Thursday, December 30, 2010

Plasmatics


This clip of The Plasmatics is about my favorite thing right now.



I remember Solid Gold well.

It was the show people who were... well, the age I am now... watched when I was younger to stay up on the popular music of the day. It had a parade of dancers and the vaudevillian naughtiness of Madame.

I almost can't believe they had The Plasmatics on quite honestly, add to that Madame and Wendy O. Williams bantering. It would have been improved only slightly if they'd performed Just Like on TV.

On another level I can believe it and it makes me nostalgic for that moment, even it's a a nostalgia for a moment I don't specifically remember, but remember strangely living in a world where that could happen.

This world, with its Internet and Netflix, Hulu, Pandora and our TVs with 500 channels and video on demand and whatnot, offers fewer and fewer opportunities for people's lives and interests to collide.



I think there's a certain stagnation for so many people in that, and I live for the mixing and bending of things.

I can't say how much I'm enjoying the blend of punk energy, metal drive and funk groove that goes into something like this...



Yeah, I wish there was a live performance to show, too, but I can listen to that song over and over and over... and sometimes I do.

I mostly discovered The Plasmatics through WOW, which is either the penultimate Plasmatics album or the first Williams solo album, depending on who you ask.

By that point they had moved further from their CBGB punk rock origins into a much more Heavy Metal direction, leading to a tour with Kiss.

The rebellion of that album is much more of the relatively safe We're Not Gonna Take It variety than the overtly political leanings of their work through Coup d'Etat.



Frankly, I'm not sure the material was strong enough as a hook. I'd have been more likely to have been hooked by "Coup d'Etat" if I'd gotten around to discovering it at the time.

Williams and her people went onto branding her a Heavy Metal sex goddess, which I don't think was commercially or artistically right for her. She didn't have that somewhat "safe" supermodel sexuality that Lita Ford was able to exploit.

Wendy O. Williams really looked like she could eat you alive and not necessarily in a good way.

She was much closer to being a female Lemmy.



In that pre-Riot Grrrl, there wasn't quite a place for someone like that. Even the classic pre-Riot Grrrl favorite Joan Jett seems safe next to Wendy O. Williams.



(You can insert a non-existent live clip of Fast Food Service, Put Your Love In Me or even Test Tube Babies, but I passed my limit of non-video YouTube clips with "Uniformed Guards" above.)

Apparently that middle-ground between punk and metal, flat-out in the middle of fuckin' badass is where my musical tastes are sitting at this moment.

I was putting a bunch of Plasmatics on Kimberly Rae's mp3 player - she had me beat on this one, I must acknowledge - and put some on mine just for variety's sake and find myself listening to more and more. My previous experiences have been to try to listen to them as a singles band and play one song then another, and individually they'd be solid, and I loved the idea of them, but somehow they never caught me on fire.

But listening to them as a whole or as albums, they build and grow on me.



What's fascinating me is how little there is out there about Wendy O. Williams and The Plasmatics. Dissatisfied with my reading of Wikipedia article, I looked to see if there was more, and there's not even a book on the subject apparently.

Somebody should really fix that. Kim considered that she may work on it. I think it's a great idea, although she's feeling a little intimidated about what it might take to do the research.

My friend Craig Blamer suggested that a biopic of Wendy O. Williams has potential to not be more interesting than the average biopic.

On one level I agree, but I suspect, like most biopics, by the time they've kissed all of the asses needed to get rights and other legal clearances, it'll turn out to be a wussy and meaningless piece of crap.

Let me put on record, if anyone wants to make a biopic about or involving me, my allegiance is to cinema. I'd way rather someone make a good movie that makes me look like a shithead than a boring turd in which I look awesome. If I have an estate who feels different, they are not being true to my basic spirit.

Apparently there was a rumor that a Wendy O. Williams biopic was being developed with Hayden Panettiere in the lead, because...



... "Save that badass bitch, save the world"?

Yeah, I'm glad that apparently that fucking travesty is not happening.

I think a documentary - perhaps something like Lemmy: 49% Motherfucker, 51% Son Of A Bitch, or at least how it sounds from the buzz - would be the best way to come at the subject. Get the visuals and the music that a book would struggle to convey, but not be tied to turning it into a Three Act story with a "lesson" to the whole of her life.

I'm not sure if I have a lot else to say at this moment. I'll leave the rest to Wendy O. Williams and The Plasmatics, one more time.




4 comments:

Aggronautix said...

Great article...

I think you might dig this Wendy O. figure we made:
http://www.aggronautix.com/products.cfm?productid=18

Cheers!

Neil Sarver said...

That is pretty sweet. Thanks for sharing.

Kimberlicious said...

maybe i should just do it! sounds like fun...i am scared but ....

Neil Sarver said...

I think you totally should!

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