Wendy O. Williams

  • Name:Wendy O. Williams

  • Biography:
    As the lead singer of the infamous Plasmatics, Wendy O. Williams emerged as one of the most notorious figures on the American punk scene; dubbed "the queen of shock rock," her on-stage theatrics were the stuff of underground legend. Born in Rochester, NY, in 1949, Wendy Orlean Williams studied tap-dancing as a child, and made her television debut at the age of six on The Howdy Doody Show; after quitting school during the ninth grade, she spent some time wandering through Europe before returning the U.S. and settling in New York City. By 1978, she was regularly performing in live sex shows, and soon began appearing in pornographic films, among them 1979's Candy Goes to Hollywood; around that time, would-be Svengali Rod Swenson, aka Captain Kink, recruited her to front his punk concept band, the Plasmatics.

    Often clad in little more than strips of electrical tape covering her nipples, the raspy-voiced Williams earned a cult following for her on-stage antics, which included blowing up cars, sawing guitars in half, and setting equipment on fire; the Plasmatics sold few records, but their behavior frequently made headlines. Most notoriously, in 1981 Williams was arrested in Milwaukee for allegedly simulating sex acts in concert, and was also charged with obstructing justice; she was later cleared on all counts. That same year, she also was acquitted of obscenity charges in Cleveland after performing live covered only by shaving cream, but was sentenced to a year's probation for assaulting a photographer while jogging in Chicago. Williams also posed nude for several men's magazines, and the Plasmatics were banned in London; still, none of the band's provocations translated into mainstream success, and after 1982's Coup d'Etat the singer went solo.

    Williams first teamed with Motörhead's Lemmy to record a cover of the Tammy Wynette classic "Stand by Your Man"; in 1984, she returned with WOW, her first full-length effort. Kommander of Kaos followed in 1986, and that same year she starred in the B-movie Reform School Girls. Ultrafly and the Hometown Girls -- Deffest! and Baddest!, a rap record, arrived in 1988, and after 1989's Plasmatics reunion outing Maggots: The Record Williams essentially retired from music. After a handful of subsequent acting appearances, among them the 1990 film Pucker Up and Bark Like a Dog as well as a surreal guest shot on the ABC television series MacGyver, she and longtime companion Swenson relocated to Storrs, CT, where she worked variously as an animal rehabilitator and in a health food store. It was reported on April 8, 1998, that Williams had committed suicide; she was 48 years old. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide Written by Jason Ankeny

  • Albums:

  • Official Site:not available
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