I heard from a fiend, sometime before April, that Wendy O. Williams and The Plasmatics would reform and play a show in NYC. I was totally excited, "Finally," I thought to myself, "Iím going to get to interview the true ghoulish women herself and watch her perform live. My friend, Scott, even told me that he was amazed that after all this time she was still fit.
Thoughts had been conjured of meeting a legend. I was remembering the enthusiasm I felt when I found out I would finally see the woman that I heard did a 7í single with the notorious Motorhead singer, Lemmy. I also remembered that she starred in a movie called REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS.
In Reform School Girls (1986) Wendy played "Charlie" , this character she played was the incarcerated bad girl type. If any of you enjoy movies full of violence, abusive guards, chain gangs, suicide, etc. Check this out now!
But my thrill came to an end when I checked the NYC Village Voice newspaper and as I searched to see what was going on in the clubs of this gothic city I cam ea cross CBGBís shows and there in black and white was written an event concerning a memorial to Wendy O. Williams, May 18, 1998 at 8pm. I couldnít believe it, so I called and it was confirmed by the voice on the other end of the phone that Wendy had committed suicide. So, instead of an interview all I can write to you is an article or tribute to this woman we all barely know. She will not go silently in this issue of Endemoniada, she will be given our own tribute and inform those who didnít know about here a look into all sheís done and why.
Wendy Orlean Williams is so important to our underground scene and one hell of a "possessed woman!"
Death: On April 6th or 7th of 1998 Wendy O. Williams chose to end her life, in an area where only trees know her last thoughts. She died close to her home in Connecticut where she lived for a number of years with her former manager.
There was actually a report on CNN, there was a little written about her in Metal Maniacs with some sexy photos but where I found plenty of information was here on the internet. And I will find ways to share this with you.
Discography: Wendy and Lemmy (Motorhead and Plasmatics) on Bronze Records (POLYDOR) 1982
Wendy and Lemmy do a cover of Tammy Wynetteís Stand By Your Man and the B-side consists of No Class and Masterplan. Those songs are available on Motorheadsí No Remorse CD and in their box set.
Wendy O. Williams-WOW on Passport Records, 1984 LP
This album was produced by Gene Simmons of KISS and it was her first solo attempt. Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Paul Stanley make guest appearances too. The band line up for this album was:
Wendy O. Williams-lead vocals, Wes Beech-rhythm and lead guitar on Itís My Life, Michael Ray-lead guitar except on Itís My Life and Bump and Grind, Reginald Van Helsing-bass guitar, and T.C. Tolliver-drums except on Legends Never Die.
Wendy O. Williams-WOW Picture Disc on Passport Records, 1984 LP Wendy O. Willaims-WOW Single and 12" Single on Music for Nations
The songs on these are Itís My Life and Priestess. The line-up for this album remains the same except Micheal Ray does lead on guitar for Priestess.
Wendy O. Williams-Fuck Ďn Roll on Jackhammer Records, 1985
This 3 live song EP was available as part of the WOW fanclub. I donít know if you can still obtain it.
Wendy O. Williams-Kommander of Kaos on Ggasaurus/Sledgehammer 1986 LP
On this album Reginald was replaced by Greg Smith on bass guitar and backing vocals.
Reform School Girls Soundtrack on Rhino Records, 1986
Four of her songs appear on this soundtrack which are totally raunchy, bad ass, mean songs such as Bad Girl and Itís My Life.
Ultrafly and the Hometown Girls-Deffest and Baddest on Profile/Sledgehammer, 1988 LP
Other members of the Plasmatics where Richie Scotts (guitar) and Chris "Junior" Ronanelli (bass).
Now in my investigation I also found out that Wendy had done so much more. Besides Reform School Girls she also appeared in movies such Candy Goes to Hollywood (1979), Young Doctors in Love and Pucker Up and Bark Like A Dog (1990) where she plays Butch in an S&M style movies where she dominates the protagonist, Max. Wendy also came out in the TV series MacGyver, she played the though biker Big Mama in the 1990 episode. She also appeared in the play Rocky Horror Show and there was a clip of her on one of Beavis and Buttheadís infamous cartoons.
Wendy was also interviewed for several television programs on which she played live and also destroyed sets and instruments, such as cutting a guitar in half on SOLID GOLD. Wendy appeared in most of these programs during the 1980ís, these programs were:
FRIDAYS, TOMMOROW, AFTERNOON EXCHANGE, SCTV, SOLID GOLD, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, USA NIGHTFLIGHT, SKY TRACKS, SALLY JESSY RAPHAEL SHOW, THE JOAN RIVERS SHOW, DONAHUE (where she promoted Rock Against Censorship), Morton Downey Jr.
Wendy seemed to be a very in-your-face personality, using elements of the extreme sexually oriented shock rock. She also appeared in many publications such as:
CHERRY MAGAZINE, KERRANG! , HIGH TIMES, CREEM, PLAYBOY, HIGH SOCIETY, VELVET, PUB, CLUB INTERNATIONAL, SWANK, PEOPLE, D.I.Y, SUPERSTARS OF SEX, NATIONAL LAMPOON, US, VEGETARIAN TIMES, METAL MANIACS, and now ENDEMONIADA FANZINE.
This in-your-face personality also brought many difficulties to Wendy O. Williams, she was arrested for obscenity (she wore next to nothing, except maybe for some shaving cream to cover certain spots), resisting arrest, and batter at a Milwaukee club during January of 1981. She was also arrested several times because she fondled herself onstage and pretend to have sexual intercourse with a sledgehammer handle. Other troubles include being evicted from Rochester, New York. A proud moment for that community as they got rid of the punk rocker they probably didnít want in their neighborhood.
Wendy O. Williams did more than just influence metal and punk, she also had a love for nature. She rehabilitated animals and to my surprise, she was a vegetarian. Unfortunately, Wendy found herself disheartened, some say because of her career, but no one really knows except maybe those closest to her. All I know is that itís too late to tell her that all she did was incredible and inspiring, daring, wild and encouraging and at the same time beautiful, even if it was only in my perspective but Iím sure Iím not alone my admiration. And so I will end this asking those of you who read this to do a little research and you are bound to find out much more about her than what I have offered you here.
As one of our readers wrote to a magazine called Fifth Estate, he said,
"Wendy O. Willaims held a special attraction for me, not solely for her music, but for her persona and grace, her ability to combine femininity with strength. Without being especially attractive, she expanded my awareness of feminine beauty. Most of all, these attributes were spontaneous to her, unlike the majority of feminists Iíve met, whose tacked-on self-righteousness and awkward displays of willfulness usually confound any charm they might possess. ĖJohn Filiss, NY
ALL HAIL WENDY O. WILLIAMS BAD GIRL, PRIESTESS, AND KOMMANDER OF CHAOS!!!
Donations in memory of Wendy (no flowers please, at her request) can be sent to:
WENDY O. WILLIAMSí
QUIET CORNER WILD LIFE CENTER
109 ASHFORD CENTER ROAD, ASHFORD, CT 06276 USA
Resources used for this investigation:
http://lonestar.texas.net/_triske/plasmatics/errata.html writer: James J. Lewis
(You can easily go to these links by going to Endemoniasda's Links section!)