Rochester, New York, USA
Place of Death
Storrs, Connecticut, USA
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
Lead singer for The Plasmatics
R. L. Thomas High School, New York, USA (dropped out)
Full Name at Birth
Wendy Orlean Williams
Has Detailed Data (New)
Singer, punk rock innovator
Has Detailed Data (Music)
Wendy Orlean Williams (May 28, 1949 – April 6, 1998), better known as Wendy O. Williams, was an American singer, songwriter and actress. Born in Webster, New York, she first came to prominence as the lead singer of the punk rock band Plasmatics. Her infamous stage theatrics included blowing up equipment, near nudity and chain-sawing guitars. After she left home at the age of 16, Williams hitchhiked her way to Colorado, earning money by crocheting string bikinis. She later traveled to Florida and Europe landing various jobs such as lifeguard, stripper and server at Dunkin' Donuts. When she returned to California in 1978, she began performing in live sex shows and later appeared in the adult film, Candy Goes to Hollywood (1979). That same year, she was approached by the manager Rod Swenson, who recruited her to join his newly formed punk rock band, Plasmatics. The band shortly became known on the New York City underground scene, performing at clubs such as CBGB.
Rod Swenson (Wendy's signifigant other for over 20 years at time of her death in 1998)
Profile Bio Text
Wendy Orlean Williams (May 28, 1949 – April 6, 1998), better known as Wendy O. Williams, was the lead singer for the American punk band the Plasmatics, as well as a solo artist. Her stage theatrics included blowing up equipment, near nudity and chain-sawing guitars.
Dubbed "The Queen of Shock Rock," Williams was widely considered the most controversial and radical female singer of her day. She often sported a Mohawk haircut. Williams was nominated in 1985 for a Grammy in the Best Female Rock Vocal Performance category during the height of her popularity as a solo artist.
Early lifeWilliams was born in Webster, New York. Early on, she was destined to be in the music industry, as she studied clarinet at the Eastman School of Music. She even appeared on the "Howdy Doody Show" as a member of the "Peanut Gallery". She attended R.L. Thomas (public) High School in Webster at least partway through the tenth grade, but apparently left school before graduating. At the age of 16, she hitchhiked her way to Colorado where she earned money selling crocheted string bikinis. She headed for Florida and then to Europe, where she worked as a macrobiotic cook in London and then as a dancer with a gypsy dance troupe. In 1976 she arrived at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City where she saw an ad in Show Business Magazine that lay open on the bus station floor. It was a casting call for radical anti-artist and Yale MFA graduate Rod Swenson's experimental "Captain Kink's Theatre". She replied to the ad and there was immediate chemistry between Swenson, known as Captain Kink, and Williams, which began a 22-year relationship that would see her launched as lead singer of the punk/metal rock group the Plasmatics some two years later.
With the Plasmatics:
In January 1981, Milwaukee police arrested her for simulating sex on stage. Also charged with battery to an officer and obscene conduct, she was later cleared. Later that same year in Cleveland, Ohio, Williams was acquitted of an obscenity charge for simulating sex on stage wearing only shaving cream (she subsequently covered her nipples with electrical tape to avoid arrest). Then, in November, an Illinois judge sentenced her to one year supervision and fined her $35 for roughing up a freelance photographer who had attempted to take her picture as she jogged along the Chicago lakefront.
Meanwhile, the Plasmatics toured the world, having a concert in London cancelled on safety grounds, where the press dubbed them "anarchists." During shooting of an appearance on NBC's SCTV comedy program in 1981, studio heads said they would not air Williams unless she changed out of a stage costume that revealed her nipples. Williams refused. The show's make-up artists found a compromise and painted her breasts black.
In 1979 she appeared in Gail Palmer's XXX-rated adult production, Candy Goes to Hollywood playing herself (though she is credited as Wendy Williams). She is featured as a performer on a parody of The Gong Show where she shoots ping pong balls across the set from her vagina.
Wendy recorded a duet of the country hit "Stand by Your Man" with Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead in 1982.
In 1984, she released the W.O.W. album, produced by Gene Simmons of Kiss. Kiss members Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, Eric Carr, and Vinnie Vincent also perform on the album. Gene Simmons plays bass but is credited as Reginald Van Helsing.
In 1985 Wendy starred in The Rocky Horror Show at the Westport Playhouse in St. Louis. The show played for over six months, but a nationwide tour fell through.
In 1986, she starred in Tom DeSimone's indie-film Reform School Girls. Neither she nor manager Rod Swenson liked the film when it came out, but at this point the producers had heard Kommander of Kaos (her second solo album) and wanted to include 3 tracks from the album in the movie score. They approached Rod about producing the title track for the film and having Wendy sing it. The band reluctantly agreed to do it. Uncle Brian from the Broc joined Rod as co-producer and also played sax. He also appeared in the video that the film company had asked Rod to produce and direct, playing the sax and wearing a tutu.
In 1987, she starred as the part-time friend/enemy in the underground spy world to the title character on Fox's The New Adventures of Beans Baxter. The Plasmatics' last tour was in late 1988. Williams appeared in Pucker Up and Bark Like a Dog, directed by Paul S. Parco, in 1990.
In 1988, Wendy put out another solo album, this time a "thrash rap" album called Deffest! and Baddest! under the name "Ultrafly and the Hometown Girls."
Wendy's last known performance of a Plasmatics song occurred due to the prompting of Joey Ramone. She performed "Masterplan" one final time with Richie Stotts, when Richie's band opened for the
Couple Profile Source
Blond mohawk, shaving cream bikini, tattoos, black electrical tape covering nipples
www.plasmatics.com/, www.last.fm/music/Wendy+O.+Williams, www.discogs.com/artist/Wendy+O.+Williams, www.vice.com/read/revolution-evolution-and-rock-n-roll-an-exclusive-interview-with-plasmatics-founder-rod-swenson, www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3494400083.html
Richie Stotts - Plasmatics Lead Guitarist, O. Chosei Funahara - Plasmatics Bassist, Stu Deutsch - Plasmatics Drummer, Wes Beech - Plasmatics Rhythm Guitarist, Jean Beauvoir (group member from 1980-81), Ray Callahan (Plasmatics Member), Tony Petri (drummer), Chris “Junior” Romanelli, (group member from 1981-87) bass and keyboards., T.C. Tolliver - Plasmatics drummer
www.metalmaidens.com/wow.htm, elvispelvis.com/wendyo.htm, www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20085546,00.html
Alfalfa Sprouts, Tofu And Honey
Joan Rivers (Made an appearance on Joan's show back in the day)
Eastman Kodak chemist (Name withheld by Wendy)
Momma O Williams (Name also withheld by Wendy)
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Music Genre (Text)
Punk rock, heavy metal, shock rock, rap rock
Vocals, saxophone, clarinet
1978–1990, Musical career