In the mid '80s, Twisted Sister struck it big as their anthems "We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock” played on a near-constant loop on rock radio and MTV. Rock fans everywhere felt like they had just discovered a new band, but Twisted Sister was far from new.
“Even though the band existed for 10 years before it broke-- 10 years! -- if you weren’t living in the Northeast, you just became aware of us for those couple of years when we were living in the spotlight in the mid-‘80s,” Twister Sister singer Dee Snider tells “Oprah: Where Are They Now.”
While those years in the spotlight brought the band fans and fame, the one thing they couldn’t get was the respect of their peers. "I believe Rolling Stone's review of 'We’re Not Gonna Take It' was, 'What? From whom?'" Snider recalls. "Three words. Thanks."
Snider is peeved by the notion that Twisted Sister was a one-hit wonder.
“You’ll see words like ‘one hit wonder’ -- it’s actually two!” he says. “‘Or flash in the pan’ or ‘lucky’ or things like that applied to our band, when that couldn’t be anything further from the truth.”
Today, Snider says the band still hasn’t totally earned respect, because most people still don’t know their full history. In 2014, filmmaker Andrew Horn tried to change that by releasing the documentary “We Are Twisted F***ing Sister!” It answers critics who have called the band “a joke” and documents their long struggle to the top.
“It’s a very 'Rocky'-esque story, and it’s a classic story of struggle in America -- of someone having a dream and refusing to say no, and refusing to give up,” Snider says. “So hopefully some people will come to know the truth about Twisted Sister and give the band that respect.”
"Oprah: Where Are They Now?" airs on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network.