L7 was a hard rock band. The band was formed in 1985 by Donita Sparks and Suzi Gardner, who were later joined by Jennifer Finch and Dee Plakas. They signed to Epitaph Records for their first album and to Sub Pop in 1989. The name is taken from a slang phrase from the 1950s which means "square," but is often mistaken for a reference to a sex position, also called "69".
In 1991 the band formed Rock for Choice, a pro-choice women's rights group which was supported by other bands of that era, including Nirvana, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, 7 Year Bitch. Rock for Choice still exists and organizes concerts today including bands such as SPAYED.
Their 1992 album Bricks Are Heavy, produced by Butch Vig, featured in Rolling Stone's May 1999 list of 'Essential Recordings of the 1990s', and is widely considered their classic.
The band gained a certain amount of notoriety for their performance at the 1992 Reading Festival, when Donita Sparks removed her tampon on-stage and threw it into the crowd in protest against the missiles being thrown by the crowd. In the UK, the band are most famous for an appearance on the popular late-night entertainment program The Word, in which Sparks pulled her pants down to reveal her pubic area. During a live show in London in 2000, the band offered a one night stand with Dee Plakas as a raffle prize, although it is unclear as to whether this was a genuine offer or not.
The band made an appearance in the 1994 John Waters film Serial Mom under the name "Camel Lips", a reference to the visual imprint of a woman's vulva in the crotch of too-tight jeans. Also in 1994 the band's song 'Shitlist' is featured in the popular film Natural Born Killers. In 1996 yet another one of the band's songs was featured in a movie this time it was 'Shirley' in the film Foxfire staring Angelina Jolie.
The band's most recent album Slap Happy, was released in 1999, and did not chart on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. According to the band's website, "L7 are on an indefinite hiatus. We know that's vague, but that's just the way it is. The future of the band is a bit up in the air at the moment." Bassist Jennifer Finch left the band and was replaced briefly by Janice Tanaka.
However, by 2001 the band was no longer touring. According to the band's website, "L7 are on an indefinite hiatus. We know that's vague, but that's just the way it is. The future of the band is a bit up in the air at the moment." L7 appears to be defunct for all practical purposes, as Sparks is currently pursuing her own solo career, along with Plakas, and two other guitarists, in the band Donita Sparks & The Stellar Moments. Finch is working in a punk rock group, The Shocker.