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Sep 9 02 1:25 PM
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Sep 9 02 1:26 PM
the 5th Bangle
Quote: It was a tough decision, but I had to choose between going to graduate school in England and staying in the band (which was obviously going to become successful). In the end I chose grad school because it was the best decision for me--I loved playing music but I don't sing well. And we had tons of names when I was in the band: we started as Aisha (1977ish) then Crista Galli (1978ish) then the Muze (also 1978ish), then the Fans (1979-1980) then Those Girls. There's no truth to the rumor that we were ever called Kookoo and the Doodoo heads!
Sep 9 02 1:35 PM
"Gracie is a harsh mistress. We quail in fear at her every utterance. She asks us to stoop and we say "how low?" Gracie has taught me the true meaning of the word 'discipline.'"- Michael Steele
Quote: Well, not quite as embarrassing but pretty bad...we used to have a steady Sunday night (imagine...) show at a tiny bar called the Driftwood in Redondo Beach. The stage was about the size of a large desk. We were all underage, but they didn't seem to care. Anyway, we got to play NEW YEAR'S EVE (our first New Year's Eve show) at the Driftwood!! Great excitement. The only problem was that only Vicki and Debbi's parents and their grandma showed up (we love them!). Oh, and a few drunks. But we played Auld Lang Syne anyway.
Sep 9 02 1:57 PM
Quote: It looks to me as though you're from Israel--that's one of the most interesting for sure!
Quote: Maybe I do, but I'd have to practice--I'm pretty rusty after all these years. Honestly, though, it's fun just to have been a part of it. I'm happy with what I'm doing now.
Quote: My pleasure!
Sep 9 02 1:58 PM
Quote: Amazingly enough, they were pretty much unchanged by it all. Vicki and I would get together and go shopping or do laundry together and 'Walk Like an Egyptian' was at the top of the charts. It was a little surreal really, since you'd expect them to have been more affected. (The reason we were doing laundry together was that even at that time they were still living in apartments and going to the laundromat...it took a while before they saw any money from the records.)
Quote: "Hi Gemma--I hope you weren't in the middle of those horrible floods."
Quote: "I missed playing for the big audiences because I left too soon. We only played clubs when I was in the band. Probably the largest was only a hundred or so. And, no I didn't get nervous. It was great fun."
Going Down To Liverpool
Sep 9 02 2:01 PM
Quote: "I would be willing, but it hasn't happened recently. I did play with them as the Colours after Susanna joined but before Annette or Michael. Then I played one show in the 80's (I forget what year, but it was still pre-Michael) at a club called After Everything Else. (We went on after the Circle Jerks at about 2 AM!) And the only songs that survived from the Fans to the Bangles' records were James and He's Got a Secret. Vicki wrote some wonderful songs in the early days (she would laugh at this) but most of them didn't make it onto records/CDs."
Quote: No--we didn't record anything that got released when I was in the band. We made some (horrible) rehearsal tapes when we were first putting the band together, that have mercifully been lost. The first was in maybe 1974 when we tried recording 'I Am Your Singer' (by Wings) with Vicki's electric guitar, a couple of acoustic guitars and me on...recorder. We recorded it in Vicki's bedroom on her cassette tape player. Debbi was even on that one singing back-ground vocals (she was 13), though she didn't actually join the band until 1977. It ended in a fit of giggles. (It too has disappeared.)We did make one recording as the Fans which includes James and Secret, I think, but it was just a demo tape.
Sep 9 02 2:03 PM
Quote: Yes, we went to record stores quite a bit. There was a wildly overpriced music store near where we lived called Mr B for Music, which had a minimal selection of records, but I took my first (and last) bass lessons there. My favorite was a store on Pico Blvd in West LA called Do Re Mi music. The owner of that store knew Bob Cowsill and that was how Vicki and I first got in touch with the Cowsills.
Sep 9 02 2:05 PM
Quote: "wow--impressive emoticons! I can't quite figure out how to do them--and I'm trying to type quickly... "
Quote: I guess I always knew that I'd eventually have to make a decision, because I had wanted to be an archaeologist since I was about 8 years old and still was interested in doing that, and the two careers aren't 100% compatible ("I'm sorry, I'll have to leave this world tour for three months so that I can go work on an excavation." )
Quote: As far as their success? No, not at all. As far as I could tell they were just doing better and better before they broke up. But emotionally, yes, perhaps it was clear by 1988 or so that they would at least need to take a break. The amount of touring and the pressure on them gave them very little chance ever to just relax and be home and have normal lives. I think it must be hard on all rock stars.
Sep 9 02 2:06 PM
Quote: Yes I still play. (Not as well as I used to.) And now I'm an archaeologist/ancient historian.
Quote: My personal favorite was playing the Troubadour here in LA, which we did a few times in 1980. We were pretty loud (but we already loved having harmonies on every song). It was there that I realized that the band definitely had the makings of eventual stardom. It was quite a thrill. I guess nothing particularly dramatic happened (no-one fell into the audience) but we'd always dreamed of playing the Troubadour and there we were.
Quote: This is a tough one, but I think it was WAY back before they'd even recorded the first album when they played at the Universal Amphitheatre. Speaking of dreams...we had wanted to play there forever and they were doing it, and they had signed to Columbia, and the hometown crowd went absolutely nuts for them. They weren't as polished as they later became but you could tell that they were having the best time!
Quote: Vicki was (and is) very smart, absolutely driven to become a musician, and totally loyal and kind to her friends. Debbi was (and is) absolutely sweet, very generous, and unbelievably musical. I don't think any of us were particularly "popular"--even though Vicki was a cheerleader--but we had a very close group of friends and we stuck together.
Sep 9 02 2:11 PM
Quote: They were nice kids. Not the glue-on-the-chair kind, really. Maybe they don't want me to say that...
Sep 9 02 2:12 PM
Quote: Hmmm...Do you mean male groupies?? No, I don't think so. But they definitely were thrilled about meeting people like Paul Simon and James Taylor. We'd listened to their music all our lives and I know for Vicki (and I imagine for the others) it was awesome to meet them. They never met any of the Beatles, though, which is a shame since they were a huge influence, of course.
Sep 9 02 2:13 PM
Quote: No, not me.
Sep 9 02 2:18 PM
Quote: It seemed like forever. Vicki bought a house with her sister Pam in 1987, so they must have had some money by then. It amazed me that she was still driving a ten-year-old car and living in a TINY apartment (a guest house in someone else's house) when she was on the cover of Rolling Stone. I always assumed that people got rich instantly once they were famous. Wrong.
Sep 9 02 2:21 PM
Quote: Hi Katie. It's terrific to chat with you. And yes, poor Debbi, after working in McDonalds for WAY too long, did pay Vicki back. Of course, the only reason Vicki had the money for the drumset in the first place was because she had been boxing groceries at Safeway for a living...
Sep 9 02 2:25 PM
Quote: Nope, wrong bass player. Annette Zilinskas was after me and before Michael. She played with them from 1981-83, I think. I was in Vicki and Debbi's band from 1976-1981. My last name is Hills.
Sep 9 02 2:28 PM
Quote: In high school Vicki and I liked English but we had a very strange 11th grade English teacher, so that wasn't a favorite. I like French, too, but again the teacher wasn't the best...And I have to confess that we passed notes in a Baroque Music class that we took at UCLA, though somehow I remember a lot from it...
Quote: Hi Bethann. No, that wasn't me. We had a lead guitarist named Lynn Elkind for about a year who left the band about six months before I did. She was sharing an apartment with Vicki and Debbi, even after she left the band, and it was she who put the ad in the Recycler to try to find some musicians to work with. Fortunately for you guys, it was Vicki who happened to answer Susanna's phone call (though Vicki says that Lynn still talked with Susanna later and everyone decided that it would be better if Susanna joined Vicki's band).
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