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The Bangles Members: A Look at the Fab ’80s Girl Group Then and Now

Their debut album turns 40 this year!

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In the ’80s, there were few bands cooler than the Bangles. Along with the Go-Go’s, they were one of the essential groups to prove that women could rock just as hard as men, and their combination of ’60s musical influences and ’80s style dominated MTV in the channel’s early days.

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The band was formed in 1981 and released their debut album, All Over the Place, in 1984. It wasn’t until their second album, Different Light, that they blew up in popularity. The 1986 record spawned two of their signature chart-toppers, “Manic Monday” and “Walk Like an Egyptian.”

In 1987, they had another hit with their cover of the Simon & Garfunkel song “Hazy Shade of Winter,” which appeared in the soundtrack of the film Less Than Zero. Their third album, Everything, from 1988, was also a critical and commercial success, with the hit singles “In Your Room” and “Eternal Flame.”

American guitarist Susanna Hoffs, drummer Debbi Peterson, guitarist Debbi Peterson and bassist Michael Steele, of the American pop rock band The Bangles, pose for a group portrait in Los Angeles, California, circa 1987
The Bangles in 1987Bonnie Schiffman/Getty

The Bangles broke up in 1989, but reunited in 1998. Since then, they’ve released two more albums, Doll Revolution (2003) and Sweetheart of the Sun (2011) and have continued to perform on occasion.

40 years after their first album, the Bangles members remain some of the most talented women in music. Their songs have serious staying power (who among us hasn’t related to “Manic Monday,” danced to “Walk Like or Egyptian,” or swooned to “Eternal Flame”?) and they blazed a trail for many retro-inspired, fun-loving pop-rock bands that followed in their groovy footsteps.

Musicians Susanna Hoffs, Vicki Peterson and Debbi Peterson of the Bangles attend MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Tom Petty at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 10, 2017
Left to right: The Bangles members Susanna Hoffs and Vicki and Debbi Peterson in 2017Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty

The Bangles members then and now

Here’s a look back at the original lineup of the Bangles members then and now.

Read on for more ’80s favorites!

Susanna Hoffs

Susanna Hoffs in 1987 and 2023 the Bangles members
Left: 1987; Right: 2023Bob Riha, Jr./Getty; David Livingston/Getty

Susanna Hoffs is the Bangles’ lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist. She released her first solo album, When You’re a Boy, in 1991. While it wasn’t a big hit, the single “My Side of the Bed” made it into Billboard‘s Top 40.

Hoffs had another solo album that went in a more folk-inspired and personal direction in 1996, and she released three cover albums of ’60s, ’70s and ’80s songs in collaboration with musician Matthew Sweet in the ’00s and ’10s. She released one more solo album of original songs, Someday, in 2012.

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Hoffs released two solo cover albums, Bright Lights and The Deep End, in 2021 and 2023, respectively. She also branched out and wrote a rom-com novel, This Bird Has Flown, in 2023. The book received positive reviews, with The New York Times calling it “the smart, ferocious rock-chick redemption romance you didn’t know you needed.”

Now 65, the multitalented rockstar/writer has been married to Jay Roach, the director of the Austin Powers movies (which she appeared in, as part of a faux-’60s band!), Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers and Trumbo, since 1993. They have two sons.

If you’re still curious about what Hoffs has been up to lately, you can check out this cute video she shared on her Instagram!

Vicki Peterson

Vicki Peterson in 1986 and 2023 the Bangles members
Left: 1986; Right: 2023Paul Natkin/WireImage/Getty; Noam Galai/Getty for Musicians On Call

Vicki Peterson is the lead guitarist for the Bangles. After they disbanded, she joined two other bands, the Continental Drifters and the Psycho Sisters, in the ’90s. In 1994, she played with the Go-Go’s during their reunion tour, filling in for their guitarist, Charlotte Caffey, while she was on maternity leave. She also provided backing vocals for Go-Go Belinda Carlisle‘s solo shows.

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In 2003, Peterson married John Cowsill, who was part of the popular family band the Cowsills as a child in the ’60s. They met through his sister, Susan Cowsill, who was a member of both Peterson’s post-Bangles bands.

In 2017, Peterson and her husband formed a new group, Action Skulls, with actor and musician Bill Mumy. Now 66, Peterson released an album with Action Skulls, A Different World, in 2020.

Debbi Peterson

Debbi Peterson in 1985 and 2017
Left: 1985; Right: 2017Lester Cohen/Getty; Scott Dudelson/Getty

Debbi Peterson is the Bangles’ drummer. She is the younger sister of Vicki Peterson, and she provided lead vocals for two of the band’s songs, “Going Down to Liverpool” and “Be With You.”

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Following the breakup of the Bangles, Peterson formed Smashbox, a band with Gina Schock of the Go-Go’s, Prince collaborators Wendy & Lisa and Sara Lee. The group was short-lived, and soon morphed into Kindred Spirit, a duo with Peterson and musician Siobhan Mayer.

Now 62, Peterson has been married to sound engineer Steven Botting since 1989. They have a daughter and a son. In recent years, she played frequently with the late British musician John Wicks and the band the No Ones.

Michael Steele

Michael Steele in 1986 and 2003
Left: 1986; Right: 2003Midori Tsukagoshi/Shinko Music/Getty; Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage/Getty

Originally named Susan Thomas, Michael Steele started off as a founding member of the all-girl band the Runaways (under the name Micki Steele), though she left before their first album. She then became the bassist for the Bangles. She provided lead vocals for some of their songs, including “Following,” “Complicated Girl,” “Something to Believe In” and their cover of Big Star‘s “September Gurls.”

Post-Bangles, Steele joined the bands Crash Wisdom and Eyesore in the ’90s, and played with musician Lisa Dewey in the ’00s. While Steele was part of the reunited Bangles, she officially left the band in 2005.

Now 68, Steele has retired from music and keeps a low profile.

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