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Plasmatics: Crawling From The Wreckage

In 2005, Classic Rock told the story of Wendy O. Williams and the Plasmatics, the shock rock band who scared the cops and blew up social convention

Plenty of bands play at being subversive, but the real indicator of how much of a threat any group poses to the Establishment is how the Establishment ultimately reacts to their provocations.

Rod Swenson, impresario for notorious punk/metal band the Plasmatics, received a unequivocal response from the Man one fateful night, in the form of gloved fists, police jackboots and billy clubs: “They beat me to a bloody mass of unconsciousness,” he says.

Formed in 1977, the Plasmatics were the twisted brainchild of two great American originals, both dedicated to the lifelong pursuit of kicking against the pricks. Rod Swenson’s issues with authority started when he was studying fine arts at Yale. “They tried to throw me out. I abandoned painting for conceptual and performance art,” says Swenson. “I believed painting was dead.”


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