CHICK BASSIST celebrates chick bassists: Michael Steele

Founding Runaways bassist Michael “Mikki” Steele was fired from the band (reportedly for calling the band’s debut single “Cherry Bomb” stupid) shortly after its inception (and shortly before its commercial breakthrough), but her bass and vocal talents have kept The Runaways’ earliest demos in demand for decades.

Michael and her bass went on to play with Elton Duck, Slow Children, Nadia Kapiche, and Snakefinger before replacing The Bangles’ bassist Annette Zilinskas in 1983. The rest is history. Michael played bass and sang on the band’s most memorable hits, including “Manic Monday,” “Walk Like an Egyptian,” and their cover of Big Star’s “September Gurls.”

Michael hit her stride as a songwriter on 1988 album Everything, but The Bangles soon broke up. She remained musically active, playing in a mix of bands (Crash Wisdom, Continential Drifters) and recording a solo album and planning a tour that were both shelved by record company management. In the late 90s, The Bangles talked of regrouping, eventually reuniting to record 2003’s Doll Revolution, which included three Michael Steele compositions, “Nickel Romeo,” “Between The Two,” and “Song For A Good Son.” Subsequent tours were complicated by various members’ family concerns. In 2005, Michael officially called it quits, parting company with The Bangles. Today, Michael is reportedly still involved in music, though in a behind-the-scenes capacity.

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