Fewer bands were more underrated musically and erotically than the Bangles. Ok. Musically, they were mediocre, but it was their music that propelled them into the nation's consciousness, and into the stuff of my adolescent fantasy. The Bangles were living proof that the collective can be greater than the sum of the parts, because truth be told, there were some pretty ugly looking ladies in there -- but they were carried by their lead singer who was a feather of a girl, one Miss. Susanna Hoffs. Hoffs was tiny -- the Mugsy Bogues in a band full of Manute Bols. And she knew how to grab your attention and then keep you transfixed, taking the stage in a slip of dress, thigh-length boots and a strapping guitar lashing out from her crotch. When she sang, the angels in heaven stopped to listen. And when she gave the microphone up to one of her bandmates, she knew how to keep you staring with a wriggle of her tiny knees, a sashay of her hips, or a head toss of her shaggy mane. Hoffs drove me crazy. Pocket sized, she represented everything a thirteen year old boy could want in a woman. You can keep your Walk Like an Egyptian, which always seemed crassly commercial to me with its gimmicky dance and nonsensical meaning. When Hoffs sang, there was meaning a plenty -- Eternal Flame is a case in point. Many was the night I would dust off that record and give it a spin whist staring at the four individual headshots of Hoffs on the front cover of the LP Different Light. As the song climaxed, so would I, driven on by Susanna's urging me and me alone: "Close your eyes, Give me your hand, Can you feel my heart beating? Do you understand?" I understood. Oh yes. I understood.
Horatio writes: Thanks to Joss David of New Jersey for this poignant piece of masturbatory nostalgia.