Wendy Orlean Williams (28 May 1949 – 6 April 1998) was an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Born in Webster, New York, she came to prominence as the lead singer of the punk rock band Plasmatics. Her onstage theatrics included partial nudity, exploding equipment, firing a shotgun, and chainsawing guitars. Dubbed the “Queen of Shock Rock” and the “Metal Priestess”, Williams was considered the most controversial and radical female singer of her time. Performing her own stunts in videos, she often sported a mohawk hairstyle. In 1985, during the height of her popularity as a solo artist, she was nominated for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.
Leaving home at 16, Williams hitchhiked to Colorado, earning money by crocheting string bikinis. She travelled to Florida and Europe landing various jobs such as lifeguard, stripper, macrobiotic cook, and server at Dunkin’ Donuts. After arriving in New York City in 1976, she began performing in live sex shows, and in 1979 appeared in the porno Candy Goes to Hollywood. That year manager Rod Swenson recruited her to the Plasmatics and the two became romantically involved. The band quickly became known on the local underground scene, performing at clubs such as CBGB.
Three albums with Plasmatics later, Williams embarked on a solo career and released her debut album, WOW, in 1984. Albums Kommander of Kaos (1986) and Deffest! and Baddest! (1988) followed, before her retirement from the music industry. Williams made her non-adult screen debut in Tom DeSimone’s film Reform School Girls (1986), for which she recorded the title song. She also appeared in the 1989 comedy Pucker Up and Bark Like a Dog, television series The New Adventures of Beans Baxter, and MacGyver. On 6 April 1998, Williams committed suicide near her home in Storrs, Connecticut by gunshot; she had attempted to kill herself twice in the years leading up to her death, allegedly she had also been struggling with deep depression.
Kommander of Kaos is the second solo studio album released by Wendy O. Williams after her group, the Plasmatics, went on hiatus. The album was recorded in 1984 but not released until 1986. A live version of the Gene Simmons-penned “Ain’t None of Your Business” appears on this album (the song previously appeared on her debut album).
The album has been re-released by several independent labels in recent years (such as Plasmatics Media and Powerage). (by wikipedia)
Although best known as the death-defying leader of the Plasmatics, Wendy O. Williams issued several albums on her own during the 1980s. And while her earlier band was a certified punk outfit, by this stage of her career, Williams was zeroing in on the heavy metal audience — Gene Simmons had produced an earlier album, while the singer was spotted hosting a heavy metal video show on the USA cable channel. So by the time of 1986’s Kommander of Kaos, Williams was knee-deep in metal. Once more, Simmons’ name makes an appearance on a Williams record (not as a producer this time, but as a songwriter — “Ain’t None of Your Business”), while Williams covers Motörhead’s “Jailbait,” and the main riff of the album’s opening “Hey Hey (Live to Rock)” is quite reminiscent of Mötley Crüe’s “Live Wire.” While Kommander of Kaos was probably just as good as just about anything else that theatrical-minded metallists were putting out that year (W.A.S.P., Lizzy Borden, etc.), Williams was much more convincing as a Mohawk-ed punker. (by Greg Prato)
Wes Beech (guitar)
Michael Ray (guitar, background vocals)
Greg Smith (bass, background vocals)
T.C. Tolliver (drums)
Wendy O. Williams (vocals)
01. Hoy Hey (Live To Rock) (Ray/Swenson) 3.47
02. Pedal To The Metal (Ray/Smith/Swenson) 3.29
03. Goin’ Wild (Ray/Swenson) 4.13
04. Ain’t None Of Your Business (live) (Simmons/Carr/Vincent) 5.36
05. Party (Beech/Swenson) 3.38
06. Jailbait (Kilmister/Taylor/Clarke) 3.25
07. Bad Girl (Bunyard/Beech/Swenson) 3.36
08. Fight For The Right (Ray/Swenson) 3.11
09. (Work That Muscle) F*ck That Booty (Ray/Swenson) 3.31
Wendy Orlean Williams (28 May 1949 – 6 April 1998)
Cause of death: Suicide by gunshot
Her suicide note regarding her decision:
I don’t believe that people should take their own lives without deep and thoughtful reflection over a considerable period of time. I do believe strongly, however, that the right to do so is one of the most fundamental rights that anyone in a free society should have. For me, much of the world makes no sense, but my feelings about what I am doing ring loud and clear to an inner ear and a place where there is no self, only calm.