Wendy Orlean Williams, better known as Wendy O. Williams was a pioneer for women in music. She is best known as playing in the punk band, The Plasmatics, where she was dubbed “The queen of shock rock”. She was famous for wearing very scantily clad outfits & a mohawk, along with blowing various items up on stage and chain sawing guitars.
Williams started out doing live sex shows in 1976 and was in an adult film called, “Candy Goes to Hollywood.” Soon after the film, she was contacted by manager Rob Swenson who brought her aboard The Plasmatics train. Shortly after she joined the band, they became very well known in the NYC underground music scene.
After she had 3 albums under her belt with the band, she decided to try a solo career. In doing so, she released 3 albums between 1984 & 1988. Before she retired from the music industry, she also appeared in the 1986 film, “Reform School Girls”.
In 1991, she was quoted as saying she was “pretty fed up with dealing with people”. She moved to Connecticut with her companion, Rod Swenson and became deeply involved with animal rehabilitation, a passion that also turned her into a strict vegetarian which then led to her become a ‘natural food’ activist.
In 1993, Wendy O. Williams attempted suicide by hammering a knife into her chest which stuck in her sternum. She survived. Then, in 1997, she attempted suicide again by overdosing on ephedrine to which she also survived. On April 6, 1998, she succeeded at suicide by a self inflicted gunshot wound. She was only 48 years old.
It's been 20 years today since the music world lost one of the boldest women to hit the stage.