The titular Anna Lee is a fictional person based on some of the women from the late '60s and early '70s who inspired the Bangles girls. Hoffs explained to Culture Brats
: "There's a woman named Toni Stern who wrote with Carole King in the '70s. Vicki (Peterson) and I read a book, Girls Like Us
. It was about Carly Simon, Carole King, and Joni Mitchell. There was also a series of books that came out: Hotel California
and Laurel Canyon
. I read all of these books and recommended them to the other girls in the band. We all loved it.We were so fascinated reading about Carole King and Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell, girls that were big influences on us as female artists and realizing that being little girls growing up in the '60s and '70s, these women had a huge impact on our lives. They were icons to us. We were envisioning the world of Laurel Canyon back in the day. I don't remember if Carly Simon was living up at Laurel Canyon, but Carole King was there, that's where Toni Stern was living. They got together and wrote together. There were all these women who were strong women who had a very defined sense of self, coming out of an era where the music world was dominated by men, kind of a Boys' Club. These women were finding there voices and we were commenting on that. It was our nod to the women who came before us.
Actually, we got an email from Toni Stern, thanking us for mentioning her and the fact that she was an inspiration to us. There was a really interesting description of her as a female writer and the whole Laurel Canyon scene and her and Carole King writing these great songs together. It became this really inspirational image so we sort of fashioned our own version, our own mythical 'Lady Of The Canyon' called Annalee."