Saturday, September 18, 2004

I don't have to dream alone.

My latest horoscope via the awesome Free Will Astrology:

Young rock bands often do cover tunes, copies of songs originally performed by well-known musicians they admire. Art teachers sometimes give their students the assignment of reproducing the great paintings of the old masters. To take maximum advantage of the current astrological influences, I suggest you use this strategy in your own unique way, Cancerian. Pick a hero, either dead or alive, either famous or unsung, whose approach to life you admire. Find out as much as you can about that person, and then engage in a flurry of imitation. Dress, talk, think, and dream like your hero. In every situation you're in, ask yourself what he or she would do. Have imaginary conversations, fantasize abundantly, and move through your days and nights as if you are that person.

Today I choose Wendy O. Williams.

I remember perusing my father's seemingly infinite record collection as a child and stumbling on not one but two Plasmatics albums. At the time, I'm not sure what perplexed me more: the fact that this band existed at all or the fact that, should this band actually exist as it appeared to, my father would own two of its albums. Then again, the late '70s and early '80s were heady times for my dad and his friends, whom he often entertained while I was supposed to be asleep in the back bedroom.

Anyhow, a few years after finding the albums, I remember reading about Wendy O. Williams and crew and knew instantly that I felt then what I feel now about most seminal art-punk-metal outfits: I'm glad that bands like this exist, but I'm not particularly interested in listening to them.

Still, getting arrested multiple times on obscenity charges and regularly attacking guitars with chainsaws while wearing nothing but black electrical tape over your nipples and leather bikini bottoms is pretty fucking badass.

In the mid-1990s, I was hanging out with Syd Straw at an Iris DeMent show and she introduced me to the Plasmatics' bass player Richie Stotts, who was in Bloomington working on, I believe, a master's degree in geology at IU. I was drunk and probably said stupid things to him about my dad's record collection, but later that night I felt pretty fucking cool for having met the giant former blue-mohawked guy from the album covers.

So, yeah, Wendy O. Williams was hardcore and today I feel fucking hardcore. But, luckily for everyone, I have no plans to head out sans shirt. Rather, I'll just keep my tape-obscured nipples at home and scream profanities at anyone who calls me and maybe set fire to all the laundry I don't want to do. And dye my hair. And drink a lot and get really high.

Just remind me not to off myself when the adrenaline wears off.

  • The Plasmatics "Dream Lover" (Bobby Darin cover)
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