Plasmatics Live! Rod Swenson’s Lost Tapes 1978-81 review

Rare footage of a truly remarkable band

Cover art for Plasmatics Live! Rod Swenson’s Lost Tapes 1978-81

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Plasmatics, and frontwoman Wendy O Williams in particular, were a special band, and this live footage – virtually none of which has been seen before – shows just why.

Because the film had been stored in boxes and forgotten about for so long, the quality here is varied. However, a good job has been done in ensuring it is at least watchable. What we get has energy, power and purpose. When you see this band pummelling through Want You (Baby) at CBGB in 1978 (among their first ever gigs), and bristling with fury on Butcher Baby two years later at a Long Island club, you appreciate why they deserve to be revered.

Shot by Plasmatics manager/ producer Rod Swenson, this DVD does Plasmatics’ legend credit.

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He died in 2021