Pandemonium Merchandising LLC, with sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, will be bringing the DVD release of Plasmatics: Live! — Rod Swenson's Lost Tapes 1978-81 to the home entertainment marketplace on Friday, May 19.
Wendy O. Williams was an out-of-control punk rocker of the first order. Her life as a teen and young woman was something out of Midnight Cowboy, but when punk rock became a thing, she was in the vanguard with her group, Plasmatics.
Meanwhile, Rod Swenson was the polar opposite, well-educated Yale graduate who gravitated to the “underground” music scene of the Big Apple during the same period — it was like Titanic and the iceberg, predestined paths to cross.
They were lovers and friends and he managed her career … Williams was always on the verge of self-destruction. That would come on Apr. 6, 1998 when she blew her brains out behind their home in the Connecticut woods … 20 years together with Swenson and yet she never found peace.
But, between 1978 and 1981 Rod Swenson managed her career as the lead singer of the Plasmatics and three albums were produced before she went solo. During that period he recorded videos of her performances at various venues and that is what is presented here … a literal treasure trove of Wendy O./Plasmatics live concert performances (which were always an adventure).
There are 16 concert videos from this period that have been restored for this release. Nine of these are songs from the Plasmatics’ 1980 debut album, “New Hope for the Wretched” — “Want You (Baby)” (recorded on July 26, 1978); “Tight Black Pants” (June 9, 1979); “Dream Lover,” “Sometimes I Feel It,” “Squirm” and “Butcher Bay,” all record on May 17, 1980; “Monkey Suit” (June 18, 1980); “Living Dead” (May 15, 1981) and “Squirm” (another rendition recorded on Sept. 22, 1981).
From the 1981 album, “Beyond the Valley of 1984,” we have “Summer Nite“ and “Fast Food Service” (recorded live on May 15, 1981); “Nothing” and a second rendition of “Summer Nite” (both recorded on June 19, 1981) and Sex Junkie” (Sept. 22, 1981).
Lastly, this priceless collection is rounded out with two selections from the October of 1981 album, “Metal Priestess” — “Lunacy” and “Black Leather Monster,” both recorded live on Sept. 22, 1981.