We’re Not Gonna Take It

  
 

In a complete contrast to the preceding bands Friday nights headliners Twisted Sister are bringing the curtain down on a 34 year love affair with the United Kingdom as they put the band out to pasture after a four decade slog and a multitude of highs and as many lows.  

The British Isles were the first place to embrace the band outside of their native USA. Debut album Under The Blade came out on Secret Records – primarily a punk label based in London. Their debut show outside of North America was in Wrexham, a small town in North Wales, closely followed by a gig at the legendary Marquee Club in London. They even managed to find Stoke on Trent twice in 1983 and 1986 – alas I wasn’t at either. 

Since their resurgence as a live act in 2001 UK visits haven’t been as regular in the shires as people would have liked. A slew of dates supporting Alice Cooper in 2005 and a quartet of headline shows a year later have all been bookended by festival appearances. One final run in halls would have been nice, but ending their relationship with us Limeys headlining Bloodstock is the next best way they could bow out over here. 

I saw them say Au Revoir to France at Hellfest eight weeks ago. Alongside the other pair of headliners – Rammstein and Black Sabbath – people thought the New York boys were out of their depth, but 90 minutes later those people were proved wrong. They have such a great back catalogue of upbeat, sing a long tunes that people undoubtedly know and it is pretty surreal. Even the most straight laced of us managed to crack a grin and tap a foot. They came to put on a show and entertain the masses and their mission was accomplished with flying colours. 

If you are of that age to recall MTV showing actual music videos – yes, music is what the M in MTV stands for – then you’ve probably come across a pair of their videos those being I Wanna Rock and We’re Not Gonna Take It both taken from the Stay Hungry album. Both videos are more like a pair of mini movies and the familiar faces in them belong to Mark Metcalf as the father and Stephen Furst reprising the principals role, both from the college comedy films National Lampoons Animal House and its follow ups. 

Thank you for the memories and the tunes Dee, Jay Jay, Eddie A J and Mark – without a doubt you’ll be missed. 
  

 

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I Am (I’m Me)

Hello. It feels like it’s been a while!!

I spent Monday evening in the rather sweaty, but superb company of Bio-Cancer, Origin and Immolation. A cracking gig.

Tuesday evening we ended up tracking down a pin badge in celebration of Iron Maiden’s Trooper ale which celebrated its third anniversary on Monday. Yes, I tracked down a pub selling beer that was giving away a badge! A bit sad for some, but the marketing machine behind the Iron Maiden brand is a very successful beast and I wouldn’t be the only one.

 

On Sunday evening I was at a bit of a loose end and on recommendations coming out of the Bloodstock Facebook page I ended up watching the documentary We Are Twisted F***ing Sister! on Netflix. And what a superb two hours and fifteen minutes viewing that was.

It documents the trials and tribulations of the band from a Tri State area bar band in the mid 70’s to their eventual break through in the early 80’s as one of the biggest metal bands for a brief period. The amount of hard work that was put in night after night, month after month with very little recognition from those in the know was very insightful.

Their early career was built up on a word of mouth reputation. When you can have 20,000 people turning up at a free out door festival you are playing at, or eventually headlining and selling out the Palladium Theatre in New York City. And it was all achieved without a record deal or label backing is a real rags to riches fairy tale.

2016 marks the bands farewell tour after the death of drummer A.J. Pero last year. Ex Dream Theatre drummer  Mike Portnoy is filling in for one last hurrah. I’ll be at their last ever UK show in August, but more on that in a few months.

This badly mimed performance was for a British TV appearance on the Top of the Pops show, when the BBC actually embraced and recognised all things popular! The miming wasn’t down to the band, but at the behest of the Beeb. Virtually every band had to mime to their own song. Iron Maiden three years before hand insisted on performing live when they did Running Free.

The song is taken from their second album You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll released in 1983, and (to date) remains their highest UK chart placement at number 18.