Kraig, “The Bangles: Yesterday and Today,” Vintage Guitar, September 2004. [details on early VP guitars]

Spurrier, Jeff, “How the Bangs Rang a Bell,” LA Times, 26 September 1982.

Stewart, Jenny, “In Depth with Susanna Hoffs,” Planetout.com, 24 November 2009. [“I would pick three people”]

Sweeting, Adam, “From Twilight to Limelight,” The Guardian, 25 November 1988.

—. “The Bangles,” Melody Maker, 2 March 1985.

Traykin, Roy, “Making Pop Her-Story Or It’s A Girl’s, Girl’s, Girl’s World,” Creem, June 1986.

Ward, Marshall, “The Bangles: Still Rock’s Sweethearts,” Rock Cellar, 19 June 2012. [“sort of anachronistic…about a guy Debbi liked…seven minutes and sounds like it”]

Weis, Gary, Vicki Peterson interview, Kickin’ It Old School, 24 May 2013. [“lazy about scales…whatever harmony was lacking”]

Wiefling, Howard, Washington Post, 22 November 1982.

Willman, Chris, “Facts and/or Fables About the Bangles,” LA Times, 9 April 1989.

Wolff, Carlo, “Bangles Never Gather Momentum,” Akron Beacon Journal, 4 April 1989.

Zaleski, Annie, “Aging Gracefully with Girl-Group Pioneers the Bangles at the Pageant,” Riverfront Times, 3 May 2010.