TWISTED SISTER (1978–87; 2001–PRESENT). Dee Snider (vocals), Jay Jay French (guitar), Eddie Ojeda (guitar), Mark “The Animal” Mendoza (bass), A. J. Pero (drums).
Inspired by the images of Kiss and the New York Dolls, New York City’ Twisted Sister made a big splash in the hair metal era with the smash single “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” Although other releases would not meet with the same level of success, the band would go on to a much-loved and entertaining entity for a number of years in the 1980s before calling it quits and going their separate ways.
The group came together in the mid-1970s; by 1978 Twisted Sister consisted of guitarist Jay Jay French, vocalist Dee Snider, guitarist Eddie Ojeda, bassist Mark “The Animal” Mendoza, and drummer Tony Petri. After a handful of independent singles and an album on the independent Secret Records label, the band signed with Atlantic, releasing their 1983 album You Can’t Stop Rock ’n’ Roll, which was a modest success and paved the way to greater acceptance. The band’s breakthrough would come with 1984’s Stay Hungry, which featured their biggest single, “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” which was accompanied by a humorous video that enjoyed heavy rotation. Featuring an anthemic chorus about teenage rebellion, the song and video made the band stars—at least for a moment—and helped the album go platinum twice over.
Unfortunately, the band’s follow-up, 1985’s Come Out and Play, failed to replicate Stay Hungry’s success, and after another poor showing with 1987’s Love Is for Suckers, the band called it quits, with the members all pursuing separate projects. However, after a post–9/11 benefit reunion, the band has come together in a sporadic series of recordings and concerts, including the Twisted Christmas holiday album of 2006.
Discography: Ruff Cutts (Secret, 1982); Under the Blade (Secret, 1982); You Can’t Stop Rock ’N’ Roll (Atlantic, 1983); Stay Hungry (Atlantic, 1984); Come Out and Play (Atlantic, 1985); Love Is for Suckers (Atlantic, 1987); Still Hungry (Spitfire, 2004); Twisted Christmas (Razor & Tie, 2006); Big Hits and Nasty Cuts: The Best of Twisted Sister (Atlantic, 1992); Live at Hammersmith (CMC, 1994); Early Works (Spitfire, 1999); Under the Blade [WEA International] (Wea International, 1999); Club Daze: The Studio Sessions, Vol. 1 (Spitfire, 1999); Never Say Never: Club Daze, Vol. 2 (Spitfire, 2001); Noble Savage
(Recall, 2002); Club Daze, Vol. 2: Live in the Bars (Spitfire, 2002); The Essentials (Warner Strategic, 2002); We’re Not Gonna Take It and Other Hits (Rhino Flashback, 2003); The Best of Twisted Sister (Demolition, 2005).