DEE SNIDER Was Glad To See TWISTED SISTER's Early Story Told In 'We Are Twisted F***ing Sister!' Documentary
December 17, 2020
In a new interview with the Philadelphia radio station 93.3 WMMR, TWISTED SISTER singer Dee Snider discussed the band's movie, "We Are Twisted F***ing Sister!". Released in 2014, the film explores the history and legacy of the glam-rock icons, from the band’s early club days to their rise to popularity in the 1980s.
"It was put together right around the time TWISTED was retiring in 2016, and I was really glad that that part of the story is being told," Dee said (hear audio below). "Because people know the part from 1984 — MTV and afterwards — but they didn't know that the band existed for 10 years [before getting signed]! That's an insane amount of time. Who does that? A complete moron does that. Honestly. If someone said, 'Listen, you're gonna make it, but it'll take 10 years,' I'd go, 'I'm gonna try something else.'
"But people who watch it who are fans, they say, 'Wow! It's endeared me to the band more,'" he continued. "[Other] people say, 'Listen, man, I was never a big fan, but I've gotta say: mad respect. Mad respect for you guys.' It's like a 'Rocky' story — rags to riches, fight our way up."
"We Are Twisted F***ing Sister!" is a 134-minute documentary by Andrew Horn. The film recounts the untold story of TWISTED SISTER's beginnings. Once upon a time, they were the GRAND FUNK of glam and the NEW YORK DOLLS of metal. Some considered TWISTED SISTER a joke; others called them the greatest bar band in the world. While the microcosm of punk/new wave was taking over New York City in the mid-'70s and early '80s, TWISTED SISTER was battling its way to the top of a vast — and unique to its time — suburban, cover-band bar scene that surrounded New York City in a 100-mile radius, yet existed in a parallel universe.
The film follows the band from their beginnings as a cross-dressing glam band playing four shows a night, six nights a week in New Jersey bowling alleys and Long Island beach bars, to the suburban mega-clubs of the late '70s and early '80s, to their bust-out appearance on the U.K. rock TV show "The Tube". Through it all, TWISTED stood ready to do or die for the sake of "the show," giving their all to the crowd, and demanding full attention in return. They refused to play the usual bar band role of "human jukebox for drunk and horny teens" — you were going to be entertained, whether you liked it or not.
They regaled their audiences with comedy rants, dragging them on stage for vomit-inducing drinking games, engaging them in fits of disco record smashing and, at their most extreme, whipping them into club-destroying frenzy. The performances were low on style and heavy on the humor and attitude — but behind it all, always smart and full of self-awareness. SPINAL TAP may have been clueless but TWISTED SISTER knew exactly what they were doing!
If you think you know them from their hit songs, the MTV videos and their massive stadium shows, this is the story of how they became that band — full of strange, and often hilarious, twists and turns. It's about rock 'n' roll and the business of rock 'n' roll. It's about perseverance and things blowing up in your face. It's about finding yourself, finding your audience and doing literally anything, however wild, to connect with them. And even though we know how it ends, the roller coaster ride of getting there is what it's all about. A mesmerizing, and wickedly funny story of a 10-year odyssey to overnight success.
Horn, who is known for his films "East Side Story" (named one of the ten best films of the year by Time magazine),"The Nomi Song", "Doomed Love" and "The Big Blue", said of the documentary: "I realized as I was working on the film, that it was really very much a story of how a band becomes a band. They are truly unique in that their overnight success actually took ten years, so you really get to experience everything TWISTED SISTER went through to do it. I have to say, I don't think I've ever experienced any group of musicians as ferocious...or as funny."
Horn died in August 2019 after a battle with cancer. He was 66.