Say what you will about Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider, but the dude wrote and helped write some iconic tunes. And while songs like “I Want To Rock” and “The Kids Are Back” are pretty well known works of Twisted Sister, we all know that “We’re Not Gonna Take It” is the most well known track of the band’s discography.
While speaking with New York radio station Q104 (as transcribed by Ultimate Guitar), Snider shared how he tackled writing the song in the first place, as well as some other major bits of information regarding Twisted Sister’s career.
“I was writing an anthem very deliberately. I wanted something people would use as a rallying cry. And I deliberately was very vague about what are you not taking. As a matter of fact, I believe it was the ‘Village Voice’ review of Twisted Sister’s ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ [was] 3 words – ‘what from whom’ – and then a big blank space before the next review. That was it. And I’m screaming, ‘That’s the point!’ The point was, ‘This isn’t ‘Smoke on the Water,’ man. I’m not telling you about ‘Funky Claude’ – who I met, by the way. ‘He’s a dude?’ ‘Dee, this is Funky Claude.’ I said, ‘Who was running in and out? Pulling kids on the ground?’ ‘Yeah, that was him.’”
Snider also said that while he kept the lyrics intentionally vague, he had at least one person in mind while he was writing his lyrics.
“But I said, ‘I want to be general,’ so people can put their situation [in]. Now, mind you, I was thinking about my dad, my bosses, my teachers, ex-girlfriends – things like that. And because it’s so general, it has become a battle cry for every cause and every side. So, I’ve got all the way on the left singing it and all the way on the right they’re singing it. And now, it’s almost a folk song at this point – where it’s just transcended the genre, the band. And that’s incredible. I never expected that.”
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