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Dee Plakas, The Chicago punk scene Goddess Of Thunder

Anyone who has played in the L7 understands the complete-badass character that is Dee Plakas. When she holds her instrument, it does not matter the piece she is working on; everything falls in place as though she has planned it for a long time.

Dee Plakas is the force behind the band mix of musical ferocity and subversive humans. If they had found anything less, perhaps the team would have fallen apart a long time ago. When she recently locked back into the groove with bassist Jennifer Finch, their fans were thrilled with their work as they seem to form the perfect team.

Dee Plakas On Drum
Dee Plakas On Drum

Early life and carrier

Demetra Plakas was born on November 9, 1960. She has since built her life in the music industry, standing as a well-known drummer in the rock band L7. She spent her early life in Chicago, where her parents had emigrated to Greece.

Plakas got interested in drums while in high school and took on the challenge of establishing her career. She started learning the skills and did not take long before she was a professional drum player. It was majorly her passion and upbringing that encouraged her to work harder with drums.

Her first band was a punk group called Problem Dogs in the 1970s. It was with this group that she got the energy to make meaning of what she could. Many drummers started out with lessons from their mentors or had someone to hold their hands while they learned. But Plakas started from scratch.

Dee Plakas Performing
Dee Plakas Performing

She had never played drummers before, which compelled her to buy her first set and learned to play with a band. They practiced from the basement of bass player Algis Kizys’s house. To her, this was a defining moment that would bring her out later, as an experienced drummer ready to take on the industry.

The band got different invitations to perform in the thriving Chicago punk scene. They became regulars at places like Space Place and O’Banion’s.

They also opened for The Bangles at The Metro. The band went ahead to release their first single, “City Hall/You Are the Knife,” after the departure of Kizys in 82. Plakas relocated to the greater Los Angeles metro area in 85. The band faced several changes where Plakas, Rick Radtke, and John Connors reformed into Pirate Radio, operating in Los Angeles.

Working with L7


A contact from LA Weekly had witnessed what Plakas could do while playing for Pirate Radio in 1987, and informed her the punk rock group L7 wanted a drummer. She joined the team two months later and got an excellent opportunity to gain momentum.

Donita Sparks commented that they had “found that sweet spot with Dee,” which was a big breakthrough for the band.  It was what they were missing, later naming her “The Goddess of Thunder.”  She played drums on six of the seven studio albums released by the band.

Plakas has continued to make a name for herself in the rock industry as one of the best female drummers.

What do you think?

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Written by Andrea

Andrea is a music lover and an experienced drummer with more than 15 years of drumming with different bands and music projects, such as Seditius and Hermano & the Marines.

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