- Blackie Lawless (1982-present) – lead vocals, guitar (played bass, drums and keyboards in various albums)
- Doug Blair (1992, 2001, 2006-present) – lead guitar, back vocals
- Mike Duda (1997-present) – bass, back vocals
- Mike Dupke (2006-present) – drums
- W.A.S.P. (1984)
- The Last Command (1985)
- Inside The Electric Circus (1986)
- The Headless Children (1989)
- The Crimson Idol (1992)
- First Blood Last Cuts (1994)
- Still Not Black Enough (1995)
- Kill. F**k. Die (1997)
- Helldorado (1999)
- The Best of the Best: 1984-2000, Vol. 1 (2000)
- Unholy Terror (2001)
- Dying For The World (2002)
- The Neon God: Part 1 – The Rise (2004)
- The Neon God: Part 2 – The Demise (2004)
- Dominator (2007)
- Babylon (2009)
- Live…In The Raw (1987)
- Live…Animal – EP (1987)
- Double Live Assassins (1998)
- The Sting (2000)
W.A.S.P. is an American heavy metal band formed in the L.A. rock scene in 1982. Their popularity peaked in the 1980’s, but they continue to record and perform today. W.A.S.P. gained attention of fans for their shock rock image, performances, and lyrics. The band was a prime target for the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center.) The band targeted the PMRC with the song “Harder, Faster” on the 1987 album “Live: In The Raw.” Although the band continues on today, the lead singer Blackie Lawless is the only original member.
Since the name W.A.S.P. is written as an acronym, people have always wondered what it stands for, if anything. There have been multiple stories that have been told or rumored. Once Blackie Lawless said they him and his buddies were walking home from school and saw a wasp’s nest and decided to call the band that. Then they decided to add a period between each letter to make the name stand out. Its also been said that the name stands for We Are Satan’s People, We Are Satan’s Preachers, We Are Sex Perverts and many more. Most people think it stands for We Are Sex Perverts because it was inscribed in their first album. Once when asked what it means, Blackie Lawless said “We Ain’t Sure, Pal.”
W.A.S.P. originally started as Blackie Lawless, Rik Fox, Randy Piper, and Tony Richards. The band rose to fame for its often sexual and shock rock themed shows and lyrics. Lawless was known to tie half-naked women models to the ‘torture rack’ and toss raw meat into the crowd.
The first lineup didn’t last long as Rik Fox left the band to pursue a career with Steeler, he was then replaced with Dan Costa.
W.A.S.P. signed with their debut album ‘W..A.S.P.’ which was released August 17, 1984. The album was originally going to be called ‘Winged Assassins’ but that was forgotten. Their first single ‘Animal (F**k Like A Beast)’ was left off the album so it wouldn’t be banned from most major chain-stores across the US. ‘L.O.V.E. Machine’ and ‘I Wanna Be Somebody’ helped the album sell good, and set the band up for ‘Blind In Texas’ written by Blackie Lawless. That song was released on their next album ‘The Last Command’ and is still the one of W.A.S.P.’s most known songs. The Last Command was also the bands highest charting albums, peaking #47 on the Billboard album chart. The Last Command was the first album with Steve Riley on drums.
With those changes made, W.A.S.P. set out to record their new album ‘Inside The Electric Circus..’ The album was a big hit with W.A.S.P. fans, but critics said it was like 7th grade rock. Songs like ‘Shoot From The Hip’ and ‘9.5. – N.A.S.T.Y.’ helped the band with the reputation to match one of the infamous band names ‘We Are Sex Perverts.’ W.A.S.P. soon became a prominent target of the PMRC, an organization lead by Tipper Gore and dedicated to opposing songs with violent and sexual lyrics. This lowered
t he bands reputation so much that concert halls started getting bomb threats and band members started getting written death threats. Blackie Lawless was shot at twice but never hit. The publicity all this generated increased album sales.
Lawless sued the PMRC for copyright infringements and won the case.
W.A.S.P.’s fifth album ‘The Headless Children’ was the first album without overly
sexual explicit lyrics. It is also the first one that sold rather poorly, now according to Lawless, it the highest selling album to date. This album featured two of the bands biggest songs, the power ballad ‘Forever Free’ and the cover of the Who’s ‘The Real Me.’
Blackie started working on a solo project but due to pressure from the fans and critics he released it as a W.A.S.P. album. The critics viewed this as W.A.S.P.’s best album put out so far.
The next album ‘Still Not Black Enough’ a collection or dark lyrics that extended the Crimson Idol mythology. In 1997 W.A.S.P.. released an album called ‘Kill. F**k. Die.’ and ‘Helldorado’ in 1999. They also recorded two live albums on these two tours ‘Double Live Assassins’ and ‘The Sting.’ The CD and DVD from the Sting were taken from an experimental webcast and due to poor sound and video quality, Blackie Lawless was angered due to
The band continued with ‘Unholy Terror’ in 2001 and ‘Dying For The World’ in 2002, which ‘Dying For The World’ was inspired by the 9/11 Trade Tower attacks.
A new album ‘Dominator’ was released in April 2007. Originally due out in October 2006, the band recorded two new tracks and dropped two cover tracks. W.A.S.P. recently cancelled their North American tour because their record label lost distribution. They were going to finish up their shows in Europe and then reschedule their shows in the United States. They were unable to finish the shows in
Europe because of a “family illness that needed immediate attention” which forced the band to return to Los Angeles immediately.
They were supposed to perform at Rocklahoma but couldn’t due to the tour cancellation and were replaced by Queensryche.
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