Lead by the inimitable Wendy O Williams and the brainchild of songwriter Rod Swenson, The Plasmatics were the most parent-frightening and gloriously perverted band a teenage record buyer could be into in 1980. Porno sleeves, S&M styling and a fusion of punk with more traditional heavy metal made a heady combination. The things that Stiff – and other record companies before them –loved best: controversy and sales.
Known as the “Queen of Shock Rock,” Wendy’s stage act involved chain-sawing through guitars, blowing up amplifiers, and some singing too, all in a various states of undress and Mohican haircuts. It may sound a little tame in the late 00s, but at the time, it was all deemed very, very wrong indeed. Not least in Stiff’s homeland where the band were hyped as being banned from London for being anarchists. Butcher Baby (BUY 76) was released in 1980 but would have been far better suited for 2000, if only Wendy hadn’t taken her own life in 1988.