Shut Up and Give Me the Mic
Dee Snider
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Buy *Shut Up and Give Me the Mic* by Dee Snider online

Shut Up and Give Me the Mic
Dee Snider
Gallery Books
432 pages
May 2013
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Dee Snider looked like the ugliest transvestite you'd ever seen: frizzed-out blond hair, garish makeup and little spandex tops that covered little to nothing were his trademarks. When his band, Twisted Sister, was onstage, you didn't know whether to laugh, stare or turn and run. But Snider was a smart and driven individual, and in his autobiography he explains how he and his band of badly-dressed players became such an iconic part of the hair metal '80s.

Like every other musician of the era, Snider saw The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show and was transformed. Oh, wait a minute--Dee didn't see The Beatles on that historic evening of February 9, 1964.

"I was apparently the only person who didn't see it...Why? Because my father had banned television in our house. Earlier that year, my father proclaimed (conveniently after our television had broken) that we had all become obsessed withTV and were going to get back to basics: reading, playing board games, building models, etc."
Eventually he caught on to who The Beatles were and set out to play his own music. He took classical training as a countertenor and sang with his high school choir, but rock 'n' roll came knocking on the door and he traded in the aria for some asskicking. Idolizing Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath, he mixed theatrics and heaviness, and when he met guitarist Jay Jay French, the plate was set for the emergence of Twisted Sister.

Hit songs, MTV videos, a long-running radio show and appearances on a variety of television shows followed. He talks about all of that as well as his fight with Tipper Gore and the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) when they wanted to label albums with cautionary stickers. Funny and witty anecdotes fill these pages; if you want to relive the '80s, open this one up.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2012

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