DEE SNIDER blasts bands who wait too long to retire: “I see people singing 'Crazy Nights' and they're not so crazy anymore”
TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider visited Rock City Music Company in Livonia, Michigan on July 19 to participate in a very special in-store event to celebrate the release of his novel “Frats”. Dee was involved in a moderated question-and-answer session hosted by Detroit radio legend Doug Podell of 106.7 WLLZ. The Q&A featured insights into why Dee wrote “Frats”, opinions on bands who stick around past their due date, his reasons for going head-to-head with Congress in 1985 and the future of his recording and performance career.
Speaking about TWISTED SISTER‘s decision to retire from touring in 2016, Dee said in part )as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I didn’t lose the passion for the music. I didn’t lose that at all. My last two solo albums, ‘Leave A Scar’ and ‘For The Love Of Metal’, were stronger and sort of Dee resurging. I lost the willingness to get old on stage. I don’t want you guys to watch me age out.
“I read a review once that said — and it was actually a positive review about the TWISTED reunion, which was ages ago now — but it said, ‘When a band reunites and they’re good, it makes you feel young again. But when they’re bad, it makes you realize how old you have gotten,'” he continued. “And people were coming to see TWISTED and coming to see me and people were smiling. But I know… Look, I’m not a bitcher and moaner, but I’ve had knee surgery, shoulder surgery, throat surgery, neck surgery… I can’t lift my arms up. It hurts when I throw the horns. Fuck! It’s not supposed to hurt… So I’d rather walk off with some dignity and leave you guys with a positive memory, saying, ‘We wanted more,’ than to overstay your welcome and say, ‘Gee, when is this guy gonna get off the fucking stage, man?’
“I see people singing ‘Crazy Nights’ and they’re not so crazy anymore,” Snider added. “I’m not gonna name names. I always bitch about people who retire, sell us the ‘No More Tours’ shirt — Ozzy — and then come back a few years later, ‘We love you, we love you.’ That’s bullshit. And people say, ‘Well, that’s fucked up.’ No — stay forever, man. Stay forever. We don’t want you to leave. Just don’t do a three-year farewell tour — SCORPIONS — and then say you changed your mind. ‘Cause you haven’t played every place? No, you’ve played every place — twice.
“BLUE ÖYSTER CULT have ‘On Tour Forever’ jackets. Forever. God bless ’em. You do it,” Dee said. “I’m not gonna be on tour forever. I’m gonna walk off into the sunset, waving and smiling.”
Dee previously talked about bands who reunite after completing farewell tours in a 2020 interview with Ultimate Guitar. Speaking about the “current trend” of bands who come out of retirement for a new run of shows, such as MÖTLEY CRÜE and RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, Dee said: “I think it’s bullshit. When you say farewell… RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE breaks up — that’s not retirement. They broke up, and they reformed, and that’s great. But when you do a farewell tour, and you announce this, and you sell tickets, and you have a t-shirt that says ‘No More Tours’ — thank you very much, Ozzy (Osbourne), I bought one of those — and then you come back, that’s bullshit. So when you say, ‘We’re retiring,’ people now don’t take it seriously. So, you know, it’s like a joke, and I think that a part of it is that these artists have nothing else going on. And I realize that — without playing, they have no career.”
In 2016, TWISTED SISTER embarked on one final trek, titled “Forty And Fuck It”, in celebration of its 40th anniversary. These shows featured the band’s “core lineup” of Snider, guitarist Jay Jay French, guitarist Eddie Ojeda and bassist Mark Mendoza, along with drummer Mike Portnoy. The band’s last-ever concert took place in November of that year — 20 months after the passing of TWISTED‘s longtime drummer A.J. Pero.
TWISTED SISTER‘s original run ended in the late ’80s. After more than a decade, the band publicly reunited in November 2001 to top the bill of New York Steel, a hard-rock benefit concert to raise money for the New York Police And Fire Widows’ And Children’s Benefit Fund.