Wendy O. Williams was the lead singer for American punk rock band, the Plasmatics, active in the nineteen-seventies and eighties. She never achieved the fame of some of her contemporaries such as Patti Smith, Siouxsie Sioux, or Exene Cervenka though she was thought by many to be the original female punk rocker. This article will tell you about her life.
Wendy's early life
She was born Wendy Orlean Williams on May 28 1949 in Webster, New York, to strict parents who paid for her tap dancing lessons and allowed her to appear on the Howdy Doody show at age seven. At sixteen, Williams travelled to Colorado, Florida and Europe earning a living with jobs like selling string bikinis and gypsy dancing. Arriving in New York in 1976, Wendy O. Williams met Captain Kink, a performance artist in an erotic theatre in Times Square. Williams joined the group and later became a singer in a rock band formed by Captain Kin whose real name was Rod Swenson. This was the birth of the Plasmatics.
The Plasmatics enthralled audiences with guitar-heavy music and rebellious lyrics. In 1980, they joined Stiff Records and made their first album New Hope For The Wretched. Williams was arrested for obscenity in Milwaukee and Cleveland for behaving in a lewd manner on stage but was later exonerated of both charges. Wendy's arrests and her attempt to sue the Milwaukee police for battery made the Plasmatics a popular group. In 198, the band released two records: The album Beyond The Valley Of 1984 and the EP Metal Priestess.
Solo career and movie roles
In 1984, Williams made a solo album, called Wow. It was produced by Gene Simmons and featured members of both K.I.S.S. and the Plasmatics. The album won a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. For years, Williams tried to make her name as a solo performer. In 1987, she and the Plasmatics made an album called Maggots: The Record. This was the final Plasmatics record and Williams retired from music and lived with Rod Swenson after making a rap album called Deffest And Baddest, recorded under the name Ultrafly And The Hometown Girls. Wendy O. Williams made some attempts at a movie career, the first being the X-rated Candy Goes To Hollywood in 1979. In 1986, she appeared in Reform School Girls and she made Pucker Up And Bark Like a Dog in 1990. In 2010, Williams was immortalised as a Throbblehead, a variation of Bobble Head Dolls. You can see her doll at Aggronautix.com.
Wendy O. Williams made several suicide attempts during the nineties and succeeded in 1998 by shooting herself in the head during a bout of depression.