There are many men in the world. There are many artists among them. None, however, can compare to the showmanship, stage presence, or guts of Dee Snider, the front man for the Heavy Metal band Twisted Sister. In an era of testosterone masculinity, where arena rock and punk were focused on trying to out-do themselves with the focus on the manly, the Long Island band, formed in 1972 originally as “Silver Star,” took a decidedly twisted turn, becoming the founding fathers of Hair Metal with their over the top outfits, makeup, and musical style.
With popular anti-establishment hits such as “I Wanna Rock,” “I Am,” “Hot Love,” their biggest hit remains 1984′s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” off of their third album “Stay Hungry.” It is this anti-establishment theme which likely attracted Paul Ryan to use the song for his intro music at a Pennsylvania rally on Tuesday.
Dee, no stranger to politics, was less than thrilled to find his music being used by the Wisconsin Republican, telling Talking Points Memo that “I emphatically denounce Paul Ryan’s use of my band Twisted Sister’s song, ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It,’ in any capacity… There is almost nothing he stands for that I agree with except the use of the P90X.”
Dee first made political waves in 1985, speaking before the United States Senate as part of the Parents Music Resource Center hearings on the topic of obscenity and violence in music:
Congressman Ryan has managed to first upset Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, but now has managed to draw the ire of a man who stood toe to toe with Al Gore in a Senate Hearing and came out on top. Dee is an eloquent, effective public speaker as well as one of the icons of rock stardom, and Paul Ryan should have asked first before using the music written by Dee Snider. There are likely to be plenty of musicians who would appreciate their music being used, but the failure to ask first is not appropriate for someone seeking higher office.
And, as appropriate, the song in question:
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