Wendy O. Williams

Birth name Aliases
Wendy Orlean Williams None
Birth date Birth place
May 28, 1949 Webster, NY
Date of death Place of death
April 6, 1998 Storrs, CT
Known for
"Queen of Shock Rock"
Punk singer

Wendy O. Williams was a Webster native. As a child she studied clarinet at the Community Music School program of the Eastman School of Music. She is best known as a punk band leader whose 1980s stage theatrics while fronting The Plasmatics included blowing up cars, chain-sawing guitars and strutting around in costumes consisting of little more than shaving cream. She often sported a mohawk haircut.

Milwaukee police arrested Williams on January 18, 1981 after she allegedly simulated a sex act in concert. She was charged with simulating sex with a sledgehammer. Charges of battery to an officer and obscene conduct were later dropped. She was also acquitted in April 1981 of an obscenity charge in Cleveland filed for performing covered only with shaving cream and simulating sexual activity. She later wracked up a conviction in a minor 1981 assault case in Chicago.

She reportedly once danced on The Howdy Doody Show at age 7. She dropped out of high school and hitchhiked around the U.S. and Europe, working a string of odd jobs that included dancing in strip clubs and performing in pornographic movies. The Plasmatics formed in 1978 and played at the legendary CBGB's shortly thereafter. They made several TV appearances, including two on Tom Snyder's Tomorrow Show in which they detonated cars in the studio.

Williams, nominated for a Grammy in 1985 in the best female rock vocal category, committed suicide in 1998, at the age of 48.