When I saw this book for $1.99 at a clearance sale at a closing bookstore in Tuscola, I just had to pick it up. Dee Snider has definitely been a hero of mine and Twisted Sister is one of my favorite traditional heavy metal acts. I have their albums “Under the Blade,” “You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and “Stay Hungry” and they’re all great. And just as a side not, VH1 and MTV have it all wrong as they do about most heavy metal acts; Twisted Sister is NOT simply a one-hit wonder and they are NOT a glam metal band. They are the ones, in fact, that inspired glam metal to be established as a genre, because they were there when acts such as Motley Crue, Dokken, Skid Row, Slaughter, Cinderella and all the others were in their infancy, and those bands looked up to them.
In this first autobiography Dee Snider tells the story of his humble beginnings in a somewhat conservative Christian family with an overbearing father, and his blossoming dream of becoming a rock singer and making it big. We are taken through all the mundane, tough and dirty jobs he had to take to support himself on the road to success to make his dream come true.
Dee relates how Twisted Sister started out as a ’70s glitter-rock band in the vein of David Bowie, Queen, Slade, and the Sweet before and during his joining as the new lead singer, and then, over time, they became heavier and used the influences of Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and the bands of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) movement to define their sound.
He tells of the struggle of the band to become big and to just make it in general; all the infighting and hell they had to go through to get to the level that they did. We are also told of his undying love for his wife Suzette and his children and how they stuck together when times got tough.
We are taken through the ridiculous PMRC hearings, and their conservative assault on musical freedom, and how Dee Snider stood up for what he believed in and schooled the old bats about just what First Amendment freedom was. And we are taken to the downfall of Twisted Sister, not due to necessarily any fault of their own, but because of greedy, nasty record execs that wanted to ruin their image and drag them through the dirt.
The whole story is told here and is a great narrative. I highly recommend it to any heavy metal/Twisted Sister fan. It is a must-read!
I give “Shut Up and Give Me the Mic: A Twisted Memoir” by Dee Snider a 5 out of 5.