The Bangles/The Bangles
Prompted by a combination of fondly recalled eighties-era MTV browsing (especially a certain combination of Vicki Peterson, a fringe-mini, a guitar and “Walk Like An Egyptian”) and a cheapie deal on Amazon, I finally found myself in possession of The Bangles Greatest Hits on video. Popped it in and found it all up to snuff.
Not much art in anything except the music (which I already had plenty of in various other formats). But the one-two combo of “Walking Down Your Street” and “In My Room” finally allowed me to put my finger on them.
They were the one great eighties’ band for whom the seventies need never have happened. I mean, you could have set them down in 1966 and they would have fit right in.
I think I missed the obvious for so long because so many people used to say the same thing about the Go-Gos. Since I knew that wasn’t really true (though I always understood how Charlotte Caffey’s occasional, mind-bending nods to classical surf guitar could create confusion), I think my mind threw up defenses that were almost bound to remain in place long after they were needed.
I might have cottoned sooner, except that I somehow missed the “Walking Down Your Street” video back in the day. In that one, they play a contest-winning garage band (long before That Thing You Do turned the concept into pure pleasure) who get to appear on some Shindig-style show with Little Richard–and then proceed to eat up his stage time while he frets back-stage.
After that, the hipster psychedelia of the “In Your Room” video–which was the other thing besides that fringe-mini that I really wanted to test my memory against–finally made sense.
All this in the midst of the chiming guitars, the perfect harmony and the tightly edited, high-class soft-core money shots gleaming forth one after another.