The Punk Vault

R.I.P. Larissa Strickland

Larissa Strickland L-Seven single outtake

I got an email from a fellow named Davo Scheich with some rather disheartening news.

Larissa Strickland (Stolarchuk) guitarist for the disbanded Laughing Hyenas and L-Seven passed away yesterday from an apparent overdose on her prescribed Xanax at her home in Florida.

I was rather saddened to hear this news. I never met Larissa but she was someone who I always wanted to meet someday. Now I’ll never get the chance. My condolences goes out to her friends and family.

Thank you Davo for passing along the information (and the photo).


  • I was introduced to her once at a Hyenas show, she was tiny and shaking her hand it felt very frail. I couldn’t believe the noise the came out of such a small package. That sucks.

  • That sucks – she was a real talent and great to watch. She had THE COOLEST FUCKING GUITAR. She will be missed and remembered for a long time…

  • She was my musical hero. Other bands picked up her style. When I hear them now I still think of late 80s in Ann Arbor and the sound I love.


  • Yo on the real she was one of the true greats. I’d like to know more about this as the Hyenas were and are hands down my favorite band of all time. They were the first band I ever booked, when I was 15 and anytime I would see Larissa she’d sit me down and talk talk talk. Very sweet. But I mean to be honest, like I didn’t hang tough with these cats, just maybe like 20 times in my life after shows or some shit. And this is 15 years ago. But… they pretty much made me never want to try heroin. RIP GUITAR GODDESS LARISSA!

  • Larissa was an integral part of the early Detroit scene..can remember hanging with her and Brannon in whatever free place they were squattin’ in the shittiest neighborhoods in Detroit..very cool person..Colt 45,muggles, and gun shots echoing off the walls..the good old days to be sure..

  • This is very sad. Larissa was one of the greats, both in the early Detroit days and with the powerful Laughing Hyenas. I was fortunate to see the Hyenas several times throughout their career and they were one of the best musical offerings of the late 1980s.

  • There weren’t many who lived the punk rock ethos to the core like Larissa did which is much more than being a singer and guitarist. Yes she made an indelible imprint in the Detroit/Midwest punk rock scene. But her personal makeup included a sensitive, caring and vulnerable aspect which she willingly shared with her friends. Rest in peace.

  • Fuck. At least she’s not in Florida anymore. Love you, Larissa, sorry to see you go.

    PS Check out Dave-o’s site linked above for some really sweet pics of Larissa shooting the EP cover (L7_45_SingleArtWork). She’s laughing her ass off. It’s very cool.

  • I was just asking Bowser if she was at the show in Chicago. Man I will always remember the first time I saw her. It was at a Necro show in Battle Creek. She was the first hardcore chick that I had ever seen. There were rumors that she was trying to score some herion that night. The next time I saw her was when her band L7 played in Lansing. What a great show. I always felt she was too cool for me. She had the hardcore boys by her side and I was just one of their toys. The last time I say her was at Club Soda with the Laughing Hyenas, I was sorry she was not singing but just as impressed with her guitair playing. She was the original IT girl of Michigan Hardcore. Drugs Kill.

  • Larissa used to hang out with Jenny, who we nick named Ultra Jenny cuz her hair was died bright blue. We (a small group of misfits from Milford Michigan) thought those two girls we the cutest and most intimidating girls in the world. Plaid skirts and ripped housedresses. Queens of the early days. I can admit now that I was star struck then. Then I actually met them. Larissa was always very warm and very approachable.

    L7 were amazing but I crapped my pants the first time I saw the Hyenas. Larissa’s guitar tone was, and is, the best tone in PR. Over the years we would chat before and after shows around the country. No matter what city I showed up in, she would greet me with open arms. I’m bummed. You will be missed…

  • My crystalized Larissa memory is of a certain weekend in Kzoo around ’80 or ’81. The band must’ve had a “real” gig somewhere in town, but after a daytrip to Lake MI (thru the quite burg of Bangor-a story in itself) L-Seven cranked up a set in the front room of my good buddy’s house on Lovell St. I don’t know if the other members remember it as an extraodinary performance, but I have never experienced anything as intense before or since.

    Naturally, the fuzz showed up, but thanks to the yeoman efforts of (who was the fairly “straight”-looking roadie/manager guy?) they were distracted while the band finished whatever song it was with more sheer dynamism than I can describe. Watching that pup Kory taking it up & up… and Larissa playing with the cops emotions with her eyes, it was unfucking real!

    But that crystal moment for me was when at some point that night I suddenly was “in” the same place as Larissa. Not alone, just face to face in a happy, raucous living room when, for a moment, for some reason, her reason, she locked onto me, leaned forward and gave me the sweetest, softest, most innocent kiss…

    Y’all can call this hogwash, but it’s all mine, man.
    Bless you, darling.

  • I’m shocked and saddened to hear about Larissa’s passing today. She was always so nice to me and looked out for me at the Clubhouse shows in Detroit as I was only 15 at the time. R.I.P. Larissa and thank you for having such great shows there that inspired me to continue that tradition in Detroit.

  • Larissa is being buried today (I believe) in New Jersey – where her parents are. Also, I think it got out that she OD’d from Xanax, though I have heard from those who spoke w/ her husband that it was indeed heroin. Hopefully there will be some sort of memorial service in Michigan.

  • i am devastated to read about larissa’s death.
    i have not seen her or john since some sxsw emo’s L.H. show 10 or so years ago. i still hold deep respect for the early L7 years and was actually discussing it on the air with Fran Ten on the band ‘west indian girl’. Fran also grew up in the detroit area. i am pleased to see dave rice is still around. frank? mr. clarke? link below… are all missed. stay alive, rumsfeld stepped down, there is hope.

    i wish larissa could read this….you were/are amazing.
    rest in peace.


  • It’s heartening to read all the warm sentiments and general outpouring of condolensces so far. If any of you out there feel so inclined, perhaps go a step further and make it more personal by going out and supporting John’s current and ongoing endeavor, EASY ACTION. The band begins a mini-tour of the West Coast/SW/SE today in Seattle. For dates, venues and cities simply consult their MySpace page:

    The band is devestatingly good and this is a golden opportunity for you to show your love. I’m sure John and the boys would appreciate it.

  • Amen-Easy Action is the most visceral, powerful, and intense band in the land (planet)! Pick up their latest CD fuckstains!

  • My sadness towards this whole thing seems to be snowballing. I keep finding pictures and drawings, flyers and personal letters. We lived together for something like seven years and at times it was an emotional rollercoaster ride but I would never trade those years for anything. I hope her brother and sister are ok. Larissa was very special.

    Someone has a site on myspace-I’m going to try to get them some pic’s.

  • The Laughing Hyenas are another jewel in the crown of midwestern motherfuckin’ rock-n-ROLL! Brannon was and is a great singer and back in the day we all raved about him. But listen to those records now and you realize that it was the combined skills of all four players that made the Hyenas the real shit. Larissa was flat-out a GREAT guitar player.

  • I was very saddened by the news, which Mr. Davis delivered to me today. It was my great privilege to have known and associated with Larissa and Laughing Hyenas for a awhile. I got to spend a lot of time with them (in many important ways they gave me my “big break” in the business) and looking at the promo photo that is showing up in a lot of the online rememberences took me back to many evenings sitting on the steps of that basement watching band practices. The music speaks for itself, and like many people I was transfixed by the band’s performances. We’re all getting reminders of Larissa’s considerable musical gifts and the role she played in the scene in general by folks posting here and elsewhere. Suffice to to say that my memories are of an open and gentle person and her laughter. And a guitar sound that would rip the hair off my head. All my best to John, Kevin, Jim and Larissa’s surviving friends and family.

  • Twas Tuesday when I got the news of Larissa’s passing. I generally dont post stuff on places like this but in this case felt compeled to do so. I’ve been involved in the PR/HC scene in one capacity or another in Detroit since the Freezer-Clubhouse days. Many a energy filled night I spent seeing bands like L-seven,N.A. and the Hyenas. Those times and that energy helped shape the person I am today. I used to work Downtown at the same time time Larissa did and we often would often catch the bus together at Woodward and Alexanderine so I got to know her as just Larissa not “L-Seven Larissa” Despite what others have said in regards to the “Life style”…i.e. substance abuse stuff in all of this, does that really matter? Does that diminish the the fact that Larissa was a strong women, extremely talanted, groundbreaking, A kind and compassionate human being? The influnce and affect she had on countless others is reason to celebrate what she was in life..and I for one would like to see this done in public in our community…A memorial to celebrate her life. Maybe it’s already in the works??? Thanksgiving weekend is a time when alot of people “Come home” and would seem like good time to have a Detroit get-together to do so. John and Easy Action I belive will be coming home from touring about that time. If you would like to see something get together and would like to help do something in this regard…please leave a post here.

  • EASY ACTION are playing Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday November 22nd @ Mephisto’s in Hamtramck. That’ll be a good time to get people out and give them an opportunity to show their love.


  • I am glad to have known her. Very hard to accept the fact that I’ll never see her again. Nice to see so many people acknowledging her solid, solid impact. She was great. Keepsakes and landmarks anymore.

  • We (Necros) met Larissa in 1980 and she quickly became our punk rock mom. So kind and nuturing, she would do anything for us. I can’t believe she’s gone, I just talked to her in September after my move out West. I’ve been straight for 8 years now. I wish she would have followed my lead and gotten clean but it was not in the cards. Thanks to everyone for their kind words. Please keep her in your prayers.

  • Thanks to Larissa for propelling a guitar that was an inspiration to many I know. In the ’80s, it was undoubtedly refreshing to see/hear a woman who could sustain such a hot, fierce, and significant guitar sound.
    We are very sad that she is gone.

  • One of the good ones. I always loved mixing the Hyenas at Alvins – they could fill a room with sound and fury like few other bands. She was always very nice to me – I think she had a kind soul.
    Funniest memory – backstage after a show: “Goddammit John” she sez “ya gotta quit breakin’ their mic stands!”

  • I met Larissa on the sidewalk @ the Freezer Theater after consuming half a gallon of red wine and puking my ass off on that remarkable curb. She was catching some fresh air and told me…dude you need to learn how to drink better. I did not remember this until a couple of weeks later when she asked me how I was doin’ after some other kickass show. She remembered me and I thought it was so cool that this hc girl took the time to say hi to a nobody like me. From L7 to the end a class act. Good luck girl.

  • I will never forget the first time I heard the Laughing Hyenas in my friend’s 89′ ford tempo on a shitty tape player. It’s one of those times you feel like you heard the voice of god. They were always my favorite band from Detroit and though I was too young to see them live, the records still rip my face off to this day. I never met Larissa but I hope she’s in a better place now, thanks for the songs. My best wishes go out to her friends and family.

    PS: Go see Easy Action on the 22nd if you’re around Detroit, it will be something special – I can feel it.

  • Wow…I keep looking for anything I can read about Larissa. So hard to believe. Been listening to all of their stuff for the last few weeks…seems like there are about 8 guitar parts to everyone of those songs. I was glad to meet her, though clearly many know her better than I. Playing with the Hyenas in KC was one of the highlights of my life. Nice to see Kevin Strickland/Munro surface. Been wondering about you and hope you are well. Todd Swalla, too. All the best to all who posted. What a loss. Glad to have her music though

  • I have seen the Hyenas more times than I can remember. A performance that sticks out in my mind was at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit. I am not certain of the year but somwhere around 89 I am thinking. The show was killer. The sound I remember being excetional. The cover of Under My Thumb floored me. The entire group was so much fun to hang out with too. Many a party in Ann Arbor and Detroit…they were very kool to friends and fans alike. This saddens this old punk from the early 80’s Detroit scene. And good to see Mike Halloran up there…I still have my Radios in Motion flyers…thanks for schooling me. Larissa is forever burned in my mind flpping the blond pony tail back to grind out a sonic and creative assault that signified the very heart of what Detroit kicking ass music is all about.

  • Rest in Peace Larissa

    Though I never met her or even got the chance to see her perform, I have been a long time fan of the Laughing Hyenas…It doesn’t matter what took her life, the sad fact is that she is gone and the world has lost another talented musician. Best wishes to all who are close to her.

  • i just learned of this tragedy in the past couple days. it’s made me ill for those couple days and will probably make me ill again when i think of Larissa’s untimely passing – and i will. Larissa had a life before music – art – and it earned her full-access-backstage photo passes to the *first* KISS tour at Cobo hall (Detroit,MI). Cream mag printed her pic w/KISS backstage. Larissa was then a sophomore in h.s. (iirc). on the next monday southfield highschool went berzerkerz. Larissa moved to NY to do art for Casablanca and/or KISS for a while.

    Last time we saw each other was when she came over to my place in A2 totally lonely – abandoned.

    this is very difficult for me to write, i think you understand.

    all she ever wanted was to ‘be part of,’ ‘to be included IN’ … and all the guys had run away that night (1994/95). from my perspective Larissa contributed far more quality and quantity to art and music with her energy and her magic than she got credit for and she was feeling abused and left out more and more often.

    she needed to be noticed.

    now i feel lonely, totally lonely. i’m happy to hear she got married. i hope that was a GoodThing ™ for her. good night sweet princess; better dreams this time, i hope.

  • Believe it or not,I only found out about this,april12th 2007!
    I haven’t seen Larissa for years
    but she had been emailg me from
    Florida.One time,in about sept 90,I was out drinking in NYC until the bars closed and I took Larissa back to crash at the Carlton arms on 25th st where I
    was staying,I went out to pee in
    the toilet down the hall wearing
    just my underwear,when I came
    back,the door had locked,I banged
    away at it going Larissa,Larissa!
    but she was totally passed out,
    finally I busted the door open
    with my shoulder and the lock flew across the room! she still
    didn’t wake up,I had to crazy glue the lock back on.My band
    Lubricated Goat,played and hung out with the Laughing Hyenas a lot on our first tour in 89,on
    the second tour in 90,Hazelmeyer
    had given strict orders that we
    weren’t allowed to hang out together,’coz we might “Get up to
    no good!” I always had a great
    time “Getting up to no good”with
    Larissa,but especially seeing her
    rocking out on her beloved brown
    strat covered love notes from the Stooges and Sonic youth in
    silver ink.Rock On “UP there”,

  • This is very sad. Grew up listening to the Hyenas out here in Melbourne, Australia and they had many Australian fans. Pity we never got to see the full force fury of a Hyenas live show at the Tote with say the Powder Monkeys. Now that would’ve been something! Always amazed at the huge guitar sound Larissa got and the layers she worked into that sound. RIP from all the Hyena fans here in Australia.


  • They just played LH on WCSB-Cleveland on an old Maximum Rock n Roll Show. I saw LH once on the Hard Times tour in Memphis. Maybe 30 people were there. Larissa hung out with a few of us and was rather affable. She looked older than she was and sounded incredible onstage.


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