Sunday, March 7, 2010


To an outsider, the Plasmatics could in all probability be best elucidated as Kiss but with tits. For a brief period, their outlandish behavior earned them some minor mainstream media coverage. To someone more familiar with the group, they represented a magnificent cacophony. Perhaps the greatest thing about the original incarnation of the Plasmatics was the fact that they were masters of artless and uncontrived gimmickry. The band’s image was conceived by ex-porn entrepreneur Rod Swenson and visualized by a squad of total rock n’ roll reprobates. The band is perhaps best defined by their mouthpiece, Wendy O. Williams, who gruffly talks, bellows, barks, and heavy-breathes through some of the finest proto-hardcore our great land has ever heard. Swenson composed all the lyrics of the Plasmatics. This gutter prose involved psychotronic aesthetics consisting of copulation, aggression, and various other superfluous grotesqueries.

Their debut album, “New Hope for the Wretched” is a band captured at their no frills best. There is nothing delicate about this record, which is strangely produced by Jimmy Miller. He is best known for producing the archetypal late 60’s output for the Rolling Stones. Despite the unconcealed spectacle (they were sawing guitars in half and destroying automobiles on stage), there were some bona fide tunes on their first full-length. The tracks hammer on with proto-hardcore locomotion and have stood the test of time.

This audience tape was recorded at the legendary Bookie's Club 970 in Detroit. This was Detroit's first ever punk venue. Homegrown talent such as the Romantics, Sonic Rendezvous Band, Destroy All Monsters, and Wayne Kramer were constantly performing at Bookie's. Virtually every punk touring act from America and the UK would play at Bookie's, thus it made sense that the Plasmatics would rip through this set included here in the fall of '80. The recording quality is pretty good for an audience tape. Download this show and see for yourself!

Track list:

1. Tight Black Pants (incomplete, cuts in)

2. Hitman

3. Monkey Suit

4. Squirm

5. Won't You

6. Test Tube Babies

7. Fast Food Service

8. Sex Junkie

9. Concrete Shoes

10. Living Dead

11. Want You Baby

12. Plasma Jam

13. Want You Baby (Reprise)

14. Sometimes I

15. Headbanger

16. Nothing (slight cut in middle)

17. Corruption

18. Butcher Baby



  1. First off thank you so much for making this available along with all the other great posts I have yet to sample. Secondly, what a fucking outstanding write up that serves as a fitting tribute to such an incredible band. I have taken exception before for the use of the word "gimmick" in describing this band as I felt like it sort of cheapened the incredible originality and artistry of the band. Not even Nostradamus could have seen the perfection that represented the timing of the Plasmatics. Blah blah blah...ignore my thoughts, but thanx again for putting this out there.

  2. I was at this show, I hope it sounds good. : )