We could just as easily be talking about The Electrocutes and their importance to modern American music, but a few twists of fate and it’s The Donnas who get the nod
Best friends Brett Anderson, Allison Robertson, Maya Ford and Torry Castellano formed Ragady Anne for an eighth-grade school event in Palo Alto, Calif., then renamed themselves The Electrocutes and stayed together through high school. Super Teem Records owner Darrin Rafaelli asked the Speed Metal quartet to record some of his straightforward Rock songs for release on vinyl singles. They agreed and enjoyed Rafaelli’s music so much they decided to start a second band emulating The Ramones, playing hard and fast Punk/Pop under assumed names (Donnas A, R, F and C).
The Donnas were born. The dual band roles lasted for nearly two years before The Donnas’ club success squeezed The Electrocutes out of the picture.
After their Super Teem debut, The Donnas signed with Lookout! for three albums of infectiously cool Garage Rock, all heralded as excellent examples of stripped-down, raunchy Rock glory, particularly 2001’s The Donnas Turn 21.
The foursome’s fortunes blew sky high when Atlantic Records inked them for the high profile Spend the Night and Gold Medal albums, leading to big tours, TV appearances and even a Bud Light ad.
But band and label parted company in 2006, and the following year The Donnas formed their own label, Purple Feather, and released their seventh studio album, Bitchin’, that fall. The group’s latest, the just-released and ironically-titled Greatest Hits Vol. 16, offers up freshly recorded and live versions of old songs, a few B-side rarities and some new material.
Castellano won't be drumming for The Donnas on this upcoming tour with Pat Benatar and Blondie due to shoulder problems. The Demonics’ Amy Cesari, a longtime friend of the band, is filling in. Regardless, get ready for a blazing show; The Donnas in live mode are like a Russian porn star, Rockyer Cockov.
Fellas, hold on tight. Ladies, keep track of your wigs and keys. It’s going to be a Donnas kind of night.
(Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.)