What’s The Rockbrat Reading Today ? DEE SNIDER – SHUT UP AND GIVE ME THE MIC

Yes I know this book has been out for about 18 months or so – but I only recently had the chance to read it. I’ve read many rock bios over the years – but none better than this. In fact, it’s much more than a rock bio. It’s a story of one man’s lifelong pursuit of a rock ‘n’ roll dream, to reach the heights of success, and then to have that success taken from him. It’s a story of how he realised that none of it was as important as the love of his family,  above anything and everything else. Snider writes in a way that is honest, humorous, self-deprecating and therefore – very appealing to even non rock fans.  I couldn’t put it down and read it cover to cover in a few short days. As someone very familiar with Snider and Twisted Sister, I could relate to the content – but what makes his story interesting is its far more than the usual cliché bio about sex, drugs and lies (ala Nikki Sixxcheeseburgers). So many bios nowadays lack authenticity and humility. Snider has that in spades. He comes across as very genuine, what you see is what you get. People may forget just how big a force Twisted Sister were in the rock world in 84/85. They were massive, and their two signature hit ‘Were Not Gonna Take It’ and ‘I Wanna Rock’ stood out like dogs balls amongst the shallow pop shtick of 1984 (Wham, Culture Club, Thompson Twins etc). Twisted Sister made the pop charts amongst all this dross – and were a veritable beacon in the night for disaffected teenage rock fans to whom they spoke. Much like the Coop did in 75, with his fist raising rock anthems – Dee Snider was one in your face megalomaniac who was the voice for thousands  of suburban youth. From memory, Mr Rockbrat even had a Dee Snider cloth patch on his denim jacket. Mr Rockbrat also reminded me that in early 1985, instead of participating in a week’s work trial at a local Fire Station, he opted out on day one, purchased a Twisted Sister album and stayed at home listening to it. The die was cast Mr Rockbrat. I also recall that our KISS mate, an aspiring drummer himself, caught one of AJ Pero’s drum sticks at Twisted Sister’s Hordern Pavilion Show in Sydney. Yet  I digress.  As I was saying, in 1985, Snider’s mush was everywhere. He was all over the TV. Bu therein lay the problem. With an outrageous, over the top image – and an oversaturation of the market (certainly in America) – and a follow up album (Come Out And Play), that lacked stomping rock hits ala the aforementioned tunes – By 1986, the downward slide for Twisted Sister was rapid. After such as rapid rise in 84 / 85 Twisted Sister could not deliver a follow up album that would plateau them out and maintain their status as ‘here to stayers’, ala Maiden, Priest etc. Even thrashers like Anthrax, Megadeth etc became stayers. In hindsight, releasing a cover of ’Leader Of The Pack’ was a career ending move. Whilst the band used to play this in the late 70s / early 80s to a receptive fan base in the tri state area and it became a cult favourite, a global audience just didn’t get it. A cover tune showed a band out of ideas. They also should have ditched the makeup and stuck with the denim and leather look. By 87, the good ship Twisted Sister, after having fought the good fight for so long, was swamped by the Bon Jovi’s, Europes, WASPs etc etc.  There are great stories about Snider’s early years, his lifelong love affair with his wife Suzette, Lemmy’s support of TS – and many other great stories. If you are lost for ideas – this book is the idea gift for a Twisted Christmas. 9.5 out of 10. Buy it here       

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