If you’re shopping for someone who was a rock’n’roll rebel in the late 1970s, vinyl records from the aptly named Plasmatics could be a pleasant surprise (or an unwelcome reminder of misspent youth, depending on how things turned out).
One of the most outrageous bands to emerge from the New York punk scene, the Plasmatics were fronted by Wendy O. Williams, a former stripper and adult film actress. Their legendary concerts typically included nudity (duh), chainsaws and stuff being blown up. In one video that was filmed during a concert, WIlliams paraded across the stage with a lit baton of dynamite that she casually threw into an automobile, sending the hood of the car flying into the air and crashing on the stage, seemingly just inches from the tutu-wearing guitarist. That might have been planned and choreograped, but it sure doesn't look like it. Anyway, you can find some of their albums and EPs, along with merch, at the Plasmatics website starting at about $20.
There are several other musical artifacts where the vinyl medium intersects with the message. Staying in the punk lane, X-Ray Specs was a short-lived British band whose lead singer went by the name of Poly Styrene. For the boomers, there is the Jefferson Airplane's Surrealistic Pillow, which includes the song, "Plastic Fantastic Lover," and the iconic underground Czech band, Plastic People of the Universe, which emerged from the ashes of the Prague Spring. Finding those nuggets, however, may require some digging.
Image courtesy Plasmatics.
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