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The multi-instrumentalist


Plasmatics vocalist Wendy O Williams was known for much more than her powerful voice, some of which landed her in jail. It wasn’t just her on-stage energy and unique wardrobe that kept all eyes riveted upon her. Castration anxiety and the risk of serious injury also contributed to her presence. Yet Wendy is rarely recognised for her skills as an instrumentalist, despite her ability to deliver a moving performance with a wide variety of instruments.

Plectrums are used by most rock guitarists, though some prefer finger-style. Jimmy Page sometimes bowed his guitar, Marc Bolan strummed his with a tambourine and Jimi Hendrix used his teeth. Not Wendy.

Wendy O Williams plays the guitar

Her percussion playing was a striking commentary on consumerism and the media.

Wendy plays a television …

Plasmatics gigs could be life-changing, especially for those in the front rows.

… a car …

For Wendy a single instrument was sometimes too limiting.

… the whole fuckin’ stage

Even without pyrotechnics or The Plasmatics her performances were explosive.

Wendy plays Motörhead

Wendy Orlean Williams. Put that much rock’n’roll in one girl and somethin’s gonna blow.

From → music

  1. There’s a theory, that men commit suicide through very violent, graphic and dramatic means, through hanging, blowing their head off etc because they want to ‘make an impact’ and they want people to SEE their suicide, almost in a theatrical way.
    Women tend to choose to go out gentler, i.e cutting wrists (although that’s not gentle at all, is it)? Pills are the main way women are supposed to get out of life. Walking into the sea is a particular suicide fantasy, with a PH, which is shared by a couple of my female friends. We like the idea that people don’t get to see our suicide, we’re not pushing it in anyone’s face, and maybe they won’t actually have the trauma of seeing our corpse. Considerate to the end. We go off to die like a cat.
    Wendy went out like a man, pardon the pun, if it is one,which kind of puts paid to the idea that men go out violently and aggressively and women go out less so.
    So we shouldn’t generalise, I suppose. RIP Wendy O Williams. What a girl….inspirational.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe a gunshot to your own head is masculine but an earlier attempt was pure Wendy. ER staff might have previously admitted patients with a butcher’s knife jammed through their sternum but how often is it self-inflicted?

      New Hope for the Wretched was the first punk album I paid money for. Previously I’d taped them from friends’ albums but no-one I knew was buying The Plasmatics.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, the knife through the sternum gets me. Not even a tough hard core warrior would do that, suicidal or not.
        The Plasmatics weren’t even on my radar when you were buying their albums. I think you’re a bit ahead of your time. Lol.


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