L7, The Legendary Rock Band May Be Reuniting

L7 rocked as hard or harder than any of their male contemporaries.
L7 rocked as hard or harder than any of their male contemporaries.

L7 was formed in 1985 by Suzi Gardner and Donita Sparks, and released their first recorded material in 1987. The all female, hard rock band roared into the '90s along with the grunge movement, and, while successful, they never got the full credit they deserved.

Fortunately, there's hope on the horizon for fans, or for people who never got a chance at seeing L7 the first time around. The band has recently made an announcement on Facebook that they are considering a reunion based on a wellspring of support they've been receiving from fans. To make that happen, the band is asking that people go to their website and sign an email list. With so many mediocre bands reforming to record or tour again, it would be amazing to have the opportunity to see one of the best heavy bands of the '90s back doing what they always did best.

A lot of early press tried to pigeonhole L7 as an easily-marketed "Girl Band." They resisted, and that made them outsiders to a certain degree. I always got the impression that the music press didn't know quite how to cover L7, ill-equipped to handle a female band who didn't seem interested in being promoted as some sort of sexy girl group. The women in the band seemed disinterested in playing by the rules established for crappy female groups that came before them, not content to be dismissed due to their gender, or to be promoted in the same way that, say, Vixen (or other vaguely hard rock female groups) had been.

But L7 delivered musically, releasing six albums that were as good or better than anything many of their male contemporaries put out. Whenever I hear some person pining over never getting to see Stone Temple Pilots, or other overrated '90s bands, I tell them that the band they really missed out on seeing live was L7. I caught them at an early, pre-grunge explosion show at The Axiom, and they were a force of nature, making a permanent impression on me.

L7 were a huge part of the '90s music scene, founding the women's rights pro-choice group Rock for Choice, being joined in support by other major acts such as Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. They played huge festivals like Lollapalooza and the Reading Festival. Their "skeleton hand" logo tee shirts are one of the iconic images from the grunge decade and they opened doors for other female rock bands that followed. When the band went on permanent hiatus in 2001, it felt like an end of an era, and a loss for fans of heavy music. In a time when many female performers and bands are often marketed as pretty faces playing forgettable pop music, it feels like the world needs a band like L7 again.


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