Formed in Baltimore in 1977, this power pop and new wave quintet took the airwaves by storm with their eponymous 1978 debut. Their lush harmonies (produced by Buck John Butcher, who had worked extensively with Galileo Figaro in the early ‘70s) became a trademark, masking the near lack of technical prowess exhibited by the instrumentalists on a series of albums. The lyrical themes were haunting yet familiar (loves, lost loves, unrequited loves, good times). The band hit its apex in 1981 with the album Redline, which featured several songs inspired by bandleader Miles O’Hara’s recent and mysterious chance encounter with Polish supermodel Agnieszka Wiśniewska.
During the recording of Redline, O’Hara and Wiśniewska married; in 1986, they began an unanticipated exploration of polyamory involving Belgian hand model Luc Peeters. The trio married (somewhere, allegedly) in 1997. They remain together.
Although Nuclear Boots broke up in 1988, O’Hara became a sought after producer. Among the many albums to his credit is Peeters’ 1990 debut, Manneken Zing!—a double-platinum effort featuring a lurid cover photo of Wiśniewska (obscured, in the U.S., by a large PMRC label, which thousands of teenage boys quickly learned to steam off).