Mia Zapata and The Gits

A True Story of Art, Rock, and Revolution

Just Kids for the grunge era.

Seattle band, The Gits and their charismatic front person Mia Zapata were on the verge of international rock stardom but on  July 7, 1993, days before their third US tour, Mia Zapata, The Gits 27-year-old singer-songwriter, was brutally assaulted and murdered by a stranger. Zapata’s death sent chilling ripples through progressive communities throughout the United States. She became a cause-celebre for women’s rights activists outraged by the brutal killing and lack of law enforcement support. This book reclaims Zapata’s story to focus on the art she and The Gits created and not her tragic end.

Much has been written and said about her murder, yet Zapata’s life and work remain overshadowed by the circumstances of her death. Zapata’s friend and bandmate, Steve Moriarty, tells her story—and the story of their band, The Gits—from their first meeting in 1985 to their last goodbye.

Moriarity and Zapata met in 1985 as first-year students at Antioch College, where they discovered the power of punk rock and found an outlet for their progressive ideas through music. Zapata, Moriarity, and fellow students Matt Dresdner and Andy Kessler attended a show by San Francisco punk legends Dead Kennedys that inspired the friends to start a band fueled by Mia’s provocative lyrics. They quickly gained critical praise and dedicated fans.

Moriarty details their struggles as newcomers to the then-pre-tech outpost of the Seattle music scene. Interspersed are the tales Zapata told of her legendary ancestor, Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, to entertain the band as they spen’t countless hours on the road crammed into a single un-air-conditioned van touring the US and Europe. They shared stages with Beck, Nirvana, Mudhoney, Joan Jett, Bikini Kill, L7, and more—all who expected Mia and The Gits to be the next “big thing.”

The Gits’s story is more than a biography; it’s a testament to the ability of artists and musicians to challenge the status quo and the power of friendship to change the world. Moriarty reframes the sensationalist story as he shares his personal narrative and presents, with intimacy, grit, and humor, the lived experience of The Gits and his dear friend, Mia Zapata.

Included are never before seen paintings, letters, and pictures.

$28.95 | Coming Summer 2024