OK, I didn’t literally spend the weekend with Dee Snider, the title were kind of misguiding, I’m sorry for that. But at the same time I did spend time with him, in a way. I bought, read and finished his book, Shut up and give me the mic.
Ever since I was a little kid there have been some kind of Twisted Sister in my life. I remember being around 5 or 6 years old and looking through my fathers (RIP) LP albums, he had hundreds, if not thousands of album. I remember finding album after album I thought looked cool. Of course I was just looking at the covers and how cool they looked. This was around 1988 by the way.
I can still somewhat remember the first time Twisted Sister came to my knowledge. I pulled out this record that had a street for a cover, and a closed manhole cover with fingers sticking out of it. The pink lettering and green glow caught my eye and I thought it was the coolest album I ever seen. It wasn’t until a few day (or weeks, I can’t remember) when I asked my father I could have it in my room that he showed me that the manhole cover could be opened…. I think that moment changed my life in a way.
At that age, living in the “woods” in northern Sweden I didn’t see much stuff from the rest of the world. But this… this thing, this creature, this man?! literally screaming at me the first time I opened the manhole cover, who was he/she? What was this? I have never seen anything like it. My mind was blown and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
At the time I borrowed my fathers portable LP player and brought the record to my room. I started playing it…. Another blown mind, as if my young and fragile mind wasn’t blown enough…
Still to this day, the intro to Come out and play echoes in my mind from time to time. I even had nightmares about that man/woman on the cover, hey I was 5-6 years old, what did I know… In my nightmares I would hear the intro playing in my head, not accompanied by Dee Snider, but by clowns… Ooh do I dislike clowns.
Come to think about it, Dee looked kinda clownish on that cover, but don’t get me wrong, I LOVED that cover, the makeup and everything. The clown likeness might have been the makeup reminding me of clowns, I don’t know. Tho Dee Snider have never been anything but someone I’ve always looked up to and been a fan of.
I would listen to Come out and Play over and over, for hours. I don’t know if it was me not knowing there were more song on the album or if you could turn it over for even more songs, or if it was just me loving Come out and play. I recall my parents even asking me to listen to some other songs on the album and I was like a question mark. “Why? Do they have more great songs? Where?”
I let the record play, and to my surprise, there were more songs. Damn, why haven’t I heard this before, under what rock have I been living under? (at the age of 5-6…) There were another song that caught my ear, and it was Killed or be Killed. Killed or be Killed I would listen to forever, even more then Come out and Play. But I think Come out and Play made a much bigger impact on my life then any other song.
After a few years we got MTV to our house and I would leave it on in the background all day, because one time I had caught the end of We’re not gonna take it and switched over right in the middle or Leader of the pack. Anytime I would hear the intro to a Twisted Sister song I was glued in front of the TV.
3-4 years later, when I was around 8 or 9, we had this thing in school were one week a year, we would “work” at a company of our choice just to see how the real world was. It was great experiences and it was always fun coming back to school and telling your friends what you did and got to do.
I chose to “work” at a recycling plant in the neighboring town. Each day I would watch the worked loading and unloading stuff that would be recycled and thrown away, it was heaven for me, I have always loved trash, other peoples things thrown away. Anyway, on the last day of “work” I got to go with one of the employees to the paper recycling plant five towns over, it was a 2 hour drive and one of the first times i got to ride in a big truck.
At the plant I remember piles and piles, tons and tons of paper to be recycled. Magazines, newspapers, posters, letters, well everything paper. After a whole day at the plant we were ready to return home, I jumped in the truck and we started to go. All of the sudden Dee Sniders face from Come out and play flashed before my eyes and I said to the driver “STOP”. I jumped out of the truck and looked around, what was this?! Why did I yell stop?
Ah well, screw it, I turned around and was about to get in the truck again when I looked down, who was that staring up at me if not Dee Fucking Snider. I couldn’t believe it. Laying there on the ground, looking a me, was a poster. A poster of Twisted Sister, the band I had listened to so much. A torn, smelly and wet poster of Twisted Sister. I grabbed it, jumped in the truck and the driver asked me what it was. I showed him the poster and he said I was to young to be reading porn magazines…..WHAT?
Upon further investigation of the poster I noticed the bands chests showing, and almost Dee’s “package” due to the low cut costume he was wearing. I can see why the driver, by the glimpse of the poster thought it was a porn poster. But I didn’t care, I loved it. I think I still have that poster tucked away in a box at my mothers place somewhere. I need to find it.
All this was a start of my fandom with Twisted Sister, buying the albums and listening to their music constantly.
I have never got to see them perform, yet. Tho I was close. 2 years ago I was at Sweden Rock festival and had the luck to get a V.I.P package, meaning I could go to the V.I.P area were lots of celebrities hanging out. And Dee Snider even had his book signing, me being to poor (after paying the trip etc) to buy his book I could just stand far away and look. I saw him, I saw Dee Snider, this huge man that came to form my musical upbringing. I hated myself for not having the money to buy the book and getting it signed. But to hell with that, I FUCKING SAW DEE SNIDER!
Later that night we just finished watching Dimmu Borgir perform and was hurrying over to see the end of Sebastian Bach’s performance, within seconds getting to the stage, Sebastian announces he’s gonna bring a friend up on the stage. “Oh cool” I thought…. Then hell broke loose, well, almost.
Dee Snider gets up on stage…. oh my god, I was going to see my childhood hero perform. Twisted Sister was performing the day after, but to scheduling conflicts we had to leave before Twisteds set, it was killing me. But seeing Sebastian Bach and Dee Snider performing together were more then enough of a substitute. I fucking loved it. I was walking in a mist of happiness. I couldn’t believe it, I saw Dee Snider, I had to call my brothers, my mother, it was unbelievable. That was without a doubt one of the best moments in my life. Those 10 minutes were better then all the countless hours I’ve been watching bands perform. During the past 3 years I’ve seen about 180 bands perform, among those are Iron Maiden, Slayer, Marylin Manson, Slipknot, Soilwork, In Flames, Danko Jones, Danzig, Korn etc. But those 10 minutes with Sebastian Bach and Dee Snider beats it all.
Whit that said, after finishing Dee Sniders book in 3 days, he is even more of my idol. I respect that man to hell and back. And I wish that someday I can see him perform again, but a full set. I long for that day! SMF for life!
Thank you Dee for being such a great influence in my life!
Originally posted 2013-12-31 12:34:32.