Twisted Sister Biography
Twisted Sister was an American heavy metal band originally from Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, and later based in Long Island, New York. Twisted Sister’s most well-known hits include “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock”, which had music videos noted for their sense of slapstick humour. Many of the band’s songs explore themes of parent vs. child conflicts and criticisms of the educational system. Although the band is often considered glam metal for its image, Dee Snider considers the term to be inappropriate. Twisted Sister are also ranked No. 73 in VH1’s 100 greatest artists of hard rock.
In June 1982, Twisted Sister released its first EP, Ruff Cuts, on the Secret Records label, still featuring Tony Petri on the drums. This was followed shortly by the group’s first studio album, Under the Blade, produced by Pete Way of UFO. Despite rather low production quality, the album was an underground hit in the UK, providing the band with sufficient name recognition to open for such metal acts as Motörhead. The album had an overall raw metal sound and included “Tear It Loose”, a very fast speed-metal song featuring a guitar solo by “Fast” Eddie Clarke of Motörhead. Another single, the future hit “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, was planned for release, but Secret Records went out of business before Dee Snider was able to complete the lyrics. “We’re Not Gonna Take It” later became one of its top singles.
After an appearance on the music TV program The Tube, Atlantic Records approached the band and signed it. Atlantic was one of the labels that had turned Twisted Sister down in the Club Days period. The band’s first LP under Atlantic, You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll, produced by Stuart Epps, was released in 1983 and included the UK No. 19 hit “I Am (I’m Me)”.
International fame came for Twisted Sister when the band’s third LP, Stay Hungry hit the stores on May 10, 1984. During the successful tour, a young Metallica supported the band. Stay Hungry sold more than two million copies by the summer of 1985, and went on to sell more than three million in subsequent years. It remains the band’s biggest success.
In November 2001, the reunited Twisted Sister joined fellow New York metal artists Anthrax, Overkill, Sebastian Bach, and Ace Frehley to headline a benefit concert for NYPD and FDNY Widows and Orphans Fund in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. New York Steel raised over $100,000 for the charity, and the reaction to the first Twisted Sister set in 14 years was overwhelming. The demand for more live dates was immediate, and the band took the first steps toward returning to the concert stage.
On March 20, 2015 Twisted Sister announced that A. J. Pero had died by issuing the following press release: “The members of Twisted Sister are profoundly saddened to announce the untimely passing of our brother, AJ Pero. The band, crew and most importantly the family of AJ Pero thank you for your thoughts and prayers at this time.” Shortly thereafter, Adrenaline Mob, who also featured Pero on drums, released a statement revealing that Pero had died while sleeping on the band’s tour bus.
On April 7, 2015, TMZ.com reported that Twisted Sister would embark on its final tour, dubbed “Forty and Fuck It”, in 2016. Mike Portnoy (of The Winery Dogs and Transatlantic and formerly of Dream Theater and Adrenaline Mob) filled in for Pero on drums on this tour.
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