Tenacious Dee

I don’t think this is going to be a love ballad like last week…

Welcome to another glorious Monday!  Don’t think the American holiday today gives you the right to sleep in.  Nope, we at The Nest are going to make sure you’re up and at ’em with another high voltage memory booming out of that huge amplifier of lost hits we like to call the Dusty Vinyl Archive!  DJ Scratchy’s got the perfect hit for you to bang your head to (Scratchy can’t really bang her head, being a unicorn and all), while the Sponkies take notes on how to torment their teacher.  Eleven isn’t good enough for this week’s song, we’re cranking it up to twelve…

For as long as rock and roll has existed, it’s been used as a tool by the youth of the world to rebel against The Man who is dead set on keeping their immature asses down.  Your great grandparents thought Elvis was the devil.  Your grandparents had a heart attack when the Beatles sang about Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.  And your parents…. well, they warned you not to listen to those long haired heavy metal musicians wearing their sister’s clothes…

Your mom was just jealous rockers looked prettier than she did.

The 80’s music genre that was most flamboyant (in more ways than one) about fighting the power was what we called heavy metal back then… but to separate it from more hardcore acts of the time, is now rather lovingly known as hair metal.  One of the bands that most exemplified the hair metal scene was a New Jersey formed outfit known by the fittingly genderbending name Twisted Sister.  Fronted by the outrageously garbed and wild Dee Snider, Twisted Sister helped put hair metal on the map when the video for their song “We’re Not Gonna Take It” was appearing on MTV about twenty times a day in 1984.

We’re not gonna take it anymore!!! Turn that rock and roll OFF!!!

On the success of that video, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” became a Top 20 hit, and the only US Top 40 hit of the band’s storied career.  It also spawned a follow up video for another song from their album Stay Hungry, based around the same slapstick theme as the first one, only this time with the authority figure as a jerk-ass teacher instead of a jerk-ass father.  That was for the song “I Wanna Rock”… and while I rarely choose to embed videos that contain a lot of dialogue and other sound effects that drown out the song…. it would be criminal in this case not to offer up this theatrical presentation…

Despite this video being arguably as popular as “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” “I Wanna Rock” only hit #68 on the charts and has largely been forgotten by mainstream radio today… and even worse, has given Twisted Sister that dreaded one hit wonder label they so richly don’t deserve.

While Twisted Sister didn’t enjoy the sustained success fellow hair bands like Motley Crue and Poison did, Dee and the boys left an indelible mark on the music of the decade… and Dee Snider was even one of the saviors of the rebellion against the rebellion of heavy metal in the 80’s when Congress actually held hearings on how this music straight from Satan’s boombox was corrupting our youth.  Dee was one of the musicians who testified on metal’s behalf and stuck it to Al Gore and his busybody wife Tipper…

That’s Mr. Snider to you, Senator Stick Up The Ass!

If you wanna rock, then be sure to come back next Monday for another blast from the past…


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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22 Responses to Tenacious Dee

  1. oooh that was probably one of the best videos ever….. a mini movie what deserved an oscar… no… 4!!! or 6!!!

  2. beth says:

    I haven’t seen him in years!

  3. 1jaded1 says:

    Oh the memories. He now hosts one of those Sunday night blocks of rock.

    • I know he’s still been active in promoting rock. I remember VH1 Classic has him host a Thanksgiving dinner one year with a bunch of other figures from rock, including Leslie West – RIP…

  4. I love this song, and in spite of what people thought of how he looked. He did become a bigger rebel against censorship. I’m grateful for him, Frank Zappa and John Denver, which made a very unlikely trio, for pushing back against the “Stick Up Your Ass” committees. 😁🤪

    • A video about those hearing came up in the suggestion sidebar on YouTube and I had to check it out! As stunned as I was to see Frank Zappa all clean cut and in a suit and tie, it was even more bizarre that John Denver, of all people, showed up to testify! That’s like John Boy Walton showing up at a censorship hearing to defend Game of Thrones!

      • I know right? But, I’m sure it’s because the entire idea of this type of censorship was absurd to begin with. And it only wound up backfiring anyway. Every LP with that black label on it, sold more copies BECAUSE of that explicit lyric content label. What a bunch of maroons, as Bugs Bunny would say….lol.

  5. Love me some Twisted Sister! Happy Monday.

  6. Kismet says:

    I hate to tell that band that the Twist craze was over a long time ago.

  7. No doubt about it – that IS rock……don’t remember this song though. Damn I wish I had that hair!


  8. Trisha says:

    I remember hearing I Wanna Rock so often that I never would have guessed it did that poorly on the charts. What an amazing mop of hair Dee Snider had!

  9. Sorry, too busy rocking out to add much hair…I mean here! *dancing and banging head* Mona

  10. draliman says:

    Yeah, that’s what I call real music! Well done.

  11. Dee Snider was one of the best speakers I’ve ever seen. No, he didn’t wear a suit, but he had more class and style, and intelligence than most of those idiots in DC. Still does.

    Due to the pandemic I still don’t know what day it is or even what year it is half the time. I can’t believe I missed this on Monday.

    • For all the headbanging, big hair and makeup, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” has a lot of college level words in it. Definitely not written by some dumbass dropout who smoked too much reefer in class…

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