Susanna Hoffs

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Susanna Hoffs
Susanna Hoffs 2006.jpg
Hoffs with the Bangles in 2006
Susanna Lee Hoffs

(1959-01-17) January 17, 1959 (age 64)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation(s)Singer, musician, songwriter
Years active1978–present
(m. 1993)
Musical career
  • Rock
  • pop
  • Vocals
  • guitar

Susanna Lee Hoffs (born January 17, 1959) is an American singer and guitarist, best known as a co-founder of the pop-rock band The Bangles.[1] Hoffs founded The Bangles (originally called the Bangs) in 1981 with Debbi and Vicki Peterson. They released their first full length album All Over the Place on Columbia Records in 1984. Hoffs started a solo career after The Bangles disbanded in 1989. She released her first solo album, When You're a Boy, in 1991. She later formed the faux British 1960s band Ming Tea with Mike Myers and Matthew Sweet. Hoffs has also appeared in a supporting role in several movies.

Early life[edit]

Hoffs was born in Los Angeles, California, to a Jewish family.[2] She is the daughter of film director/writer/producer Tamar Ruth (née Simon) and Joshua Allen Hoffs, a psychoanalyst.[3][4] Her mother played Beatles music for Hoffs when she was a child, and she began playing the guitar in her teens. Hoffs attended Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, graduating in 1976. While in college, she worked as a production assistant and made her acting debut in the 1978 film Stony Island.[5]

In 1980, Hoffs graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor's degree in art. When she entered college, she was a fan of classic rock bands that played in large stadiums, and while a student, she attended the final Sex Pistols show at Winterland Ballroom[6] and a Patti Smith concert. Exposure to punk rock changed her career goal from a dancer to musician in a band.[7]


The Psychiatrists/The Unconscious[edit]

Hoffs, David Roback, and his brother Stephen Roback started their first band together, The Psychiatrists/The Unconscious, in the late 1970s while Hoffs was a student at the University of California, Berkeley.[8][9]

The Bangs[edit]

Inspired by The Ramones and other punk bands, Hoffs founded the Bangs with Debbi and Vicki Peterson. After recording their first album, the night before it was pressed they learned of a legal claim by an East Coast boy band, called "The Bangs", requiring a sudden change of name, so the "Bangs" morphed into the "Bangles".[10]

The Bangles[edit]

Hoffs practicing with her guitar backstage in 2008

The Bangles' first recorded release was a self-titled EP in 1982 on the Faulty Products Label (which lived up to its name by folding during the first promotional tour). The Bangles released their first full album All Over the Place in 1984 on Columbia Records. They had a moderate hit with the single "Hero Takes a Fall", but their commercial breakthrough came with the album Different Light in 1986, which produced the hit singles "Manic Monday" (which Prince had written and passed along to the Bangles), "If She Knew What She Wants", and "Walk Like an Egyptian".[11]

In 1986, Hoffs co-wrote "I Need a Disguise" for the album Belinda for Belinda Carlisle, from the all-girl group The Go-Go's. With increasing fame, Hoffs also appeared on the covers of numerous magazines, and the Rickenbacker guitar company issued a Susanna Hoffs model of the 350, which she customized herself.[12]

In 1987, Hoffs starred in the film The Allnighter, which was directed by her mother Tamar Simon Hoffs, and also featured Joan Cusack and Pam Grier. The film was critically panned and failed at the box office. Hoffs later said: "It wasn't a great movie but the whole experience of it was great."

In 1988, the Bangles released their third album, Everything. The first single, co-written by Hoffs, "In Your Room" became a top 10 hit. Everything also produced their biggest-selling single "Eternal Flame", which was also co-written and sung by Hoffs.[13]

In the BBC programme I'm in a Girl Group, Hoffs revealed she actually sang the studio recording of "Eternal Flame" completely naked due to producer Davitt Sigerson pranking her by telling her Olivia Newton-John had done the same thing. He later told Hoffs he had been lying.[14][15]

In 1989, the Bangles formally disbanded.[16] In the late 1990s, however, Hoffs contacted the other members of the Bangles with the hope of reuniting. They recorded the single "Get the Girl" for the second Austin Powers movie in 1999. Subsequently, they announced their decision to reunite full-time in 2000. Their fourth album, Doll Revolution, was released in 2003, and their fifth album, Sweetheart of the Sun, was released in 2011.

Solo career[edit]

Hoffs released a solo album, When You're a Boy, in 1991,[17] which spawned a U.S Top 40 hit with "My Side of the Bed". In the UK the single landed at No. 44, for only 4 weeks on chart, and the album also landed decently in Europe.[citation needed]

Hoffs recorded another album in 1993–94, prior to leaving Columbia Records, but it went unreleased. In 1996, Hoffs released her second solo album, Susanna Hoffs. Although it received much praise in the media and yielded a minor US hit and a UK hit at No. 33 for 2 weeks with a cover of the Lightning Seeds single "All I Want", it was not a commercial success.[citation needed]

Hoffs recorded a cover of "The Look of Love" for the soundtrack of the first Austin Powers movie Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and a cover of the song "Alfie" for the soundtrack of the third Austin Powers in Goldmember. She recorded a cover of the Oingo Boingo song "We Close Our Eyes" for the Buffy The Vampire Slayer soundtrack. She is also responsible for the song "Now and Then", from the 1995 film of the same name.[18]

Hoffs also contributed a song to the film Red Roses and Petrol (written and directed by Tamar Simon Hoffs) titled "The Water Is Wide".[citation needed]

Hoffs performing in 2015

Hoffs self-released her third solo album of new material (the first since her 1996's self-titled album) called Someday via Vanguard Records on July 17, 2012. The set was produced by Mitchell Froom and is influenced by the music of the 1960s.[19] American Songwriter gave Someday a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars and described it as "easily and undeniably Hoffs' most definitive musical statement to date".[20]

Hoffs donated her vocal talent to the end credits song from the film, A Dog Named Gucci, in the song "One Voice", which also features the talents of Norah Jones, Aimee Mann, Lydia Loveless, Neko Case, Brian May and Kathryn Calder. It was produced by Dean Falcone, who also wrote the film's score. "One Voice" was released on Record Store Day, April 16, 2016, with profits from the sale of the single going to benefit animal charities.[21]

Ming Tea[edit]

Mike Myers, singer-songwriter Matthew Sweet, and Hoffs formed the faux British 1960s band Ming Tea after Myers' Saturday Night Live stint in the early 1990s.[22][23] They all adopted pseudonyms for the band, with Hoffs using the name Gillian Shagwell and Myers creating Austin Powers. The trio made a number of club and TV performances and had a minor hit with the song "BBC". Myers's then-wife Robin Ruzan encouraged him to write a film based on the character.[23] The result was Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, directed by Hoffs' husband Jay Roach. Ming Tea performed in all three Austin Powers films.[24]

With Matthew Sweet[edit]

In 2006, Hoffs teamed up with fellow Ming Tea member Matthew Sweet to record fifteen cover versions of classic rock songs from the 1960s and 1970s for an album titled Under the Covers, Vol. 1. The album was released in April 2006. On July 18, they appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien to promote the album and tour. The duo released another album Under the Covers, Vol. 2 on July 21, 2009, which included covers of songs by Fleetwood Mac, Carly Simon, Rod Stewart and others.[25] In 2012 Under the Covers, Vol. 3 was released.[26]

In 2013, Hoffs collaborated with Sweet and Tim Robbins for a cover of the traditional "Marianne" for the Sea shanty-compilation Son of Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Hoffs has been married to filmmaker Jay Roach since 1993.[28] They have two sons.[29] Roach converted to Judaism upon marrying her.[2][28]

Hoffs is a vegetarian.[30]



Year Title Peak chart positions
1991 When You're a Boy 83 67 51 29 56
1996 Susanna Hoffs 228 50
2006 Under the Covers, Vol. 1
(with Matthew Sweet)
2009 Under the Covers, Vol. 2
(with Matthew Sweet)
2012 Someday
2012 Some Summer Days (EP)
2012 From Me to You (EP)
2013 Under the Covers, Vol. 3
(with Matthew Sweet)
2021 Bright Lights[37]
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.


Year Title Peak chart positions Notes
Solo releases
1991 "My Side of the Bed" 30 54 20 36 23 33 44
"Unconditional Love" 100 65
"Only Love"/"You Were on My Mind" 135
1996 "All I Want" 77 164 44 44 32
With Ming Tea
1997 "BBC" Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery soundtrack
2002 "Daddy Wasn't There" Austin Powers in Goldmember soundtrack
With Travis
2020 "The Only Thing"[43]
(with Travis)
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.

Filmography and appearances[edit]

Year Title
1978 Stony Island
1982 The Haircut
1987 The Allnighter
1990 The Bangles – Greatest Hits: Videos
1997 Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
1999 Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
2001 Gilmore Girls-TV episode
2002 Austin Powers in Goldmember
2003 Doll Revolution – Bonus DVD
2003 Red Roses and Petrol – soundtrack only
2012 Comedy Bang! Bang! – TV episode


  1. ^ "Bangles: The Girls Are All Right". Los Angeles Herald Examiner. February 11, 1983.
  2. ^ a b Teicholz, Tom (2006). "Susanna Hoffs walks like a rockstar/mom". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Archived from the original on October 18, 2006. Retrieved August 15, 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. ^ "TAMAR SIMON ENGAGED; She Is Fiancee of Joshua A. Hoffs, A Medical Student". The New York Times. February 28, 1957.
  4. ^ "Bangle still follows mom's directions". The Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. May 15, 1987. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
  5. ^ "Stony Island Movie". Archived from the original on November 15, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  6. ^ "Q&A With Susanna Hoffs And Matthew Sweet". July 20, 2009.
  7. ^ Ragogna, Mike (September 26, 2011). "Sweetheart Of The Sun & Modern Art: Chatting With The Bangles' Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet". Huffington Post. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  8. ^ Macari, Rachel (March 12, 2021). "There's More Than Meets The Eye to The Bangles and You Should Know Why". Medium. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  9. ^ Roberts, Randall (March 6, 2020). "Susanna Hoffs and friends remember David Roback, who stayed creative, and enigmatic, to the end". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  10. ^ McCartney, Kelly (June 5, 2015). "The Origin of The Bangles." Medium, June 5, 2015. Retrieved on December 17, 2017, from
  11. ^ "The Bangles Songs ••• Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography ••• Music VF, US & UK hits charts". June 2019.
  12. ^ "Susanna Hoffs: Yesterdays... And Today". September 2004.
  13. ^ "Susanna Hoffs – "Eternal Flame" : They're Playing My Song". Retrieved September 13, 2020.
  14. ^ "I'm in a Girl Group". Archived from the original on December 22, 2021 – via
  15. ^ "Susanna Hoffs Bares All (?) in New Interview". RockCellarMagazine. August 1, 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2020. RCM: Bangles history has it that you recorded the song "Eternal Flame" in the nude. How did that happen?
    SH: There were four of us in The Bangles back then – Michael Steele was still in the band, and we would go about organizing studio time for each girl. Our wonderful producer Davitt Sigerson said, "You know what, I think it's best to record vocals at night and I would like you girls to schedule what night you want, and when it's your night, it's your night. I want to make you as comfortable as possible, so whatever you want the studio to be, whether it's having stuff like incense or lighting a candle, you got it." He played this kind of practical joke on me – he knew I was very gullible – and he mentioned that he had just finished working on Olivia Newton-John's record and said, "Oh, and she sings everything in the nude. And she just did her best performances ever that way." And I said, "Really? I had no idea!" He told me well after the sessions were over that he was just pulling my leg but that's what launched into this whole conversation where I said, "That sounds like so much fun!" 'Cause I had already had this superstitious thing about wearing the same outfit every time I recorded vocals – sort of my lucky shirt and pants. But this idea transformed me into thinking, "Well, gosh, maybe I'll get my best performances if I'm singing in the nude!"
  16. ^ "No more manic Mondays". The Sydney Morning Herald. September 5, 2005.
  17. ^ Nicol, Jimmy (March 5, 1991). "When You're A Boy review". Q Magazine. 55: 71.
  18. ^ "Now and then soundtrack".
  19. ^ "Susanna Hoffs « Vanguard Records Publicity". July 17, 2012. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2012.
  20. ^ "Susanna Hoffs: Someday". August 6, 2012.
  21. ^ Tribbey, Ralph (March 1, 2016). "DVD & Blu-Ray Release Report: Filmmaker Gorman Bechard's A Dog Named Gucci To Make Its DVD Debut On Apr. 19". DVD & Blu-Ray Release Report. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  22. ^ "Mike Myers". Digital Hit. Digital Hit Entertainment/ Multiplex Theatre Properties Inc. 1997–2012. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
  23. ^ a b Abbey, Cherie D.; Hillstrom, Kevin (2004). Biography Today Performing Artists. Omnigraphics. p. 101. ISBN 0-7808-0709-X.
  24. ^ "Ming Tea". IMDb.
  25. ^ "Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs Cover the Eighties". The New Yorker. November 12, 2013. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  26. ^ "Under the Covers, Vol. 3 – Matthew Sweet, Susanna Hoffs | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic.
  27. ^ "Son of Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys – Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic" – via
  28. ^ a b Pfefferman, Naomi (August 6, 2010). "'Schmucks' Director Redefines the Term". St. Louis Jewish Light. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  29. ^ "No more manic Mondays". The Sun-Herald. September 5, 2005. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  30. ^ "Vegetarian Celebrities".
  31. ^ US Billboard 200 peaks: "Susanna Hoffs Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  32. ^ a b Australian (ARIA) chart peaks:
    • Top 100 peaks from January 1990 to December 2010: Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (pdf ed.). Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 130.
    • "All I Want", "Only Love" and Susanna Hoffs peaks: "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received August 18, 2017". Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  33. ^ a b Dutch chart peaks: " > Susanna Hoffs in Dutch Charts" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  34. ^ a b Swedish chart peaks: " > Susanna Hoffs in Swedish Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  35. ^ a b Swiss chart peaks:
  36. ^ a b UK chart peaks:
  37. ^ Zimmerman, Lee (November 11, 2021). "Review: Susanna Hoffs Shares Some Classic Covers". American Songwriter. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  38. ^ US Billboard Hot 100 peaks: "Billboard > Artists / Susanna Hoffs > Chart History > The Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  39. ^ Austrian chart peaks: " > Susanna Hoffs in der Österreichischen Hitparade" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  40. ^ "Susanna Hoffs – My Side of the Bed (single)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  41. ^ " > Susanna Hoffs in New Zealand Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  42. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 254. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  43. ^ "Travis share new single 'The Only Thing' with The Bangles' Susanna Hoffs and announce 2021 UK tour". NME. August 2, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2020.

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