Twisted Sister: A Case Study

ejecta

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,117
Saw the doc and respect the work ethic immensely. The ONLY good thing IMHO that came from that situation was that it afforded Jay Jay the ability to bring Sevendust to the world.
 

fetchmybeer

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,798
I watched the doc a few weeks ago. As far as band docs go, it was more of a diehard TS fan type doc. Lots of great old footage, but a lot of mundane stories and stuff that could've been left on the cutting room floor. It was 2 hrs 15 mins and pretty much didn't cover the years where they were actually famous. I enjoyed it, but thought it was not one of the better rockdocs I've seen for the aforementioned reasons. It was interesting how instrumental Zebra was in getting them noticed. There's a band with 10 times the talent that had 1/10th the success of TS.
 

M138

100% Fenriz Approved
Messages
4,327
1. hack band playing hack tunes - check
2. 10 years in the bar band dregs - check
3. a truly offensive scab of a front man - check
4. a revisionist history to sell a few more seconds of their pedestrian, ding dong rawk - check
5. anybody in the band trying to pass their momentary contribution to entertainment as anything more than toilet paper - no way jose
Enough about you, what are your thoughts on Twisted Sister?
 

Paleolith54

Member
Messages
3,448
Mid-'70s thru about '85 or so, it was very possible to make a decent living playing in a cover band.

When I graduated college in '79, I played full time for a while - traveling within about a 2-hour range and working 5 nights/week. we had an 18' truck, full PA and lights and 2 full time roadies, who took care of everything.

We'd get there a little before showtime, tune up, play and then take off at the end of the night. Never touched any gear.

Yeah, and my impression from the documentary was precisely this. They appear to have been able to make a pretty good living being "just" regionally successful.

I was surprised at how business-oriented the guitar player and Dee Snyder were.
 

DustyRhodesJr

Member
Messages
12,117
I watched it as well. I don't think they are anything like Van Halen because VH had Ed and Dave.
TS didn't have a charismatic lead singer, nor did they have a once in a generation guitar wizard.


I agree, but it seems like Dee sure thought he had a lot of charisma.
 

Brooks

Member
Messages
5,732
TS and VH sure worked harder than I ever did at music! I don't know of any original band from my area that gigged every night for years or of a thriving scene that could even accommodate weeklong live music.
Have you guys seen anything like this?

Pantera in the 80's, although a slightly bigger area (all of TX, plus parts of southern OK & western LA). They played 4-6 days a week, started w/ 1 original set between 2 sets of covers. Then Phil joined and they dropped almost all the covers. They did have the advantage of Darrell & Vinnies dad owning a recording studio, which led to 4 self released albums starting when they were teenagers;

METALMAGIC16.jpg

pantera4c.jpg

IAmTheNightFront.JPG

Pantera_Power_Metal.jpg


thats phil 3rd from L who joined ~87, his early vocals sound more like rob halford than his growled style from later major label albums.

much like TS & VH, their early original material was NOT great.
my fave early tune is this one, great VH like pinch harmonic riff w/ Ratt sounding vocals from their 1st singer Terry Glaze (later of Lord Tracy);



PS - as for TS, lead guitar chops nonwithstanding, they were a GREAT live band! killer rhythm section and over the top energy and frontman. i saw them blow ratt off the stage in the mid 80's (again, lead guitar nonwithstanding). i was not a fan until i saw them in concert, if you only know them from videos its not the same.
 
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Profusion

Member
Messages
43
I agree, but it seems like Dee sure thought he had a lot of charisma.
I saw TS several times back in the early 80s at "The Factory" on Staten Island. Snyder was particularly memorable being the only performer I ever recall seeing at that venue who was escorted on and off the stage by his entourage/body guards. Really came off like an a-hole. I was surprised when I started hearing him on Howard Stern.
 

Fatboy666

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,882
I liked the docu. I saw them many times around those years and always enjoyed the shows - they were fun. Dee was abusive at times but A) it was all part of the act, sorry to those that didn't "get" it. and B) He usually went after the "arms folded silently judging" guys. If you were enjoying the show, clapping smiling singing along he wouldn't bother you, it wasn't like he would single you out for no reason. I almost enjoyed the between song banter as much as the music.

Those that said the songs were weak........yeah....I kinda can't argue that. They did have some really good ones back then, but not an album's worth and definitely not two album's worth. They did get better and they were hitting their stride just as they got famous. I think the videos also contributed heavily to their success. Lemmy definitely got their foot in the door, but the Niedermeyer video really did the trick.

Back in the day, they did indeed work 5 or 6 days a week. There were a LOT of live music venues back then and they played all over the Tri State area and TS packed 'em in. They were not lying about the attendance. They had a great show and most of the other bands didn't. The others played great music and had a "look" and had the dance floors jumpin', but they didn't have a "show".
 

stratotastic

Member
Messages
7,239
I hear ya. And there were some great working bands playing bars back then, not the crap that's around these days. I dunno but it seems to me the bands were better back then. It was either deliver the goods or not get booked in the same joint again. People went out every night for live music.
Yeah, you used to have to be somewhat of a musician with some actual talent to be a band. Now the cover scene is full of bedroom hack dad bands who would have never cut it back in the day. Not sure how/why it became this way, but being in a gigging band used to be pretty big deal. Now anybody can do it.
I liked the docu. I saw them many times around those years and always enjoyed the shows - they were fun. Dee was abusive at times but A) it was all part of the act, sorry to those that didn't "get" it. and B) He usually went after the "arms folded silently judging" guys. If you were enjoying the show, clapping smiling singing along he wouldn't bother you, it wasn't like he would single you out for no reason. I almost enjoyed the between song banter as much as the music.
Makes perfect sense. Not surprised at the "he was such an asshole" replies in this thread considering the strong tan pants/arms folded contingent here on TGP.
 
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D4V3?

Member
Messages
560
Mid-'70s thru about '85 or so, it was very possible to make a decent living playing in a cover band.

When I graduated college in '79, I played full time for a while - traveling within about a 2-hour range and working 5 nights/week. we had an 18' truck, full PA and lights and 2 full time roadies, who took care of everything.

We'd get there a little before showtime, tune up, play and then take off at the end of the night. Never touched any gear.

That's similar to my story and timeline.

One big difference between now and then is back then you had way fewer options other than being a cover band. If you wanted to record your own music and release it and try to get radio play, and get it into record stores it was very, very expensive and there were very few if any bands who "made it" without getting signed to a major label. There were no indie labels.
 

JiveTurkey

Trumpets and Tants
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
24,828
Dee Snider has a great voice, imo; and they were awesome live. I don't think they lacked songs as much as they lacked any sort of real musicality to their songs. Power chords is about as deep as their trick bag went. I dig up through Come Out and Play (ignoring the stupid Leader of the Pack and Be Cruel to your School garbage). The doc was a good watch.
 

Marc Roy

Member
Messages
15,180
Dee Snider has a great voice, imo; and they were awesome live. I don't think they lacked songs as much as they lacked any sort of real musicality to their songs. Power chords is about as deep as their trick bag went. I dig up through Come Out and Play (ignoring the stupid Leader of the Pack and Be Cruel to your School garbage). The doc was a good watch.

Totally forgot about "Be Cruel to School". Man, how that one failed to reach the top of the charts, I'll never know...
 

JiveTurkey

Trumpets and Tants
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
24,828
Totally forgot about "Be Cruel to School". Man, how that one failed to reach the top of the charts, I'll never know...
I think the rest of that album is awesome but those two songs were an absolutely terrible move for the band.
 

fetchmybeer

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,798
Pantera in the 80's, although a slightly bigger area (all of TX, plus parts of southern OK & western LA). They played 4-6 days a week, started w/ 1 original set between 2 sets of covers. Then Phil joined and they dropped almost all the covers. They did have the advantage of Darrell & Vinnies dad owning a recording studio, which led to 4 self released albums starting when they were teenagers;

METALMAGIC16.jpg

pantera4c.jpg

IAmTheNightFront.JPG

Pantera_Power_Metal.jpg


thats phil 3rd from L who joined ~87, his early vocals sound more like rob halford than his growled style from later major label albums.

much like TS & VH, their early original material was NOT great.
my fave early tune is this one, great VH like pinch harmonic riff w/ Ratt sounding vocals from their 1st singer Terry Glaze (later of Lord Tracy);



PS - as for TS, lead guitar chops nonwithstanding, they were a GREAT live band! killer rhythm section and over the top energy and frontman. i saw them blow ratt off the stage in the mid 80's (again, lead guitar nonwithstanding). i was not a fan until i saw them in concert, if you only know them from videos its not the same.


Ugh. Good song, actually, but those drum sounds!
 

S1Player

Member
Messages
3,448
Yes. Teens back in the 70s weren't quite as infantilized as they are today. It wasn't uncommon or particularly frowned upon (unless you were her dad) for 15-16 year old girls to be "muses" (i.e., groupies) to 20-something rock stars.

So, are you claiming these relationships were purely platonic? If not, there's illegality of such an arrangement to consider.
 

Marc Roy

Member
Messages
15,180
I think the rest of that album is awesome but those two songs were an absolutely terrible move for the band.

I didn't mind them back then, to be honest. It was basic rock n' roll and there's nothing wrong with that.

A few years ago, Twisted Sister were playing a gig in Toronto and made an appearance on Breakfast Television (morning talk show) that same day. I got a kick out of it. They played a few tunes and even jammed a Christmas song with Dee dressed up in a Santa suit.
 

tabb74

Member
Messages
1,236
I enjoyed watching the documentary, but felt like they did't tell the rest of the story. Such as what it was like after they finally got the record deal, what they all did once it was all over, etc.
 

Lost_Cause

Member
Messages
2,025
Their bit part in Pee Wee's Big Adventure pretending to do a video for "Burn In Hell" is awesome.

Read Dees book and yea, it was not all glory. He has had to eat a bit of crap over the years. I went back and looked at the videos of the performances he talked about in the book and anything before Stay Hungry was not that good. Energy, sure. Songwriting craft was not their strongsuit. They caught lightning in a bottle with I wanna Rock and We're not Gonna take it. Quiet Riot is the perfect analogy.

I saw TS on the shortlived "Love is For Suckers" tour at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee some Friday night in winter. TNT and Great White opened for them. We bought tickets the night of the show and were like 6th row center. Great White was awesome.
 




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