Wendy O. Williams went to Florida and also to Europe, where she worked as a macrobiotic cook in London and also as a dancer for an Egyptian group.
In 1976, Williams arrived in New York City, where she saw an ad in the Show Business magazine that lay open on the floor of the Port Authority Bus Terminal station. It was a casting call for radical artist and Yale University graduate Rod Swenson’s experimental “Captain Kink’s Theatre”. She replied to the ad and began performing in live sex shows. She later appeared in Gail Palmer’s adult film Candy Goes to Hollywood (1979), credited as Wendy Williams. She was featured as a performer on a parody of The Gong Show shooting ping pong balls across the set from her vagina.
By 1977, Swenson had become Williams’s manager and recruited her to join his newly formed punk rock band, Plasmatics. They made their debut in July 1978 at the Manhattan music club CBGB. The Plasmatics toured the world, although a concert in London was cancelled by the promoters due to safety reasons, causing the press to dub the band “anarchists”. During the shooting of an appearance on SCTV in 1981, studio heads decided they would not air Williams’s performance unless she changed out of a costume that revealed her nipples. Williams refused. The show’s make-up artists found a compromise and painted her breasts black.
Williams first attempted suicide in 1993 by hammering a knife into her chest where it lodged in her sternum. However, she changed her mind and called Rod Swenson to take her to the hospital. She attempted suicide again in 1997 with an overdose of ephedrine.
Williams died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 6, 1998, when she was 48. Swenson, her partner for more than 20 years, returned to their home in the area where they had lived since moving to Connecticut from New York City. He found a package she left for him that contained some noodles he liked, a packet of seeds for growing garden greens, some Oriental massage balm, and sealed letters from her.
“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.”
I am a Brazilian journalist, a Classic Rock and Heavy Metal lover. Music has always been part of my life, helped me through tough moments and was with me to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After college I did a postgraduate degree in digital communication. This has helped me to make the website better and bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG