QUEENSRŸCHE's Todd La Torre has publicly disagreed with TWISTED SISTER's Dee Snider on the issue of what makes great "frontmen" in rock.
Snider ignited the debate late last month on Twitter, after a fan's reply to a tweet that praised Ronnie James Dio as the second-greatest frontman in rock following Freddie Mercury.
"You are confusing singing with performing. There is a huge difference between a great frontman & a great singer," Snider wrote in response to the fan. "Ronnie was one of the greatest singers of all time, but as a frontman, he pretty much just stood on stage & sang. Freddie was an amazing singer AND frontman."
Snider expressed similar sentiments about Plant, saying: "I'm a HUGE Plant fan vocally…but he showed me nothing as a performer. Looked amazing, great hair…stood on stage with one hand raised and sang his ass off. Not a frontman in my opinion. And FYI many great frontmen are not great singers."
Snider later doubled down on his opinion of Dio, referencing his first-hand experiences with the legendary heavy metal singer. He explained: "I toured with him. … He is one of my vocal heroes, but… My frontmen are all over the stage and interact with the crowd. Showmen. Think David Lee Roth, Paul Stanley, Mick Jagger, Freddy Mercury, Axl Rose…the list goes on."
Snider then supported his position by making the distinction between performance and "stage presence". He said: "I knew this would upset people. I am NOT saying that Dio, Plant etc, don't have stage presence. They have it in SPADES! But they are not performers."
Snider also mentioned other singers he calls great frontmen, including IRON MAIDEN's Bruce Dickinson, Bono, JUDAS PRIEST's Rob Halford and James Brown. He also included Kid Rock in his list, explaining: "Love him or hate him, @KidRock is one of the best I've ever seen. … Facts are facts. The guy is a killer in concert. Period. (and I am REALLY critical)."
One day after BLABBERMOUTH.NET published a story about Snider's comments, La Torre took to this site's Facebook's page to weigh in on the debate. He wrote: "Dio and Plant didn't have to run around doing jumps, spinning mic stands, or anything else, unless one's subjective opinion requires that as a prerequisite. They commanded the stage with their sheer presence and voice, and that alone was all anyone wanted, needed, and more. I'd say that makes them great frontmen."
**UPDATE**: BLABBERMOUTH.NET initially published this article under the headline "TODD LA TORRE To DEE SNIDER: 'DIO And PLANT Didn't Have To Run Around Doing Jumps, Spinning Mic Stands, Or Anything Else'", prompting La Torre to clarify in a separate post: "This was not 'to' Dee. This was merely a reply to the subject. I have much respect for Dee and his work, so I would have appreciated the headline not be framed as my comment being directed TO Dee. I stand by my statement, but with all due respect, this headline is a little inflammatory and misleading."
**UPDATE #2**: On Friday (January 6),Snider shared this article on Twitter and wrote a one-word comment: "Who?"