February 16, 2009

Speaking of Dee Snider

Several of you mentioned Dee in the comments of my last post.  I remember when he appeared before Congress to speak out against Tipper Gore's Censoring campaign.  It was quite impressive.  I've never been a huge fan of Twisted Sister (although who can't like "We're Not Gonna Take It", its just a fun song!) but I am a fan of Dee.  Here is an excerpt from his address to Congress and here is the entire transcript if you care to read it.

My name is Dee Snider. That is S-n-i-d-e-r. I have been asked to come here to present my views on "the subject of the content of certain sound recordings and suggestions that recording packages be labeled to provide a warning to prospective purchasers of sexually explicit or other potentially offensive content."

Before I get into that, I would like to tell the committee a little bit about myself. I am 30 years old, I am married, I have a 3-year-old son. I was born and raised a Christian and I still adhere to those principles. Believe it or not, I do not smoke, I do not drink, and I do not do drugs.

I do play in and write the songs for a rock and roll band named Twisted Sister that is classified as heavy metal, and I pride myself on writing songs that are consistent with my above-mentioned beliefs.

There are many facets to this complex issue and time does not permit me to address all of them. However, my feelings are expressed for the most part by the August 5, 1985, letter1 to the Parents Music Resource Center from Mr. Stanley Gortikov, president of the Recording Industry Association of America.

This letter was a formal response to the PMRC petition of the RIAA. The only part of this document I do not support is Mr. Gortikov's unnecessary and unfortunate decision to agree to a so-called generic label on some selected records. In my opinion this should be retracted.

Since I seem to be the only person addressing this committee today who has been a direct target of accusations from the presumably responsible PMRC, I would like to use this occasion to speak on a more personal note and show just how unfair the whole concept of lyrical interpretation and judgment can be and how many times this can amount to little more than character assassination.

14 comments:

Jessica said...

I love Dee! He's got guts, and he sticks to his principals! :)

Southern (in)Sanity said...

Dee's testimony was strong. Of course, I was in favor of anyone who was willing to stand up against Tipper Gore and her censoring crap.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Frank Zappa and Dee Snider kicked so much ass during those proceedings!

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Yes, Dee rocks! He and Frank Z did an incredible job speaking out against censorship.

Now we have to find some spokespeople to get behind the whole ticketmaster thing!!

JohnnyG's Blues said...

Twisted Sister was definitely not my cup of tea. I hated that stuff. However, I fully support and agree with Dee's statements in support of free speech.

Not to get religious, but he strikes closer to the truth of Christianity than those who took the other side. We all don't fit in the same mold. Nor should we.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Johnny G, Excellent point...thanks!

Bond said...

He appeared on an episode of "Kitchen Nightmares" where they redid a restaurant on Long Island and he showed up at the grand reopening to auction off one of his motorcycles.

As Jessica said...he always had strong principals...and has never wavered from them

Unholy_Diver said...

IMHO, Dee is a lesser "in your face" version of Uncle Ted. Both speak their minds and never waiver from their beliefs, but Dee leaves a little wiggle room for dissenting opinions, whereas Ted's philososphy is "my way or the highway".

classicrockforthesoul said...

Just stumbled across your blog - I love it!!

Dee is awesome and I love Uncle Ted even more! Although he's pretty extreme, I always enjoy hearing about his views on certain things.

RAHM said...

Last week on Latin VH1 I saw a tv documentary about heavy metal and Dee Snider remembered that episode on the Congress, after all for every metal band, the best was that sticker saying "parental advisory" they said that their records started selling more with that sticker...

Unholy_Diver said...

@RAHM- that was the documentary, "Metal- A Headbanger's Journey", directed by Sam Dunn. It's good stuff.

Jessica said...

ooh, I agree, that documentary is awesome!

Guitarman5150 said...

I was just talking to a friend of mine about all of this last night. She had no idea what the PMRC was. HA! She was busy listening to bubble gum pop music of the time.

I was looking for the video of Dee's speach and hopefully the questions he was asked and his replies. I'm glad Layla has at least posted his statement.

I remember being very yanked at the time. Me being a song writer even then threating my 1st ammendment rights I take very seriously! And these senators wives with nothing else to do at the time chose to pick on rock musicans.

Dee, Frank, and of all people John Denver were the only ones who stood up to these clowns. I thought they made the whole pannel look stupid. Dee made at some points them look dumbfounded like they didnt know what to say. Their smug look dropped right off their faces. I loved it. I'm so glad thats all in the past now. I just hope it dosen't rear it's ulgy head again. If it does I'll be back up on my soap box again. LOL!

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

5150 - EXCELLENT comment! You described the scene perfectly. I think it was a very proud moment for all us rockers. I think John Denver being there added the perfect balance :)

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