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W.A.S.P.

One of the heavier bands to come out of the early-'80s L.A. metal scene, W.A.S.P. quickly rose to national infamy thanks to their shock rock image, lyrics, and live concerts. Unfortunately, once the novelty and scandal began to wear off, the band found it difficult to expand, or even maintain, their audience by relying only on their music.

Leader Blackie Lawless (bass/vocals) was already a rock & roll veteran when he relocated to the West Coast and founded W.A.S.P. with guitarists Chris Holmes and Randy Piper and drummer Tony Richards. The band soon established a reputation as a ferocious live act, thanks in large part to Lawless' habits of tying a semi-naked model to a torture rack and throwing raw meat into the audience. And with the release of their self-explanatory independent EP, Animal (F**k Like a Beast), W.A.S.P. became impossible to ignore.

They signed to Capitol Records, and with songs like "I Wanna Be Somebody" (an absolute anthem to blind ambition) and "L.O.V.E. Machine" leading the way, their self-titled 1984 debut was an instant success. W.A.S.P. took their horror show on the road, and their momentum continued to build with the following year's The Last Command, which featured new drummer Steven Riley and the band's biggest hit, "Blind in Texas." Later that year, the band gained even more prominence as one of the biggest targets of Tipper Gore and the P.M.R.C. (Parents' Music Resource Center), a group of Washington housewives leading a crusade against violent, sexist song lyrics. Though the incident (which included Senate hearings on the issue with guest speakers as disparate as Frank Zappa, John Denver, and Dee Snider from Twisted Sister) would cause more publicity than actual results, it served to make W.A.S.P. a household name -- for good and for worse.

Ironically, the band toned down their act for 1986's Inside the Electric Circus, a lackluster, repetitive album which saw Lawless switch to guitar (replacing the departed Piper) and the hiring of bassist Johnny Rod. The blood and guts were largely gone (as were the good songs), and despite releasing a strong live album entitled Live...In the Raw the following year, the band's popularity began to plummet. The all-time low arrived with the release of Penelope Spheeris' heavy metal "rockumentary" The Decline of Western Civilization 2: The Metal Years. An expose about the L.A. metal scene, the film's most dramatic and depressing sequence showed an inebriated Chris Holmes drinking himself into a stupor in full stage gear while lying on a float in his mom's swimming pool. In a movie filled with debauchery and decadence, this scene was by far the scariest.

1989's Headless Children (featuring ex-Quiet Riot sticksman Frankie Banali) was a return to form, but it couldn't revert the band's slump and W.A.S.P. disbanded soon after. Lawless eventually returned as a one-man show for 1993's The Crimson Idol, an ambitious rock opera/concept album billed as Blackie Lawless & W.A.S.P. Resurrecting the band's old shock rock antics, but alas, not fame and fortune, the album flopped, and the following year's greatest-hits set, First Blood...Last Cuts, seemed like their last chapter.

But the resilient Lawless returned once again, luring guitarist Chris Holmes back into the fold and recruiting bassist Mike Duda and drummer Stet Howland for 1996's Still Not Black Enough. This lineup has continued to tour and record for a number of independent labels, with their albums including 1997's K.F.D., 1999's Helldorado, and 2001's Unholy Terror. The band released Dying for the World in 2002, an exceptional collection of unusually serious material inspired by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It was followed in 2004 by the conceptual Neon God, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2, with Dominator arriving in 2006. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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WAAAAAAAAAAA A A A A S P . AWWWWWW. THERE ARE AWWWWWWWWEEE E E E S S S O O O O O O O O O O M M M M E E E E . BLACKIE BLACKIE BLACKIE BLACKIE BLACKIE BLACKIE BLACKIE BLACKIE BLACKIE BLACKIE BLACKIE BLACKIE. FLUUFY HAIR. 80S. SO FLUFF FLUFF. BIG FAN ON BLACKIE BLACKIE. SO AWESOME
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God I'm stoned. ..W A S P that's the self titled first wasp record. Get that music now
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MISSING THE BEST RECORD W A A P
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Harder Faster another great from the W.A.S.P. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Hellion, , great tune,, a true Classic W.A.S.P. tune... ROCK ON EVERYONE
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W. A. S. P yes we are
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The Idol, acoustic version great tune.. ROCK ON EVERYONE and Happy Easter
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maferraro0
hallowed ground one of the greatest songs ever yo,, WASP rocks
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Saturday Night Cockfight, ,, this one's 4 u kk my friend. ..lol. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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You can suck me suck me eat me raw!!!!kille r ! ! ! k r a n k dat b**ch!!!
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I'm glad the drummer from twisted sister died and I love Chris Holmes.
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Chris Holmes is a really good lead guitarist. For me he defines metal by his raw sound.
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My song...
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First band I ever saw. 8th grade,1984 opening for kiss on animalize tour Marquette, mi. I've never been the same.
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jamieb12871
They were possibly (technically ) my 1st...:Metal Show(shock? never saw them as shock, because shock usually means antics over abilities, & that wasn't them);-
I went 4 MAIDEN (IRON THAT IS) & THEY WERE THE OPENING BAND(I don't think there was another(3rd) o p e n e r - unless it was Metal Church (unusually high # of shirts 4 a "lesser"band @ the time)
So I claim MAIDEN #1 BUT BLACKIE DID GO ON 1ST(technica l l y ) . . I believe it was either Nov.'84 or Jan.'85{POWE R S L A V E / L A S T COMMAND}…BUT I DIGRESS ...1ST CO
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jamieb12871
SO FOR ONCE WE'RE ALL IN AGREEMENT ...W.A.S.P. F#$%IN' ROXKS
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Come to Alamo, Texas too.
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I hope W.A.S.P. tours the USA again & comes back to San Diego
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sex drive
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the hellion
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ball crusher
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the tiatanic overture
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blind in alamo texas. I prefer beverly hills california.
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Wild Child is cool
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Wild Child, Killer W.A.S.P, ,, luv these guys . This ones 4 u johnheater75 get better my friend. .ROCK ON EVERYONE
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f**k like a beast
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Sleeping (in the fire) wat a great f**kin song. Johnheater75 this one's 4 u my best friend. ....ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Best album isn't even on here. Oy. W.a.s.p.
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Scream til u Like It ... Gotta luv this tune.... ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Sleeping great song . Luv the lead in this tune. They r great in concert they just don't have bands like this anymore. But the band's that r still around from the 80s my god Priest for example f**kin awesome need say no more. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Wild child is a kick a** song!"
Rock on my peeps!
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I got to see w.a.s.p when they opened for kiss in the early 80s they kicked a** then still sound awesome
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Rock on !!!the last command was a great album.electr i c circus was awsome.
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Luv W.A.S.P. I Wanna Be Somebody has a great video. Good song. Hard 2 believe that along time ago Lita Ford dated this dude. He's ugly as hell but they do rock.. ROCK ON EVERYONE and Happy New Year...
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W.A.S.P. Still rocks!!
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Saturday night its all right for fighting get a little action in!!
Saturday!!sa t u r d a y ! ! !
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I was blind in Texas once when I was a wild child, when I could f**k like a best, I always wanted to be somebody...
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F that wuss who wrote s**t about the pool scene. That is more metal than metal F**k shine. That scene is the movie F**k nut w.a.s.p!
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F**k you chumps five finger death punch I'd the s**t p**sy a** b**ches
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Who came here for Jeremy Spencer from FFDP?
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Gotta love blackie he awsome!!
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there is no band like w.a.s.p.-aro u n d now-and that's too bad...
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They still kick a**!!! Today's bands have nothing on what was going on in the 80's and early 90's !!! \m/
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Love this s**t man, can so relate to this. \m/
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Hey pandora you should play the last command cd it fucken rocks;-);-)o h h yeah and harder faster;-);-) t h a x s .
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Suck me suck me eat me raw this is harder faster !!!!!
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Wasp rocks!!
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They should have kept Randy. He's got a much better voice than Blackie.
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Bye...bye bye...ballcr u s h e r . . . . a w s o m e . . . . . . .
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My favorite band of all time. They put on a hell of a show too. I have listened to them for thirty years now
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