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Twisted Sister

VOCALS: Dee Snider
DRUMS: A.J. Pero
GUITAR: Jay Jay French
GUITAR: Eddie Ojeda
BASS: Mark Mendoza

Twisted Sister

1984 I Wanna Rock
1984 We're Not Gonna Take It
1985 Leader of the Pack
1985 The Price
1987 Hot Love

Come Out and Play
Be Chrool to Your Scuel
You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll

2 Top 40 Albums


Founded in December 1972 by guitarist Jay Jay French (who as John Segal, legend has it, played in a pre-Kiss band called Rainbow with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley), Twisted Sister was initially a glam rock cover band modeled after the New York Dolls. Their apprenticeship on the local club scene was a slow one, but by late 1975, a somewhat stable lineup had coalesced around French, fellow guitarist and high school buddy Eddie "Fingers" Ojeda, bassist Kenneth Harrison Neil, and drummer Kevin John Grace. A number of different vocalists filed through their ranks, but it was only with the arrival of Dee Snider in early 1976 that the band found a true leader. Snider brought a strong Alice Cooper influence to the band, giving their by then antiquated glam sound a welcome kick in the ass. He also quickly developed into the band's dominant songwriter and, with new drummer Tony Petri in tow, Twisted Sister finally began making a name for themselves in and around the city. A significant growth spurt ensued; Snider wrote a wealth of original material and the band's live performances grew to be a local legend, setting attendance records in many clubs and culminating in a fruitful, May 1978 recording session — which would yield most of the material released 20 years later as the Club Daze album. Their transformation from glam rock into metallic hard rockers was completed later that year with the arrival of ex-Dictators bass player Mark "the Animal" Mendoza. November 1979 saw another studio session, this time at Electric Lady studios with famed Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer. It resulted in their first single "I'll Never Grow up Now!," released on the band's own TSR label in early 1980, with another single, "Bad Boys of Rock 'n' Roll," following that summer. But for all their hard work, by 1981 the band had nothing to show except a growing collection of record company rejection slips. Finally, independent Secret Records decided to take a chance on the group and, after cutting the four-track Ruff Cuts EP (initially released only in Britain), the group flew to England with new drummer A.J. Pero (ex-Cities) to record their first full-length album, Under the Blade, with famed UFO bassist Pete Way producing. Despite obtaining only a mediocre sound (the project was Way's first attempt at production), the album became a surprise underground success and created enough of a buzz to attract giant Atlantic Records, which came calling with a major distribution contract — the final ingredient for Twisted Sister's assault on the charts over the next two years. 1983's You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll laid the groundwork for their success with their more polished production values and strong material, which, despite yielding only one single in the title-track (for which the band filmed their first, incredibly cheesy but already mildly amusing video), garnered instant cred with the metal crowd. Later that year, L.A.'s Quiet Riot topped the charts with their debut Metal Health (the first heavy metal album to do so), and Twisted Sister took advantage of this sympathetic musical climate to unleash their definitive statement, Stay Hungry. Digging deep into his pop and glam roots, Snider added new commercial appeal to the band's hard rock onslaught. And with such monster hits as "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock" (with their hilariously tongue-in-cheek accompanying videos) leading the way to radio and MTV saturation, the album would exceed the multi-platinum barrier. The extensive touring that followed would keep them near the top of the charts for many months to come and would help make the "sick mo-fos" from Long Island a household name in America.
Written by Ed Rivadavia & Greg Prato, AMG All Music Guide.

Moondance Jam 33 Lineup

Moondance Jam 33: The Rock 'N Roll Event of the Summer
July 18 - 20, 2024

CreedSwitchfootFinger ElevenFoghatFoghatThe Sweet

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