Twisted Sister's Dee Snider defends kids' right to rock

By The Associated Press
03.09.05

HAMBURG, Pa. — Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider will go just about anywhere to defend kids' inalienable right to rock — including to a high school in rural eastern Pennsylvania.

Snider, the heavy-metal star whose 1984 hit "We're Not Gonna Take It" saluted teen rebellion, said he would be at Hamburg Area High School's annual talent show next month when students plug in their amplifiers and let loose.

School administrators had threatened to bar student rock bands from taking part in the talent show because of the potential for injuries caused by moshing, a form of dancing in which participants slam into each other.

Snider, now a disc jockey with Philadelphia rock station WMMR-FM, heard about the controversy and ranted on air about it. School officials eventually backed down, and Snider helped arrange for a security company to work the show.

"For me, it was like freakin' 'Footloose.' We're banning dancing? I'd done my time in Washington 20 years ago defending free speech, and it struck a chord with me," Snider, who testified at a 1985 Senate hearing on whether albums should carry warning labels, said on March 7.

He plans to be in the audience when one of the student bands plays "We're Not Gonna Take It" — and says he might even join them on stage, if asked.

"I've never gone any place where there are musical instruments present where I've not been pressured to sing, much to my chagrin," Snider joked.