Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Great Tradition

Somewhere out there adrift in inter-space is a photo of Wendy O. Williams and The Plasmatics, snapped by Tulk, that ran with a piece of mine in the long defunct "Los Angeles Herald Examiner" circa 1983. So T. can testfy that I have a fairly long history of being fascinated by this sort of thing -- shock bands formed by art school "performance artists" pretending to be low lifes. Never serious enough to be a pleasure I truly felt guilty about, but still. In the photo below, Die Antwoord's Yo-Landi Vi$$er looks so much like Wendy it's a bit eerie. Like a still from a reincarnation horror movie set in the music world. Or a parody thereof, a la Brian De Palma's long-forgotten Phantom of the Paradise.)

UPDATE: Surfing around looking for video footage of The Plasmatics, I was reminded just how anyone-can-do-this God awful they truly were. So the comparison above turns out to be grossly unfair to Ms. Vi$$er, who is a much more focused and charismatic presence. Less room for discomfort here, certainly, wondering if this performer is on the joke.


Tulkinghorn said...

My one professional credit: the late Ms. Williams in performance at CBGB about 1983.....

I probably still have the negatives someplace.

I used the money to buy a bunch of Beatles LPs at Tower Records -- thereby partaking in about three or four obsolete enterprises at once...

David Chute said...

A photo you would not be allowed to take today as a patron walking in off the street.

Tulkinghorn said...


No film cameras. No negatives; no tri-x.

No vinyl Beatles.

No Tower Records.

No Herald-Ex (although the pictures were published in the Phoenix, so they must have been taken around 1980 or so).

No Wendy O. Williams -- dead of self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

No leaving the house after 8:00.

I could go on,,,,

David Chute said...

Are you sure it was the Phoenix? That's what I recalled, but I changed it when you gave a later date, taking it as read your memory is better. I left the Phoenix early '81.