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The Plasmatics were an American punk band, formed by Yale University graduate and radical anti-artist Rod Swenson, around the late Wendy O. Williams. The band was a controversial group known for wild live shows that broke countless taboos as part of an assault on American popular culture.
In addition to chainsawing guitars onstage, blowing up speaker cabinets and sledghammering television sets, Williams and the Plasmatics blew up automobiles live on stage. Williams was arrested multiple times and was seriously beaten in Milwaukee by the Milwaukee police before being charged with public indecency. The group was banned in London where they were labeled as anarchists, and riots followed in ZÃ¼rich and elsewhere.
Williams's and the Plasmatics' career spanned seven albums, several of which were released as Wendy O. Williams solo albums. She received a Grammy nomination for one of them as Best Female Rock Vocalist. The influence of the group's innovative mix of punk rock and heavy metal pioneered the music genre known as crossover punk. The band's influence can best be felt on many female rock vocalists and bands that have came out in the las...