I remember going to see L7 at London's Brixton Academy as a teenager. It was 1992, I was 15, and L7 were, in my opinion, the crown princesses of grunge. The show was pubescent riot grrrl heaven…I wore black eyeliner, torn fishnets and DM boots and wished I could look like them, an angry mess of lanky hair in faded hues of green and blue. I had recently watched their legendary live performance on the British TV show The Word, which culminated with Donita Sparks pulling her jeans down at the end of Pretend We're Dead. As she stood there, proud and defiant in her bushy glory, guitar hanging from her shoulders, I knew I was smitten. This is a photo of Donita and her tampon at the Reading Festival that year, shortly before said tampon was hurled into the crowd.

You can imagine my excitement when I heard that Donita was opening for X at the House of Blues last night, a show for which Steffie had blagged free tickets. We were running late, and as Steffie argued with the doorman about not being allowed to bring her camera in to the venue, I raced inside to catch the last moments of Donita on stage with her new band.

And there she was, same ol' attitude, same ol' voice…but with a hairdo so wrong it sent shivers down my scalp. Those majestic greasy locks of yore had been replaced with a heavily layered, peroxide mushroom mullet that looked like it belonged on the set of Dallas. It didn't help that she seemed dressed for the national drumline championships, in glittery blue cheerleader shirt complete with epaulettes.

From L7 to Loni Anderson – Donita, what happened?

Donita Sparks

Loni Anderson

(Photo of Donita Sparks by Sean Murphy, Photo of Loni Anderson by hissandpop.com, tampon pic from thenextleft.com)

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