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The Donnas

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Palo Alto, San Jose CA, United States (1993 – present)

The Donnas are an American all-female band from Palo Alto, California. After gathering a cult following since their May 1993 debut, the band achieved major commercial success in the late- and afterward. Heavily influenced by the of the and , they’re perhaps best known for the top 40 rock smashes “Take It Off” and “Fall Behind Me”.

All of the initial band members– Brett Anderson, Allison Robertson, Maya Ford, Amy Cesari, and Torry Castellano– were born in 1979. As best friends, they formed in the 8th grade to play for their school’s “Day on the Green” event. The only girl band in Palo Alto, they were relatively unknown until they were out of high school. They are all self-taught musicians and practiced in Castellano’s garage nearly every day during high school. They are sometimes described as a “punk” outfit but the band themselves have always stated that they take in broader musical influences such as from the of Kiss and the of Cheap Trick.

Experimenting with different musical styles, they underwent a variety of band names (including Screen, Raggedy Anne, and the Electrocutes) before settling on the Donnas. They worked with producer Darin Raffaelli for their first two albums, the first of which, simply called The Donnas, was entirely written by Raffaelli and released on his own Superteem! record label. It was later re-released on Lookout! Records.

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