Suzi Gardner

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Suzanne Gardner
L7 Rock am Ring 2015 (14).JPG
Gardner performing in Germany, 2015
Background information
Born (1960-08-01) August 1, 1960 (age 59)
Origin Altus, Oklahoma
Genres Punk rock, grunge, alternative rock, alternative metal, heavy metal
Occupation(s) Guitarist, singer-songwriter
Instruments Guitar, Vocals
Years active1982-present
Labels Epitaph Records, Sub Pop, Slash Records, Wax Tadpole Records, Blackheart Records
Associated acts L7
Black Flag
MembersSuzi Gardner, Donita Sparks, Demetra Plakas, Jennifer Finch

Suzanne Gardner (born August 1, 1960) [1] is an American musician and creative director best known for being a guitarist, vocalist, and co-founder of the punk rock band L7.


Early life

Gardner was born in Altus, Oklahoma [2] on August 1, 1960 [1] to Anne B. Gardner. She had an older brother, Bob, [3] and grew up partly in Citrus Heights, California. [2] Gardner moved to Southern California in 1977. [4] She attended Orange Coast College in 1978 and studied physical anthropology and guitar. [4] In 1980, Gardner moved to Los Angeles. [4]


Before playing with L7, Gardner held a number of jobs in Los Angeles and had worked at LA Weekly . She was writing poetry and music at the time she met Donita Sparks in 1984. They had each worked at LA Weekly, although at separate times, and met through mutual contacts still connected to the publisher. Gardner co-founded the punk rock group L7 with Sparks by 1985. [5] [6] [7] When they began to write music together as L7, Gardner and Sparks were active in the creative Art punk DIY scene of musicians, poets, and performance artists in the Echo Park/Silverlake area. [8]

Gardner is a primary songwriter for L7 and is credited with the tracks "Bite the Wax Tadpole", "It's Not You", "Snake Handler", "Cat-O'-Nine-Tails", "Monster", "Stuck Here Again" and "Freak Magnet". Along with appearing on all seven of L7's studio albums, Gardner also provided guest vocals on the Black Flag song "Slip It In" on their 1984 release of the same title. With her L7 bandmates Donita Sparks and Jennifer Finch, she was also featured on the Bad Religion album Suffer , released in 1988, where she provided additional guitar with Sparks on the song "Best for You".

Gardner at the Emerson Theatre, 1997 L7 at the Emerson Theatre in Indianapolis, IN circa 1997 - 4738783029.jpg
Gardner at the Emerson Theatre, 1997

Gardner and L7 formed a pro-choice organization called Rock for Choice, which staged many benefit shows featuring popular bands such as Rage Against the Machine and Nirvana. The first Rock for Choice concert was in 1991. [9]

In a 1993 article for Spin which featured L7 on the magazine's cover, Renée Crist described L7 as "four of the funniest, meanest, strongest, coolest, most pissed-off women I know" and as "wild, rambunctious, spontaneous" with a stage show that "is a wash of buddy love, crowd working, and acrobatics". [10]

In 1994, Gardner appeared in the John Waters film Serial Mom as part of the fictitious band "Camel Lips". [11]

Gardner, in 2000, became the first woman to have her breasts plaster-cast by Cynthia Plaster Caster, the artist who had spent decades casting impressions of rock music's most famous phalluses. [12] [13]

Original video and consolidated interviews with Gardner are included in the documentary L7: Pretend We're Dead, released in 2016 and directed by Sarah Price. [14] The film was nominated for a VO5 NME Award for Best Music Film. [15]

Gardner continued to perform internationally with the original line up of L7 in 2015 - 2017 and co-wrote two new songs with Sparks: Dispatch from Mar-a-Lago, 2017 and I Came Back to Bitch, 2018. [16]

The latest L7 album Scatter the Rats , was released on May 3, 2019, to generally favorable reviews. [17] Gardner wrote several songs on the album including "Fighting the Crave", "Proto Prototype", and "Cool About Easy". Gardner and the band announced a 6 week nationwide tour with a start date of May 10, 2019. [18]


Gardner performing in Vancouver, BC in 2019 Gardner in 2019.png
Gardner performing in Vancouver, BC in 2019

With L7

As guest musician

Related Research Articles

L7 (band) Band

L7 is an American rock band founded in Los Angeles, California, first active from 1985 to 2001 and re-formed in 2014. Their longest standing lineup consists of Suzi Gardner, Donita Sparks, Dee Plakas and Jennifer Finch. L7 has released seven studio albums and has toured widely in the US, Europe, Japan, Australia, and South America. L7's song "Pretend We're Dead" became a Top 10 hit on the Billboard Modern Rock chart in 1992.

<i>Suffer</i> (album) 1988 studio album by Bad Religion

Suffer is the third album by American punk rock band Bad Religion, released on the Californian independent record label Epitaph Records on September 8, 1988. It was the first album that was both released and distributed by the label. Following the release of the EP Back to the Known (1985), Bad Religion went on a temporary hiatus, then reunited with its original members and went to work on its first full-length studio album in five years.

<i>Bricks Are Heavy</i> 1992 studio album by L7

Bricks Are Heavy is the third studio album by American rock band L7, released on April 14, 1992 by Slash Records. The album peaked at number 160 on the US Billboard 200 and number one on the Heatseekers Albums chart.

<i>L7</i> (album) 1988 studio album by L7

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Jennifer Finch American musician

Jennifer Finch, born August 5, 1966, is an American musician, designer, and photographer most notable for being the primary bass player of the punk rock band L7. Active in L7 from 1986 to 1996, Finch also wrote music and performed with her bands OtherStarPeople and The Shocker in the interim before joining the reunited L7 in 2014.

<i>Hungry for Stink</i> 1994 studio album by L7

Hungry for Stink is the fourth studio album by L7, released in July 1994 by Slash Records.

Donita Sparks American musician

Donita Sparks is an American vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, and creative director most notable for being the co-founder of the band L7. Sparks also initiated, performed, and released original material with her solo project, the band Donita Sparks and The Stellar Moments.

<i>Smell the Magic</i> 1990 studio album by L7

Smell the Magic is the second studio album by American rock band L7, released on September 1, 1990 by Sub Pop. Originally issued as a 12" EP containing only the first six songs, it was reissued on CD in July 1991, expanded to album length with three more tracks: "Packin' a Rod", "Just Like Me", and "American Society". The opening track "Shove" was released as the band's first single.

<i>The Beauty Process: Triple Platinum</i> 1997 studio album by L7

The Beauty Process: Triple Platinum is the fifth studio album by American rock band L7, released on February 25, 1997 by Slash Records in collaboration with Reprise Records. It was recorded at Conway Recording Studios in Hollywood and Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California. The band recorded most of the album as a trio formed by founding members Donita Sparks and Suzi Gardner, and longtime drummer Demetra Plakas, following the departure of bassist Jennifer Finch. The album marks a departure from the tough rock style of its predecessors to a slower and more adventurous style.

<i>Slap-Happy</i> 1999 studio album by L7

Slap-Happy is the sixth studio album by the American rock band L7. It was released on August 24, 1999 by Bong Load Records in collaboration with Wax Tadpole Records, an independent record label that the band formed after being dropped by Reprise Records in 1997. L7 recorded the album as a trio formed by founding members Donita Sparks and Suzi Gardner, and longtime drummer Demetra Plakas, following the departure of bassist Gail Greenwood. It was made with a low budget and produced by the band and their friend Brian Haught.

<i>Album – Generic Flipper</i> 1982 studio album by Flipper

Album – Generic Flipper is the debut studio album by San Francisco-based punk rock band Flipper, released March 30, 1982 by Subterranean Records. It is also referred to as Album, Album: Generic, Generic Flipper and just Generic. Generic Flipper was issued on CD for the first time by American Recordings in 1992 and later deleted. In 2008, the rights reverted to Flipper, and the album was reissued on December 9, 2008 by Water Records. Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, who joined Flipper in 2006, contributed liner notes to the new reissue.

Demetra Plakas American musician

Demetra Plakas is an American musician, best known for being the drummer in the rock band L7.

Donita Sparks and The Stellar Moments was best known L7 member Donita Sparks' solo project. The band also featured Alan Santalesa on guitar, Dat Ngo on bass, and former L7 drummer Demetra Plakas on drums.

Pretend Were Dead song performed by L7

"Pretend We're Dead" is a 1992 song by grunge band L7, from the album Bricks Are Heavy. It was written by Donita Sparks. It was the first single from Bricks Are Heavy and achieved moderate international success. It spent 20 weeks on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks, peaking at #8. It also reached #21 on the UK Singles Chart and charted in Belgium and Australia.

The discography for the rock band L7.

Andres (song) single by L7

"Andres" is a song by the American alternative rock group L7. It was released as a single in support of their fourth album Hungry for Stink.

Monster (L7 song) L7 song

"Monster" is a song by the American alternative rock group L7. It was released as a single in support of their third album Bricks Are Heavy.

Everglade (song) single by L7

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Shove (song) single by L7

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<i>Scatter the Rats</i> 2019 studio album by L7

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  1. 1 2 biography on IMDB.
  2. 1 2 Kangas, Niki (June 12, 2019). "7 Reasons to Love L7: Alt-Punk Legends L7 Boomerang Back". Submerge Magazine. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  3. "Suzi Gardner @suzi_gardner_official (sibling day)". Pic to See. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  4. 1 2 3 "Suzi Gardner @suzi_gardner_official". Pic to See. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  5. L7 Official website Archived July 1, 2008, at the Wayback Machine .
  6. Nielsen, Jeff (April 3, 2018). "Donita Sparks Talks About Why the Hard Rock Band Came Back to Bitch".
  7. Dickinson, Chrissie (August 3, 2016). "L7 is, better late than never, getting respect". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  8. Grant, Sarah (November 21, 2017). "L7: To Hell and Back". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  9. Tehabsim, Anna (March 18, 2015). "Turning Points: L7's Donita Sparks". Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  10. Crist, Renée (July 1993). "The Magnificent 7". Spin. 9: 32–35, 90. Retrieved September 6, 2019 via Google Books.
  11. "Serial Mom (1994) - Full Cast and Crew" . Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  12. "L7's Suzi Gardner "Gets a Boob Job" (NY Rock)". Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved June 26, 2008.
  13. Ochs, Meredith (2018). Rock and Roll Woman: The 50 Fiercest Female Rockers. New York: Sterling Publishing Co. pp. 134–137. ISBN   9781454930624.
  14. Price, Sarah (November 11, 2016). "L7: Pretend We're Dead".
  15. Grant, Sarah (February 9, 2018). "L7 Announce Tour, Slam 'Capitalist Motherf--kers' on 'I Came Back To Bitch'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  16. Berman, Judy (September 29, 2017). "After 18 Years, How Do L7 Return? With a Song About Trashing Trump's Mar-a-Lago". Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  17. "SCATTER THE RATS by L7". May 3, 2019. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  18. Callwood, Brett. "Scatter, Rats! L7's Back With Their First Album in 20 Years". LA Weekly. Retrieved May 5, 2019.