Twisted Sister Frontman Dee Snider Claims New Law Would Prevent Band from Touring Red State


Cue the “he’s not gonna take it” jokes: Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider is angry about laws that limit where drag shows can be performed and who they can be performed for.

In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment published Thursday, the rocker — a former friend of Donald Trump most recently seen on Fox’s “The Masked Singer” dressed as a doll — said bills passed by the Texas legislature would prohibit his gender-bending hair-metal band from performing in the Lone Star State.

In the interview, published Friday, Yahoo Music’s Lyndsey Parker noted that Snider and his bandmates “pretty much were wearing women’s clothing early in the days of Twisted Sister.”

“So, I have to ask,” Parker said, “because you’re so politically outspoken, especially when it comes to free speech … what are your thoughts on these drag bans, or attempted drag bans, right now — especially regarding the ramifications it could have in general for free speech and art?”

“Let’s talk about the drag bans. My band would not be allowed to perform in Texas. We would fall under that heading, the new rule, if they pass these rules — men wearing lipstick, nail polish and makeup,” Snider said.

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“So, do I stand with the [LGBT/drag] community? One hundred percent,” he continued.

“I heard the community has reached out about using ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ as their battle cry, and I said, ‘With my blessing, brothers and sisters! Go for it!’ I stand with them.”

He noted the issues he had from some stuffier corners during the band’s heyday.

“I was not gay, I was heterosexual, and I still had a lot of issues with a lot of people because I wore the things I wore in the ’70s and even into the ’80s. So, I’ve been on the receiving end. I get what they go through. I remember it so many times, how people would say, ‘You f***ing f***!'” Snider said.

“And I’m like, ‘OK, I’m just dressing up. You got a problem with that?’ … I had a lot of fights with people who didn’t like the way I expressed myself. So, I’m very in favor of free expression on every level. And I will stand with the community, if they ask me to stand with them. I am with them.”

If Snider is talking about Senate Bill 12 — the Texas legislation that passed the upper chamber of the Legislature by a 20-11 vote on Wednesday, according to KDFW-TV — he apparently hasn’t read it.

The bill reads that an individual “who controls the premises of a commercial enterprise may not allow a sexually oriented performance to be presented on the premises in the presence of an individual younger than 18 years of age.”

The text of SB12 specifically defines a “sexually oriented” drag show as “a male performer exhibiting as a female, or a female performer exhibiting as a male, who uses clothing, makeup, or other similar physical markers and who sings, lip syncs, dances, or otherwise performs before an audience; and … appeals to the prurient interest in sex.”

There are additional bills, including one introduced in the House that would allow individuals to sue for drag performances in front of minors — but those have been stuck in committee, according to the Texas Legislature’s website.

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Now, you can say this is a highly subjective standard. OK. Here’s the video for “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” if you need a refresher:

And here’s a video from an “all ages” drag event in Provo, Utah, last year:

WARNING: The following videos contain graphic imagery that some viewers will find offensive.

And here’s a man with fake breasts taking money from children during a drag event at a restaurant as if he were a stripper:

Search and you’ll find worse videos, but you get the point.

As Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously said in his 1964 opinion in Jacobellis v. Ohio, a landmark case regarding what constitutes obscenity, “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it.”

Are you still a fan of Twisted Sister after Snider’s remarks?

I’m fairly confident there’s no judge currently practicing at a high level in the American legal system who is so hidebound and terminally idiotic that he or she could not know the difference between a Twisted Sister performance and “Jenna Tailia” shaking it for the kiddies. If there is, rest assured there’s someone above that judge who isn’t.

Furthermore, and no offense to Mr. Snider, but this involves drag shows presented for minors. Do you know how to keep someone under the age of 18 from attending a Twisted Sister concert? Tell them it’s a Twisted Sister concert. Aside from one iconic song, the band remains terminally uncool to anyone under the age of 40 who isn’t trying to be ironic.

Moreover, if there is somehow a rogue contingent of young Twisted Sister fans who want to get in, and Snider is deathly afraid he or the venue operator might get slapped with a penalty, make it an over-18 show — as, indeed, many concerts are.

However, one suspects that Snider isn’t trying to make that point. He’s yet another entertainer who has to make everybody happy — and, in 2023, making the media deities happy involves prostrating oneself before the latest woke cause, which in this case happens to be allowing children to attend obscene drag shows.

The 68-year-old singer made it clear later in the interview when he said, “I do not stand with the January 6ers who use the song. I do not stand with the anti-maskers who use the song. I do not stand with the anti-vaxxers who use the song. I do stand with the teachers who use the song. I do stand with the people looking for intelligent gun control who use the song. And I do stand with [the LGBT] community and will applaud.”

As for his relationship with Trump — they were once friends after Snider appeared on “Celebrity Apprentice” — he had this to say: “You know, before Trump, before that era, the way people socialized, there was a standard rule: Don’t talk about religion, sports, or politics. And I had wonderful times with a lot of people, where I never knew what they believed, or what they did in their bedrooms.”

This was in regards to the fact that Trump had asked Snider for permission to use “We’re Not Gonna Take It” as his 2016 campaign theme — something Snider originally approved but then backed out of because his “kids were freaking out” and telling him to “denounce this guy.” He asked Trump to stop using the song, and Trump agreed.

But the quote accurately represents who Dee Snider is. He’s not someone who believes in even standing up for separating politics from life. He knows which way the wind bloweth. He knows the kind of money reunion tours and media appearances generate — and how the left will pummel anyone who doesn’t genuflect before The Issue of the Day™.

So he’s gonna take it. Yeah, he’s gonna take it. Yeah, he’s gonna take it, evermore. How very rock ’n’ roll of him.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture