Debbie

Deborah Ann Harry ~ rocker, actress, songwriter, legend.  Born July 1, 1945.

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Wendy O

Wendy O. Williams  b. May 28, 1949

Flashback January 18, 1981:  Debbie “Dr. Rock” Dalton, my boss at 92 MAD tells me Wendy O. Williams will be calling in for an interview as The Plasmatics are playing later that night in Milwaukee.  We’re playing the one song on New Hope for the Wretched that won’t get us knocked off the air due to obscenity charges. I was a bit intimidated by this woman who blew up cars on stage, smashed TVs, cut stuff in half with a chain saw and frequently wore little more than strategically placed strips of electrical tape.

WOW didn’t disappoint. But off air, Wendy O was one of the sweetest and thoughtful people I’ve met. I must have treated her right because Wendy O invited my friends and me to the show later that night and offered to stay in touch – check in as the tour progressed. I passed on the show (respected punk but never embraced it) but was struck by the juxtaposition of Wendy O’s ball-breaker persona on-stage and her sweetness when off. Guess that’s why I was a little worried for her when learning what happened later that night in Milwaukee. 

Seems Chief Harold Brier and his thugs from the Milwaukee Police Department took issue with Wendy O’s antics on-stage with a sledgehammer.  It got downright ugly when Wendy O and the band were trying to leave The Palms. Long story short – she and her manager spent a couple days in jail. Wendy O’s obscenity charges and beating went to court.  Thankfully, some witnesses had actual photos of the cops beating Wendy O and other band members.  Case dismissed. Charges dropped.  Wendy O’s manager later penned “Pig is a Pig” to honor the hospitality of Milwaukee’s finest.

Wendy O committed suicide in ‘98. A lot of people remember her for a lot of things.

I remember her for a few more.

(Originally posted in January 2010)

Hootnanny 

The Replacements release their sophomore album on April 29, 1983.

It’s The Mats’ second album and, though it has sold less than 100,000 albums, it’s still considered one of their best and most important punk/breakneck puck albums of the era.

According to the liner notes, it was recorded in a “warehouse in some godawful suburb north of Minneapolis …”

Color me impressed.

Ramones – You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

The Ramones release their debut album on April 23, 1976. It blazed the trail for bands like Black Flag, ,The Clash, Green Day and Billie Joe Armstrong.

It’s #33 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In 2012, it’s placed into the Library of Congress for preservation. The Ramones are in the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.