WENDY O’WILLIAMS, lead singer of the New York shock rock band The Plasmatics, has committed suicide. She was 48.
Her body was found last Monday (April 6) in woods near to her Connecticut home. The State Medical examiner said that she had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Her body was found by her longtime companion Rod Swenson. Swenson said she had been despondent for some time.
The Plasmatics burst onto the New York club scene in 1978 with an act that featured chainsawing guitars and smashing televisions. As their popularity increased the budget stretched to blowing up Chevrolets.
With her trademark Mohawk haircut and gaffa- taped nipples, the band found favour with second generation punk and noteriety with assorted US vice departments after a number of lewd behaviour busts.
Police in Milwaukee arrested Williams and Swenson in 1981 after she simulated a sex act onstage during a performance in the city. Charges of battering an officer and obscene conduct against Williams were later dropped.
She was acquitted in April 1981 of an obscenity charge in Cleveland after she performed covered only with shaving cream and, as usual, simulated sex onstage.
In November of the same year, she was sentenced to a year’s supervision and fined $35 by an Illinois judge for beating a free-lance photographer who tried to photograph her while she was out jogging beside a Chicago lake.
Williams had not performed onstage for several years and had recently been training and helping rehabilitate mistreated animals.