Who doesn’t think that Twisted Sister belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? The line starts squarely behind Twisted Sister front-man Dee Snider. As strange as it may seem, Dee Snider doesn’t think that Twisted Sister is worthy of that level of recognition, even if many of the fans they have accrued over nearly 40 years disagree with him. While they no longer tour, they have remained a constant presence on the radio and music video stations, reaching kids of all eras who identify with their music.
When Snider appeared on the radio show Full Metal Jackie, he was very frank in discussing both his and the band’s place in rock history. Despite Snider, and the band having been an influential voice for many bands that came after them, not just musically, but from the perspective of connecting with their fans and taking a stance against censorship and issues of social responsibility, Snider doesn’t think that he, or the band, measures up. His reasoning isn’t just posturing to downplay their achievements; he sincerely believes that there is a line a band must reach to be considered that level of great, and that they never got there.
“I’ve been realizing it for a while, but again, I am an egomaniac and a narcissist but not to the point where I think, or if people say, if Twisted Sister should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? No, we shouldn’t. They say, ‘What?’ No, we don’t make that mark.”
According to Ultimate Classic Rock, Twisted Sister put out seven studio albums beginning in 1982, with more live records that followed. Stay Hungry, released in 1984, was their biggest commercial success, spawning the hit singles “We’re Not Gonna take It,” and “I Wanna Rock.” While they had other albums and singles that performed well, so far on the radio charts, video charts, and album sales, nothing else they ever did touched that album, something Snider is very aware of when saying they don’t quite make it as an all-time great.
Snider also had a certain level of fame that came from testifying at the PMRC hearings led by Tipper Gore, to explore Satanism, pornography, and violence in music. While Ozzy Osbourne often served as their main whipping boy, Twisted Sister and Motley Crue were held up as examples of what was wrong with music by the council. Snider, along with Frank Zappa and John Denver, appeared at the hearings to testify about the dangers of censorship. Snider was well spoken and intelligent, something the panel was not prepared for when he answered their questions.
Twisted Sister performed their last show together in 2016, and while they have no plans to play together as a band again, anything is possible. Snider is continuing to write music and put out albums, but none have had the commercial appeal of Twisted Sister’s heyday. Snider acknowledged in his interview shared in part at Loudwire that he respects his place in musical history and appreciates the band’s achievements and the influence he has had on younger musicians.