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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Plasmatics were an American punk band formed by Yale University graduate and radical anti-artist Rod Swenson with 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, blowing up speaker cabinets and sledgehammering 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 Zürich and elsewhere.

Williams's and the Plasmatics' career spanned seven albums, several of which were released as Wendy O. Williams solo albums. Williams received a Grammy nomination for one of them as Best Female Rock Vocalist. The band changed almost half its members with each album, and had over 17 different members playing with it over the 10 years that Williams performed. The band's influence can best be felt in many female rock vocalists and with bands that have come out in the last 20 years.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Plasmatics" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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