FEATURE: Both the “Queen of Punk” and “High Priestess of Metal” – The WOW factor of Wendy O. Williams



600full-wendy-o-williamsSo radical, so unique, innovative and ahead of her time was the now legendary Wendy O. Williams (WOW), that today, nearly 30 years after she first exploded onto the New York underground scene and nearly 20 years after she stopped performing, and nearly 10 years after her death, she still remains a threat to the poseurs, phonies, and hypocrites of the male-dominated cultural (and music) establishment and their service (hidden or not) to the hegemony of the power elite. Known during her day as first the “Queen of Punk”, “Queen of Shock Rock”, and “Dominatrix of the Decibels,” and later the “High Priestess of Metal”. “Wendy O.” (or “WOW”) as she was typically called, first grabbed the public’s attention as front person for the culture-shattering concept band Plasmatics, the counter-culture band of changing musicians created and put together around her by Yale MFA holding “anti-artist” Rod Swenson in 1977.




2rzdiy0Both Williams and Swenson shared a revulsion for the banality, conformity of contemporary cultural consumerism and its consequences and were determined to launch a head on assault. Williams’ fearless attitude and uncompromising tough agressive vocals, claiming territory previously reserved for males, even while giving the stiff middle finger to the establishment saw her get a Grammy Nomination as Best Female Rock Vocalist of the Year, while her jaw-dropping stage shows and political stance saw her banned in London, arrested multiple times and severely beaten by the police in Milwaukee, WI. During her 10 year recording career she produced 8 studio albums, multiple EPs, each which still stands as a landmark in musical history. Her death-defying accompanying videos still stand unmatched today, as do her stage shows which saw her destroying icons of mass consumerism such as the sledgehammering of TVs and the blowing up of full size cars on stage as well as the chainsawing of guitars.