Independent music and film distributor MVD Entertainment Group on Nov. 18 will release on DVD a rare concert by punk queen-turned-heavy metal siren Wendy O. Williams, the outrageous co-founder and lead singer of seminal New York punk band The Plasmatics.
Wendy O. Williams — WOW: Live and Fucking Loud From London! captures Williams and her backup band live at Camden Palace in London in September 1985, at a time when few concerts were preserved on film or videotape. By then, the one-time “Queen of Punk Rock” was in the midst of a booming solo career in which fans hailed her as the “High Priestess of Metal.”
Famous for her onstage theatrics, which included chainsawing guitars and firing shotguns, Williams was on a roll. Her debut solo album, WOW, had been produced by Gene Simmons of Kiss and earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. On her 1985 tour, Williams and her signature backend screams were in top form. The London show features Lemmy and Würzel of Motorhead joining Williams on “Jailbait,” as well as a rare performance of crowd favorite “You’ll Succeed,” which never made it onto any of her albums. The concert was originally broadcast in Europe on Sky TV and was directed by Rod Swenson, with whom Williams had cofounded The Plasmatics.
Williams died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 6, 1998, at the age of 48.