Wendy O. Williams, singer
birth name: Wendy Orlean Williams

Wendy O. Williams

May 28, 1949, Rochester, NY ~ April 6, 1998, Stores, CT

Ten years after her cult shock-punk band's last tour, Plasmatics' lead singer Wendy O. Williams has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Williams' longtime companion and onetime manager found her body in the woods just outside of their Storrs, Connecticut, home on Monday. Williams was 48. […] In an Associated Press report, manager Rod Swenson said that Williams had found it difficult to live a normal life past her peak and had been despondent for a long time. “This was something she had planned,” Swenson said.“"It was no spur-of-the-moment thing.” ~ Rolling Stone: Wendy O. Williams Obituary ~ April 9, 1998 © Rolling Stone

Continued right after these…

Honoring musicians. Celebrating birthdays. Remembering death days.

April 6, 1968 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) the Monkees, Valleri ~ #2 (7) the Union Gap feat Gary Puckett, Young Girl ~ #1 (1) Otis Redding, (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay


While she never earned the critical acclaim of artists like Patti Smith, Siouxsie Sioux, or Exene Cervenka, for many Wendy O. Williams was the first female face of punk rock. As the lead singer of the Plasmatics, Williams proved a woman could dish out on-stage mayhem as well as any man - hoisting a chainsaw or a sledgehammer, Williams routinely destroyed guitars, smashed televisions, blew up automobiles, and generally left a trail of destruction in her wake. Williams also blended sex with anarchy, often appearing on stage stripped to the waist with shaving cream or electrical tape covering her nipples as a towering Mohawk bloomed from her scalp, creating a vision of a wildly empowered outlaw woman whose echoes would be felt in music and culture long after the Plasmatics called it quits. ~ Allmusic: Wendy O. Williams ~ retrieved April 19, 2014 © Allmusic

The Plasmatics

At a time (the late '70s and early '80s) and a place (the New York punk scene) where shocking the audience was often the order of the day, few bands had a greater gift for cultivating outrage than the Plasmatics. During the group's heyday, a Plasmatics show could include anything from lead singer Wendy O. Williams covered in shaving cream and electrical tape while brandishing a chain saw as blue-haired Richie Stotts attacked his guitar in drag, to the destruction of televisions, electric guitars, automobiles, and other consumer goods. Plenty of punk bands of the time courted controversy, but the Plasmatics took it a step further; they were banned in several major cities (most notably London) and Williams stood trial for obscenity in a celebrated 1981 court case in Milwaukee, but the band also helped bring punk to the heartland through their crazed stage shows, frequent television appearances, and a prescient fusion of punk velocity with heavy metal guitar power. ~ Allmusic: Plasmatics ~ retrieved April 19, 2014 © Allmusic

All text snippets containing a hyperlink copyrighted by the original website.
Views expressed by musicians, music critics or journalists do not necessarily represent ours.
concept & design © 2021 Make Today Rock