I don't know what happened to precipitate longtime bassist Michael Steele's departure from the newly rejuvenated Bangles
in 2006, nor do I know why unofficial replacement Abby Travis was unceremoniously dismissed in 2008. But I gotta say when it comes to one of the otherwise most pleasantly nostalgic acts of the '80s, this recurrent bass player issue is starting to become more than a curiosity. The latest embarrassment on this front: a recent review of a Bangles concert featuring a photo with the bass player crudely cut from view
. I can't discern if that particular photo has omitted Steele or Travis, but I think it is clear that there's a certain high school newspaper lameness to such an editorial solution.
Perhaps this should reflect more poorly on the publication that produced the accompanying article than it should the remaining trio of Bangles, but I'm having some trouble making a distinction. I've lamented many times the propensity of retro '80s artists to employ various and sundry personnel to prolong irrelevant careers, but this particular black mark still leaves me awfully cynical even if it seems far milder. One could say that three out of four is a completely decent percentage of core members at this stage, and that's a valid point. Still, that hacked up promotional photo seems to convey something more about the general lack of respect for '80s music's ongoing legacy than it does about that music's ultimate preservation.
Album Cover Image Courtesy of Columbia/Legacy