Dee Snider of Twisted Sister talked about his band’s sense of fashion and costumes during an interview with Kerrang! and remembered how he beat up a fan because of his offensive attitude while they were on stage, opening up for Ronnie James Dio.
Twisted Sister is a heavy metal band known for its sense of out-of-the-box clothes, makeup, and hair. Their looks were a controversial subject during the 1980s, mainly because they would wear makeup and put on feminine clothes. They were even defined as ‘glam/hair metal’ because of their looks, but Snider thought it was inappropriate.
Snider talked about his experiences with people’s reactions towards their style in a recent interview and mentioned the time he lost control when they were opening up for Ronnie James Dio because someone in the audience threw a bottle at him.
Snider was asked if they had a hard time because of their looks, and he replied:
“Every fucking night! There virtually wasn’t a night where I wasn’t in a dust-up with somebody in the crowd. When someone would shout something, I would lose it, and get all macho. And I’d be wearing literally negligees and stockings and stuff, and next thing I’m out in the crowd. When you’re in these biker bars and things like that, and you were looking this way, you couldn’t give an inch. You had to show that you were prepared to back the way you looked and your right to look this way. You had to be able to really fight for your position.
For a long time, I didn’t stop doing that, until one night in western Massachusetts. We were opening for Ronnie James Dio, and someone threw a bottle at me. I climbed right over the barricade and beat the shit out of the guy. The next day, I get woken up by my accountant, my manager, my lawyer, my promoter, and my agent, all screaming at me. ‘What are you – crazy? You have money now, you can’t beat people up.’ And I say, ‘What am I supposed to do?’ So they got me this big fucking burly bodyguard who went everywhere with me.
I remember the first time a situation happened. We were in a car, a limousine, we pulled up a light, and this other car, of all the fucking stupid things you could do, goes, ‘Twisted Sister fuckin’ sucks!’ The door opens, the bodyguard gets out of the car, pulls the guy out of the car, beats him up, gets back in the car, and we drive off. And he goes, ‘How’s that, boss?’ I said, ‘It’s kind of like watching somebody else fuck your woman. It looks good, but it doesn’t feel the same.’“
Snider confessed that they did go through many hard times because of how they wanted to look, but his initial reaction to beat up a person would cause trouble following his rise to fame. However, he also didn’t feel happy when they hired a bodyguard to beat people up for him either. Since their formation, the band had been dressing up and putting on face makeup, but they eventually quit their signature looks in 2009.