On St. Patrick’s Day 1993 I filmed what was to become a historical event, one of Mia Zapata’s last shows with The Gits at the Weathered Wall in Seattle. The band dressed in Renaissance costumes for the occasion and Mia was a jester – she jumped on stage and started head banging like a crazed muppet before launching into an exhilarating set. What an amazing singer, writer and person. I, along with thousands of others, was devastated when she was raped and murdered that summer.
About a month ago I was walking on Capitol Hill and there was a flyer on a telephone pole that said "the gits – seven year bitch – dc beggars – alcohol funnycar" and I stopped dead in my tracks and thought, "Wow, someone must have done this as a tribute – or maybe it’s just really old," but it didn’t look old – and definitely not over 12 years old. Then I saw "SIFF" at the bottom (Seattle International Film Festival) and that it was advertising a Gits documentary. The emotions I felt at that moment were intense – excitement and triumph that someone had taken the time to document and preserve something that I knew was so incredibly amazing and special, but trepidation at the sadness I knew I was going to feel as I watched it – grief and anger over her death as well as the reminders of what my own life was like back then. It would be a personal time trip and I felt a great deal of anticipation as the festival approached.
I saw the film on Memorial Day with SB (of course). It was excellent – the filmmakers absolutely did her justice. I cried several times during it, especially the courtroom scenes where they found her murderer guilty just last year. I hadn’t experienced that for myself, had only seen a few articles about it, and to see his face and hear the words "guilty" being read over and over for each juror really made it hit home for me.
After the film I introduced myself to one of the film makers and told her I had the footage from the St. Patrick’s Day show. They had not finished the film so there was an opportunity to add my footage and after making a backup (thanks Jean and MS Studios!) I FedExed it to them last week. I got an email from them today saying they love the footage and will be using some in the film. That’s pretty exciting and I’m so glad that people will now have a new piece of Mia, 12 years later.
Just got an email from the filmmaker: "I wanted to thank you personally for getting this amazing footage to us. This will be a great addition to the film. This really demonstrates the humor of Mia and the guys as well as show how much they were loved. To me, this is some of the greatest stuff that we have received and we will put it to good use."
The top right photo is from the show I filmed – see Mia’s jester costume? What a night.