The bloody tampon sailing through the sky at Reading Festival is remembered to this day.
Over 23 years ago, L7 performed at Reading Festival in 1992 and created the very memorable menstrual moment in the history of music festivals. The all-girl punk/grunge band was something of a rage in the 90’s – with their Devil-may-care frontwoman Donita Sparks, and their association in the grunge movement during the aforementioned period in time. The band also also known to be as raw and gritty in essence, as you’d expect an honest-go-God punk band to be.
During their Reading Festival set, the band allegedly faced some technical difficulties with the audio equipment. This caused a delay/disruption in the set, to many-a-festival attendee’s annoyance and that’s when the first glob of mud hit the stage.
Soon, several unruly attendees from the crowd were throwing handfuls of at the band for stalling on stage. If this doesn’t seem crazy enough, already, what Donita Sparks did next is outright shocking. The lead vocalist went behind her amp, pulled out her bloody tampon from her shorts and came out yelling, “Eat my used tampon, fuckers!” as she flung the used tampon into the crowd.
Seriously, this happened.
No, we’re not kidding.
This incident was inadvertently (as far as we know) the most famous thing the band ever did, if one doesn’t include the fact that Sparks dropped her pants on TV about a month after Reading Festival.
When asked about her flinging of the phallic shaped sanitary menstrual absorbent that she was clearly making a statement with, Sparks, unabashed, said, “I went performance art on their asses. I needed to amuse myself. I announced that I was throwing it, and I remember a silence afterward. A lot of people reached for it … I guess they didn’t hear what I said. Then it came back on stage. It landed on the monitor ledge. I didn’t see it again until I saw Nick Cave’s set after ours. My tampon was stuck on his monitor ledge. A roadie eventually got rid of it.”
According to Jennifer Finch, the band’s bassist, as teenagers, driving up to somebody and throwing a bloody tampon at their window was something they (the band) used to do. It was considered “The ultimate fuck you,” says Finch.
L7 disbanded in 2001 and got back together last year. Let’s hope Sparks is done with her tampon throwing shenanigans for the rest of the band’s run.
Also, kudos to this fan art via ninfacomics.com.