Okay, so Susanna Hoffs is not with the Bangles anymore;
she's in the midst of a solo career now. Still, it's her tenure as
singer/guitarist for the Bangles that we best know her for. Ms. Hoffs was born
in 1957 in Newport Beach, California. The Bangles were best-known for their
catchy guitar-driven pop songs, and the fact that they were an all-woman band.
Hoffs' solo work thus far has gone in more of a pop direction that the
Beatlesque Bangles hits.
The Bangles formed in 1981 in Los Angeles after a
"band members wanted" ad drew Hoffs to the Peterson sisters -- drummer/singer
Debbi and guitarist/vocalist Vicki. Annette Zilinskas filled in on bass, but
was replaced by Michael Steele (yes, a woman named Michael -- she once sang
with the Joan Jett/Lita Ford outfit The Runaways) after their first EP,
Bangles, was released in 1982. The group went through a number of names
-- the Colours, the Supersonic Bangs, the Bangs -- before settling on the
Bangles. They were considered part of L.A.'s "Paisley Underground," along with
trippy pop groups like the Dream Syndicate and Rain Parade. They secured a deal
for their EP, played clubs and then released their debut All Over the
Place in 1984.
Their video for the single "Hero Takes a Fall"
attracted the eye of, of all people, Prince; he especially liked Hoffs and gave
them a song he'd written called "Manic Monday;" the tune became an instant hit
for the Bangles. It was included on their 1985 release Different Light
along with another crowd-pleaser, "Walk Like an Egyptian." The Bangles turned
in a smashing version of Paul Simon's "Hazy Shade of Winter" for the movie
Less Than Zero in 1987 while Hoffs appeared in mom Tamar's movie The
Allnighter. The Bangles released one more album, Everything, in 1988
before calling it quits one year later. The reason? Steele and the Petersons
resented the star treatment given to Hoffs, despite the fact that the quartet
cowrote everything and shared the spotlight onstage.
Hoffs' solo debut,
When You're A Boy, released in 1991, featured such guest cowriters as
Cyndi Lauper and Juliana Hatfield and a cover of David Bowie's "Boys Keep
Swinging. After taking some time off to have a baby, she released a
self-titled album last year which included the single "All I Want." Other
birthdays: Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones), Paul Young, Jez Strode (Kajagoogoo),
John Crawford (Berlin), Shabba Ranks and goof-face Jim Carrey. -- Beth