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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

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 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 (opens in new tab), 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. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. 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 was actively involved in Total Rock Radio (opens in new tab), which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.