Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wendy Got Her Gun
Straight out of my retro-teenage punk rock fantasy into Green Mountain Hell and hopefully out of your speakers,here is the chainsaw swinging queen of many hearts,Wendy O' Williams. As is well known,Wendy was singer for the Plasmatics,actress(Reform School Girls,Candy goes to Hollywood,etc.)
animal rights activist,among other things left to your imagination.
Wendy supposedly got her start as a performer at age 6 tap dancing on the Howdy Doody show. a mere 20 or so years later,she met Rod Swenson aka Captain Kink and joined his newly conjured outfit The Plasmatics.
I could waste your time and mine rewriting a history of this band that has been told and retold over and over again 'til the point of banality, though I won't.
What I will explain is that,though I think everything with her name on it is worth checking out, there is absolutely nothing better than the rock opera Maggots The Record.
By far the finest written work of her career(whatever that means), this album just never gets old for me.Sure,Coup De 'Tat had the epic "The Damned" and W.O.W. had the heart wrenching ballad Opus in Cm7, neither of these records were solid all the way through like Maggots was.
Based 25 years in the future(in 1986) on an environmentally ravaged planet Earth,this is the origin of the Apocalypse according to Wendy. Giant mutant maggots multiplying by the second to devour us , a punishment for the enviromental abuse doled out by humankind for years upon years. No happy ending here,just complete imminent annihilation . Musically,this is by far the most thrash influenced of her efforts. Containing only original guitarist Wes Beech and a bunch of "Kip Winger" stunt double look alikes,this is a far cry from their late seventies/early eighties ouput.
Get Maggots the Record.
The other albums I have mentioned are also here for you to download.
Coup De 'Tat
And just for the pure novelty of it all,here is the cool Wendy O and Lemmy collaboration on Tammy Wynette's Stand by Your Man along with their very own duet No Class.
Get that here.
After the Plasmatics,Wendy retreated to Storrs,Connecticut and continued on as a wildlife rehabilitator and dedicated her life most passionately to improving the lives of animals on this planet.
In 1998,at the age of 48,Wendy O Williams journeyed into the woods near her home where she lived with partner Rod Swenson, accompanied with only her trusty 12 gauge shotgun and ended her life. This excerpt is from her suicide note:I don't believe that people should take their own lives without deep and thoughtful reflection over a considerable period of time. I do believe strongly, however, that the right to do so is one of the most fundamental rights that anyone in a free society should have. For me much of the world makes no sense, but my feelings about what I am doing ring loud and clear to an inner ear and a place where there is no self, only calm.