Twisted Sister, the ‘80s heavy metal band from Long Island best known for hits “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock,” will be inducted into the Metal Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony will be a part of the 6th Annual Metal Hall of Fame Charity Gala scheduled for Jan. 23 at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, Calif. Inductees will include the classic Twisted Sister lineup of singer Dee Snider, guitarists Jay Jay French and Eddie Ojeda, bassist Mark Mendoza, and late drummer A. J. Pero.
“Twisted Sister is honored to be recognized by the Metal Hall of Fame and have our names alongside many of our peers,” said French.
The inducted lineup recorded Twisted Sister’s first four albums: 1982’s Under the Blade and 1983’s You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll that built underground popularity for the band. Their third album, 1984’s Stay Hungry, featured the hit singles “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock,” which broke into mainstream top 40 lists. Two following albums, 1985’s Come Out and Play and 1987’s Love is for Suckers, did not sell as many copies and the group disbanded.
Twisted Sister briefly reunited in the 1990s, reformed in 2003 to release two more albums — Still Hungry and A Twisted Christmas — and went on a farewell tour in 2016, a year after Pero’s death. The band is expected to make a rare live performance for their induction.
The band is often mistakenly categorized as glam metal due to their heavy makeup, but Snider rejects the label.
“It was an offshoot of the [proto-punk band] New York Dolls and Rocky Horror,” Snider, who grew up in Freeport and Baldwin, tweeted recently when asked about the inspiration for the look. “It just evolved.”
The band was among the targets of critics who feared the Satanic panic in the ‘80s. Snider testified before a congressional committee during a hearing on violent lyrics in music. In it, he famously blasted the Parents Music Resource Center and its founder, Tipper Gore, the wife of former Vice President Al Gore, who suggested one of his songs on the band’s debut album had lyrics “encouraging sadomasochism, bondage, and rape.”
“The lyrics she quoted have absolutely nothing to do with these topics,” he said. “On the contrary, the words in question are about surgery and the fear that it instills in people … As the creator of “Under the Blade,” I can say categorically that the only sadomasochism, bondage, and rape in this song is in the mind of Ms. Gore.”
Metal Hall of Fame President/CEO Pat Gesualdo said there will be additional inductees announced in the coming weeks “and many exciting surprises and performances!” Proceeds from the gala go to the nonprofit D.A.D. (Drums and Disabilities), which brings free music programs and therapy services to help special needs children and wounded veterans.
Prior inductees in the Metal Hall of Fame include Anthrax, Ronnie James Dio, and Testament, among many more. Fans unable to see Twisted Sister’s induction into the Metal Hall of Fame can still catch the band’s exhibit at the newly opened Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame in Stony Brook.