Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider Calls Trend of Non-Metal Fans Wearing Vintage Metal Merch “Sickening”

  • Axl Rosenberg

I know that as a metal fan I’m supposed to get pissy about non-metal fans wearing metal shirts, but I just don’t care. There’s too much going on in the world — hell, going in metal — that is actually WORTH being mad about for me to waste anger on the fact that Kardashians agree with me that Slayer shirts look cool even if they don’t necessarily like Slayer. Besides, in the short term, it’s basically free advertising, and in the long term, it’s another step towards the acceptance of metal as a legitimate art form and not something enjoyed exclusively by imbeciles and cretins.

But I know plenty of you disagree with me. And if you disagree with me, you can take comfort in the knowledge that so does Dee Snider:

Which is fair enough… except I don’t think these folks are wearing metal shirts ironically. I don’t think the non-metal people who wear metal shirts intend to mock us or the music. I think they think the shirts look cool — which we all agree they do — and that’s about it. It’s not malicious.

In any case, twenty minutes later, Snider elaborated:

This claim is also a little bit silly. Skulls are not “our symbols” — everyone has a skull, skulls look evil because looking at one is a reminder of your own mortality, and this has been the case pretty much forever. Metal wasn’t the first subdivision of rock music to utilize skull imagery on its merch — The Grateful Dead beat us there by a couple of decades (and they’re about as metal as paper). And after a fan pointed out that Screamin’ Jay Hawkins used skulls, Snider himself went on to admit that pirates were using ’em as early as the eighteenth century. And that’s not even getting into the skulls on Nazi uniforms, certain Native American tribes’ use of skulls in symbolic rituals, or a few dozen other examples of skull imagery in pre-metal history. Snider may have a stronger point with the horns, but even that symbol came to metal via someone’s grandmother. In other words, Snider is being cranky about people co-opting something metal co-opted.

So if Kanye can get a letter of recommendation from a pirate, he’d be all clear to wear skulls? WTF?

(And by the way, if you went back in time and played an 18th century pirate Kanye and Slayer and asked them which they liked more, I’m reasonably certain the answer would be “Kanye” for the same reason the answer for most of the general public is “Kanye” — his music is much easier on the ears.)

Dee Snider is a smart guy. But if there’s an argument to be made here, he hasn’t made it. Kinda makes me wonder if he isn’t just upset that no one is wearing Twisted Sister shirts.

Make Dee’s argument for him in the comments section. Or don’t. Like I said, there are better things to be angry about right now.

[via Metal Injection]

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