- Oct 5, 2009
- Reaction score
- I live in Buffalo, NY
Under the Blade 1982
You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll 1983
Stay Hungry 1984
Come Out and Play 1985
Love Is for Suckers 1987
Still Hungry 2004
Back in 1983 I was at a nightclub called the Purple Moose Saloon in the Buffalo, NY area to see a local band. The club would play music videos on a big screen TV in between sets of the local bands. On this night I saw a video for a band called Twisted Sister & the tune was named “You Can’t Stop Rock & Roll”. I had seen Twisted Sister’s ‘Under the Blade’ record in the import section at a local record store before but with the make-up & big hair I just kind of laughed it off. This video was cool as hell with the band decked out in jeans, denim vests, & not wearing any of that bizarre make-up I had seen them with on the ‘Under the Blade’ cover. “You Can’t Stop Rock & Roll” was a real hard ass tune & the band looked like nobody you’d ever want to cross. Naturally, I bought the ‘You Can’t Stop R & R’ album shortly after & with songs like the title track, “Like a Knife in the Back”, “Ride to Live, Live to Ride & the anthem sound of “I Am (I’m Me)” I was hooked. This album was balls out kick-ass Rock & Roll at its best & a few months later I was going to see one of the best club shows I’ve ever seen. On October 22, 1983 a friend & were cruising around Western New York trying to decide where to hang out that night. As we were heading down Seneca Street we seen a marquee over a club called the Skyroom which read “Tonight: Twisted Sister w/ Queensryche” & at that moment we knew where were going to be that evening. I had never heard of Queensryche but their set was great as they basically played their debut EP leaving songs such as “The Lady wore Black” & “Queen of the Reich” etched in my brain. I never thought Twisted Sister would be able to compare to Queensryche that night but was I ever wrong. I was also totally wrong when I blew off Twisted Sister months earlier for their bizarre make-up & costumes as these things only added to their kick-ass in your face Rock & Roll show. Just before Dee & the boys hit the stage bright hot pink chain link fences were put up in front of the amplifiers for decoration. Twisted Sister opened with arguably one of the best opening tunes of all 80’s hair & metal bands, ”What You Don’t Know Sure Can Hurt You”. I had never heard the song or anything from their debut album but just hearing Dee scream out “GOOD EVENING!!!!!! Welcome to our show…” & then the power & raw energy of the band just led me to scream & throw my fist in the air. I guess it was a good thing that I did scream & throw my fist in the air because as the show continued Dee was constantly yelling at everyone scream & go crazy & if the person next to you was just standing being quiet then you were to kick his ass! That night I found out what the term SMF stood for as Dee was calling us all a bunch of “Sick Mother (BLEEEPS)”.They played a bunch of tunes from their ‘You Can’t Stop Rock & Roll’ & the songs I didn’t know at the time such as “Under the Blade”, ”Destroyer”, ”Tear it Loose”, & “Bad Boys of Rock & Roll” all left quite an impact on me but the song that really stood out for me was their cover of the Rolling Stones “It’s Only Rock & Roll”. If you have the ‘Big Hits & Nasty Cuts’ album an early 10 minute live version of the Stones cover is on there which brings all the chaos & energy that I witnessed back in’83. The one thing that stood out during the tune when I seen them was that as Dee was getting the crowd almost in a riot state someone threw a beer bottle at Snyder’s head which he batted down out of the air. Dee immediately starts yelling at everyone to kick the guy’s ass which I was able to see plenty of fists flying in the air. It’s pretty wild to think of the impact that show left on me as I still remember the show pretty clear even though I was not really familiar with either band at the time.
I remained a fan of Twisted Sister although in my opinion nothing they released could compare to their first 2 albums. ‘Stay Hungry’ was a decent album & they did break the mainstream with it. Songs like “Stay Hungry”, “Don’t Let Me Down”, SMF”, & “The Beast” are right on track with those first 2 albums. I even liked ‘Come Out & Play’ especially “Be Chrool to Your Scuel” which helped resurrect Alice Cooper’s career & also the Warriors influenced title track. It seemed like they were trying too hard on the album to hit more mainstream which seemed to bring their career to a halt. I bought the cassette of ‘Love is for Suckers’ but rarely listened to it & nothing really stood out for me on it. I used to have the ‘Come Out & Play’ video cassette which featured all of the band’s video hits & I ended up wearing the tape out from constantly fast forwarding to the MTV banned “Be Chrool to Your Scuel” video w/ Alice Cooper. Fortunately in 2007 they released ‘Twisted Sister: the Video Years’ on DVD. It’s a phenomenal DVD featuring all of their promotional videos & a live video of “It’s Only R & R” that features Lemmy & Robbo from Motorhead jamming with them. The DVD also features ‘Twisted Live’ which is a concert film from the ‘Stay Hungry Tour’ that aired on MTV.
Any thoughts on Twisted Sister???