Παρασκευή, 10 Ιουλίου 2009

Plasmatics - Coup d'etat


Fronted by the outrageous Wendy O. Williams and molded by the ultra-radical conceptual artist Rod Swenson, Plasmatics literally blasted their way on to the New York underground music scene in 1978. Swenson, who has a degree from Yale, met Wendy O. Williams during a job interview in 1977 whilst he was producing Counter-Culture Theater at NYC's Times Square. At the time, he was heavily involved in the New York underground rock scene producing shows and videos of unknown up and coming US bands such as Patti Smith, Ramones and Blondie. Swenson next project aim was the production of the world's most controversial and outrageous rock band and decided Wendy O. Williams was the logical star. Thus the Plasmatics were assembled and it was not long before night after night of sell out shows around the New York music scene were common placed and by 1979 they became the first unsigned band to headline New York's Palladium Theatre. During the show they christened one of their trademark stunts - blowing up an actual Cadillac car whilst onstage! Following a series of self produced and funded singles and EPs released throughout 1978-1979, the first full studio album, “New Hope for the Wretched", was issued by Stiff Records in 1980. Six further studio albums and several EPs followed during a decade of recording. On stage, the Plasmatics' performances were famed for the outrageous stunts including guitars being sawn in half with a chainsaw, cars being blown up, TVs sledge hammered and exploding speaker cabinets. Things were often so excessive they were, in the view of Billboard's Roman Kozak, "The absolute limit of what can be accomplished in Rock’N’Roll theatrics". This summarizes what the Plasmatics’ were out to, and did, accomplish. Following the success of “New Hope for the Wretched” and a sell out national tour of the USA, the Plasmatics headed to the UK for their first European show. On their arrival in London the waiting UK press were greeted by Wendy O. Williams dressed as a nurse telling them she had come to give "A cultural Enema to the British People." The sold out debut show planned at London's Hammersmith Odeon was cancelled at the eleventh hour by Greater London Council after labeling her an “anarchist”. Within a month “Butcher Baby” was riding high in the UK singles chart! Shortly after the release of their second album “Beyond the Valley of 1984” Wendy O. Williams faced multiple arrests in the US, following disruption on the accompanying US tour, on alleged obscenity charges and a much publicized beating at the hands of the US vice squad followed. Similar head lines were to follow the Plasmatics’ around the US and Europe through to their disbandment.Coup d'etat was released in 1982 and was a bridge between punk and heavy metal.It took decent critics from the music scene and included tracks worth-hearing :Put your love in me, Stop ,Rock n roll and The damned... The final Plasmatics record was released in 1987. Wendy O. Williams had further solo work but faded into obscurity. On April 6, 1998, in a final uncompromising act, Wendy O. Williams took her own life.

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