Continuing our special series on "roots," today we take a look at the beginnings of Twisted Sister.
This glam quintet started in New York City unlike many of their Sunset Strip counterparts. The boys in Twisted Sister didn't really get famous until Stay Hungry hit stores in 1984. The album enjoyed strong sales, thanks in large part to over-the-top videos for "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock."
Back in 1973, guitarist Jay Jay French formed the band Silverstar, which later became the basis of Twisted Sister. This line-up included:
Michael O'Neill - vocals
Billy Stiger - guitars
Jay Jay French - guitars
Kenny Neill - bass
Mell Anderson - drums
Years later, he teamed up with singer Dee Snider, Eddie Ojeda (guitars), Mark Mendoza (bassist) and A.J. Pero (drums).
There's so much more to Twisted Sister besides Dee's huge pink stage costume. When the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) threatened to censor rock artists for their "depraved behavior," Snider headed to Capitol Hill and argued the case of famous musicians right before the Senate.
Before Stay Hungry, Twisted Sister released Ruff Cuts (EP) and the magnificent Under the Blade. A few years later, the band's popularity waned and Snider left for other projects.
Fast forward to 2001 and a reunited Twisted Sister. A few months ago the glam boys released Twisted Christmas, which turned out to be a surprise hit.
Over the weekend, I learned of a new Twisted Sister DVD compilation. Rhino records plans to release Twisted Sister: The Video Years including "We're Not Gonna Take It," "Can't Stop Rock n' Roll," "I Wanna Rock," "Be Chrool to Your Scuel," and even live performances from a 1984 concert in support of Stay Hungry. A May 22 release date is planned.
Last night I was flipping channels and happened to catch Dee Snider walking around on MTV Cribs. Let me just say, glam rock has been very kind to dear old Dee. His seemingly normal family enjoy a rock star lifestyle in a mansion, complete with about nine cars and a fleet of motorcycles.
Ah, the kids are back.