Behind the Band Name: Twisted Sister

Heavy metal heads Twisted Sister were all the best bits of the glam rock of the 1980s. They brought hard-hitting sound, attitude, and theatrics to their shock rock style. With music full of an unflinching dry wit and a refreshing eccentricity, their band name could only be the same.

Videos by American Songwriter

Behind the Name

Before they were Twisted Sister, the New Jersey-formed glam metal outfit—classically made up of lead vocalist Dee Snider, guitarists Jay Jay French, Eddie “Fingers” Ojeda, bassist Mark “The Animal” Mendoza, and drummer A. J. Pero (drums)—had evolved from the band Silver Star.

[RELATED: Behind the Song Lyrics: “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” Twisted Sister]

By the early 1980s, they had settled into their lineup and into their peculiar name to become a chart-topping act with hits like “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock.”

At their height, members would frequently be painted up with makeup and adorn outrageous stage wear. So the band name came from the way they looked, Snider explained on Late Night with David Letterman in 1985. The frontman went on to say the moniker was given to them by a mutual friend to the band.

“It was a name given to us by an alcoholic,” he plainly told the late-night host. “His name is Michael. I don’t want to give his last name because I think he’s in a coma … Anyway, he called up Jay Jay at four o’clock in the morning with this helpful name.” And just like that, with the help of an inebriated Michael, Twisted Sister was born.

Check out the explanation on Letterman below.

Twisted Sister Today

Twisted Sister are no longer together with the group playing its final show in 2016. However, they did reunite earlier this year on January 26, 2023, for their induction into the Metal Hall of Fame.

[RELATED: Twisted Sister to be Inducted in the Metal Hall of Fame]

They performed a special three-song set. Snider said then that there are no plans for an official reunion nor do they intend to perform any more shows.

Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns

Leave a Reply

Larry June and The Alchemist Recruit Big Sean for New Single Ahead of Collaborative Album