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Published on Nov 7, 2012
The Plasmatics were an American punk metal band formed by Yale University art school graduate Rod Swenson with Wendy O. Williams. The band was a controversial group known for wild live shows that broke countless taboos. In addition to chainsawing guitars, blowing up speaker cabinets and sledgehammering television sets, Williams and the Plasmatics blew up automobiles live on stage. Williams was arrested in Milwaukee by the Milwaukee police before being charged with public indecency.
The Plasmatics' career spanned five studio albums, and multiple EPs. The band was composed of vocalist/front person Wendy O. Williams and various other musicians rotated behind her over time. Aside from Wendy and manager Rod Swenson, Guitarist Wes Beech was the only other permanent member of the group. Guitarist Richie Stotts was a co-founder of the band and a mainstay of the pre-breakup core group (1978--1983). After the breakup of the band following the release of Coup d'Etat, Richie was edited out of band videos and not referred to by name in a 2006 compilation DVD released by Plasmatics Media LLC (via plasmatics.com).