At long last, we’re got the massive biography on THE BANGLES ready for pre-order consumption, and it is nothing short of a whopper. This monumental project, started by author and unofficial band historian Eric Shade back in the 1990s has had quite a journey from start to finish. This insane overview of the early days of the members’ obscure early groups, as well as an amazing snapshot of the sorely-undocumented Paisley Underground scene of early 80s LA, all the way up through the core band members’ current projects, is a feat we never though we’d see fulfilled. For a band as huge and omnipresent as The Bangles still in are 2023, the revelation of their earlier efforts, such as the mind-blowing story of Micki Steele in the first lineup of the fledgling Runaways, while the Peterson sisters were rocking out in bands such as The Muze, Hollywood Girls, and The Fans right around the same period is the legendary stuff mostly outside of public knowledge. The intertwining stories of Susanna Hoffs meeting David Roback (later of The Rain Parade) and getting inspired by The Last, with Vicki & Debbi’s growing interest in garage bands like The Unclaimed around town, All Over The Place shows how many moving parts were swirling around, generating a indescribable electricity around Los Angeles as the hardcore scene raged on the other side of the coin. As the Paisley Underground scene evolved during its short window, bands such as Salvation Army/The Three O’Clock, Long Ryders, and Dream Syndicate are given their long-overdue historical appreciation here.
With original bassist Annette Zilinskas, the girls formed The Colours, evolved into The Bangs, and caught the right ears after self-releasing their debut 7” single, eventually signing to I.R.S. Records and touring extensively. As they changed the band name to Bangles, the lineup once again shifted, with Micki Steele joining, fresh off her years of gigging around LA in her post-Runaways bands Elton Duck, Slow Children, and Toni & The Movers, and things really start to fall into place. With their impeccable taste in 60s covers in their unique moment in time, The Bangles story just soars off from there, showing the gut-wrenching process of navigating the 1980s major label recording industry as a pioneering all-female band. Tours with Redd Kross, English Beat and Cyndi Lauper, MTV Spring Break appearances, meeting and working with Prince, and the inevitable drama that comes with superstardom once the “hits” started to stack up, this is the story of the Los Angeles underground you really need to read.
Shade’s meticulous research and wild enthusiasm is instantly contagious, uncovering heaps of information lost to time from early bandmates and forgotten fanzines and overseas interviews, with no stone left unturned. From the inevitable struggles to the righteous triumphs, The Bangles back story has never been explored this in-depth before, while perfectly encapsulating the fertile Paisley Underground they sprouted from (and will always be a part of). Featuring an extensive discography and tons of previously unseen color and black & white photos & ephemera, All Over The Place stands to be the crucial Bangles biography it was intended to be upon its conception.