7 Year Bitch
One of the toughest punk bands to come out of Seattle, 7 Year Bitch played a leading role in the riot grrrl movement of the early '90s. From "Dead Men Don't Rape" to "M.I.A.," their brutal, ton-o-bricks rhythm section and raw, exclamatory lyrics exemplified point-blank punk defiance. When the bassist for Seattle band Barbie's Dream Car moved to Europe in 1990, the band's drummer Valerie Agnew and occasional collaborators Selene Vigil (vocals) and Stefanie Sargent (guitar) recruited Elizabeth Davis to play bass and morphed into 7 Year Bitch, the name a play on the classic Marilyn Monroe vehicle. The band built a following playing shows with the Gits and signed with C/Z Records. Just before their debut came out in 1992, however, Sargent died from an overdose. The band regrouped with guitarist Roisin Dunne. But tragedy struck again when Gits vocalist Mia Zapata, a dear friend to 7 Year Bitch, was murdered in 1993, inspiring 7 Year Bitch to record a tribute to her (1994's Viva Zapata!) and prompting Agnew to start Home Alive, a feminist self-defense organization. 7 Year Bitch signed with Atlantic and released one more album before disbanding in 1997.