Bow Wow Wow are a very funky, dynamic, and innovative early 80s New Wave rock band from London, England. The group was formed by former The Sex Pistols' manager Malcolm McLaren in 1980. The original band members were Annabella Lwin (vocals), Matthew Ashman (guitar), Leigh Gorman (bass) and David Barbarossa (drums). Bow Wow Wow were renowned in their 80s heyday for their wild Mohawk haircuts, Lwin's extremely fierce, yet still sexy singing, and their highly distinctive savage Latin/African tribal rhythms. The band scored a Top 10 UK radio hit in February, 1982 with the stirring "Go Wild in the Country". The group had their biggest international smash with their ferociously catchy and trashy rendition of "I Want Candy" in May, 1982 (this particular song was originally done by the The Strangeloves in 1965). "I Want Candy" peaked at #7 on the UK pop charts. Although "I Want Candy" didn't do well on the US Billboard pop radio charts, it has nonetheless become a much beloved and popular 80s New Wave rock favorite in the United States because the music video for the song was heavily played on MTV. ("I Want Candy" has been featured on the soundtracks for such movies as Bio-Dome (1996), Blank Check (1994), High Fidelity (2000) and Marie Antoinette (2006)). The band appear as themselves performing the songs "Where's My Snake" and "What's the Time (Hey Buddy)" in the comedy picture Scandalous (2007). Alas, Bow Wow Wow broke up in 1983. Matthew Ashman sadly died from diabetes complications at age 35 in 1995. Lwin and Gorman reformed the band in 1997 and embarked on the "Barking Mad" reunion tour which lasted from 1997 to 1998. Bow Wow Wow then split up again, but eventually got back together on September 20, 2003 for the "Inland Invasion" show and subsequently went on tour up until 2006. Bow Wow Wow performed their most recent stage show at the Maritime Hotel's Hiro Lounge in New York City on November 2, 2006.
Boy George of Culture Club fame was briefly a member of the band under the name "Lieutenant Lush". He was asked to leave the group after he was booed off the stage at a 1981 gig at the Rainbow Theatre.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers have often cited Bow Wow Wow as a major musical influence on their own sound. Moreover, Bow Wow Wow are mentioned in the lyrics of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' songs "Suck My Kiss" and "Right on Time".
Lead singer Annabella Lwin was only fourteen-years-old when she joined the group in 1980.