larissa strickland of the laughing hyenas

I can’t find definitive confirmation, but it looks as though Larissa Strickland (Stolarchuk), the guitarist for the Ann Arbor band the Laughing Hyenas, has passed away. (I first heard the news from Leighton.) Word back in the day was that when she left town she headed to Florida, in an attempt to put some distance between herself and the scene she had helped to create, and stay straight. (Rumor is that she O.D.’d on Xanex in Florida.) The last time I saw her it was probably about 13 years ago. I was in the audience at a Sonic Youth show in Detroit and Larissa lunged out onto the stage, behind the band, swaying with the music, barely able to stand up straight. I think she walked around behind Kim Gordon and kind of thrust her hips into her. Kim, I remember, was smiling. Then, after a few minutes, she pressed her head up against one of their amps and just kind of stood there, her ass toward the audience, swaying back and forth, her head stuck in place. Finally she walked off. And, that, I think, was the last time I saw her. The Laughing Hyenas, one of the most consistently great live bands I have ever seen, was gone. She was one hell of a guitarist and she will be missed… If you want to check out her music, someone’s posted a few Hyenas songs. (Their recorded work never came even remotely close to approximating their live show, in my opnion.) Rest in peace, Larissa.

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8 Comments

  1. edweird
    Posted November 7, 2006 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    I got the news on this Saturday night at the Majestic. I really hoped Florida would help her get her shit together. Tragic.

  2. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted November 7, 2006 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    John is still around, doing his thing with Easy Action, right? What about the other guys? Has anyone talked with them about her death?

  3. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted November 7, 2006 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    John is still around, doing his thing with Easy Action, right? What about the other guys? Has anyone talked with them about her death?

  4. briancors
    Posted November 7, 2006 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Not sure – but yeah, Brannon is doing the EASY ACTION thing – and also is doing a few one-off NEGATIVE APPROACH shows soon. I think down in Texas, and in the UK [?!?!].

    The HYENAS were amazing – but I agree – live was the way to experience them. I was fortunate enough to see them a few times, and apparently the one time I missed them in East Lansing, they caved the floor in on the living room they were playing.

    One of the saddest things about this is that she really was forging ground where most women didn’t really tread back in those days. Her work with L-SEVEN was something not really seen around here, previous to that.

    Sad all around – and a reminder that addiction is a horrible, horrible thing.

  5. mark
    Posted November 7, 2006 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    I never had the opportunity to see L-Seven. They were before my time. (I was in DC when they were in Detroit.) But I got to see the Hyenas a few dozen times. Incredible show. Very sparce. Nothing flashy. But verry intense.

  6. leighton
    Posted November 9, 2006 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Word is that John is very distraught over this, but Easy Action is continuing with their intense tour. She will be missed.

  7. toasty
    Posted February 15, 2007 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    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 (late summer 1995). 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.

  8. dick
    Posted January 6, 2008 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    saw them at a hall show in Saginaw, MI around 1993ish… i was 17.. cant remember who else played… they moved me. they did a cover “under my thumb”, made my eyes water. would love to find a recording of it… though the memory is just fine. bless them.

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