Like acronyms? Well, here you go.
W.A.S.P.: Can stand for anything you like (most opt for "White Anglo-Saxon Protestants" but there are other possibilities - "We Are Sexual Prophets"; "We Are So Perfect"; "We Are So Powerful; "We All Smoke Pot"; "We Are Satan's People"; and the obvious correct answer, "We Appreciate Stinky Pussy"). Asked once too often about the band's name, frontman Blackie Lawless simply stated, "it's a bug."
L.A.: A mythical place of sun and surf that is actually a paved desert - with palm trees.
PMRC: A group led by Tipper Gore in a vain attempt to wrest the 'family values' mantel from the Republicans and get her husband elected president.
Guns N' Roses was a train wreck. And so was W.A.S.P. But there was a significant difference. When GN'R was coherent they produced some great music and sold millions of albums. W.A.S.P had a shorter run of relevance. That's surprising considering they had the chance to become public enemy #1.
The L.A. based W.A.S.P., formed in '82, were contemporaries of Van Halen, Motley Crue, Ratt, Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot and GN'R. Over their career, they sold 12 million albums. But Van Halen and GN'R did that with a single album.
W.A.S.P.'s debut single was "Animal (F*ck Like A Beast)" but it was another track, "I Wanna Be Somebody" that was the most popular song from the shock Rock group's self-titled '84 debut album. The song was ranked at #84 in VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs of All Time.
W.A.S.P.'s fifth album, "The Crimson Idol," was regarded as their high water mark. And that would just about cover it, if it weren't for a peculiar occurrence.
W.A.S.P. was flying well under the radar when they attracted the attention of the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), an organization headed by Tipper Gore (the wife of Tennessee Senator Al, the future VP and presidential candidate - '00 election).
The PMRC pushed for warning labels on albums with violent or overtly sexual lyrics and, not surprisingly, they identified W.A.S.P.'s "Harder, Faster," from their '87 album "Live... In The Raw," as a prime target. The lyrics included the line "Suck me, suck me, eat me raw."
W.A.S.P. were Rock rebels! What great PR!
But in the end, it all came to nothing. W.A.S.P. couldn't take their Hair Metal raunch and debauch to the next level.
Guitarist Chris Holmes left the band in '89, stating that he wanted to "have fun, you know." Yeah, sure. Who doesn't want to have fun?
Lawless then let loose with a caustic remark (always an appropriate response, no matter the circumstance) stating "some guys want to stay at home and wear aprons," basically slamming Holmes' relationship with his new wife Lita Ford (of The Runaways and a solo career fame).
The group disbanded shortly thereafter with Lawless embarking on a short-lived solo career. But once again, fate intervened.
Lawless was working on his album when he bowed to pressure from promoters, fans and management to turn it into a W.A.S.P. effort. '92's "The Crimson Idol" was the result. "Still Not Black Enough" arrived three years later.
Holmes returned for "Kill.Fuck.Die," a '97 release, and "Helldorado." But by the time of the latter's release in '99 it was obvious that W.A.S.P. had gone well past its expiration date. But that fact has only stopped a few groups. And W.A.S.P. wasn't one of them.
They released "Golgotha," in '15, their fifteenth album (yeah, that's right) was their first studio effort in six years. Golgotha, where Christ was crucified, is Hebrew for 'the skull'.
1985 The Last Command
1986 Inside The Electric Circus
1989 The Headless Children
1992 The Crimson Idol
1995 Still Not Black Enough
2001 Unholy Terror
2002 Dying For The World
2004 The Neon God: Part 1 - The Rise/The Neon God: Part 2 - The Demise