You Say It's Your Birthday: L7's Donita Sparks

Cover art from latest L7 album, The Beauty Process.

Today is the birthday of L7 vocalist Donita Sparks, who

helped form the all-woman punk-rock outfit L7 after meeting her future co-front

woman Suzi Gardner on a five-day alcohol bender in 1985. They hired ex-Sugar

Baby Doll bassist Jennifer Finch, working with numerous drummers before

settling on Dee Plakas in 1988. Meanwhile, L7 released their self-titled debut

in 1988 after being picked by Epitaph over Los Angeles scenemates Jane's

Addiction.

In 1989 the band switched to Sub Pop, releasing a single with

"Shove" backed with "Packin' a Rod," and listener response was so positive that

Sub Pop signed the band for their second album, Smell The Magic.

L7

opened for Nirvana on several dates in England in late 1990, then returned home

to record Bricks are Heavy in 1991, this time for Slash records. The

single and video for "Pretend We're Dead" fared well, and the group earned

notoriety at the 1992 Reading festival when Sparks tossed a bloody tampon into

the crowd.

In 1993 Hungry for Stink was released, and spawned one

single with "Anderes," despite which the album sold poorly and was panned by

critics. Finch left the group last year to pursue her college degree, and

ex-Belly bassist Gail Greenwood took her place in time to record the group's

fifth album, The Beauty Process, released last month. They are currently

touring with Marilyn Manson throughout the U. S.

Other birthdays: Connie

Stevens, Steve Howe (Yes), Reg Isidore (Robin Trower Band), Julian Lennon and

Crusoe. -- Beth Winegarner