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July 29, 2015

When Leonard Nimoy Chauffeured The Bangles in 1985

How many people remember when Leonard Nimoy hung out with The Bangles? In 1985, he played the part of the chauffeur in The Bangles’ music video Going Down to Liverpool; this came about due to Nimoy being a friend of Tamar Simon Hoffs and Susanna Hoffs’ family.

The Bangles covered the song on their 1984 major label debut album All Over the Place. The song features lead vocals by Debbi Peterson and it was released as the album’s second single, one of only two singles with Peterson on lead vocals.

The single failed to chart in the USA, and became a minor UK hit in April 1985, peaking at No. 79. When the band found success with their subsequent album Different Light, “Going Down to Liverpool” was re-released as a single in the UK and Ireland in 1986 after the release of “If She Knew What She Wants”, with new cover artwork and featuring the Different Light album track “Let It Go”. This time the single fared better but still only became a minor hit, peaking at No. 56, while it became a top 40 hit in Ireland peaking at No. 21.

The music video for the song was directed by Tamar Simon Hoffs, the mother of Bangles member Susanna Hoffs. The video features the band inside a car being driven around by a chauffeur, who appears to be unimpressed by the group (at one point he turns off the car radio, stopping the song). The car stops inside a tunnel and the girls walk towards the end of it, which cuts to the band playing and dancing over a red background. Leonard Nimoy played the part of the chauffeur; this came about due to Nimoy being a friend of Tamar and Susanna’s family. The video entered rotation on MTV in mid-October 1984.


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