Complete List Of Twisted Sister Band Members looks at a band that was formed in 1972 in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey. However, they later relocated to Long Island, New York where they were confined to the tri-state area, performing at local bars and clubs while trying to secure a record deal. As a sixteen year old with a fake ID I used to go see them all the time at clubs like The Mad Hatter of Stony Brook.
Initially, the band struggled to find its musical direction, dabbling in glam rock and cover songs. Dee Snider joined the band in 1976, taking over lead vocals and also assuming the role of the primary songwriter. Snider’s arrival marked a significant turning point for the band; his penchant for theatrics and more aggressive, catchy songs became the band’s new hallmark. Under Snider’s guidance, Twisted Sister developed its iconic persona, combining glam aesthetics with heavy metal.
Twisted Sister finally released their debut album “Under the Blade” in 1982 after years of toiling in the club scene. The album, though not initially a commercial success in the United States, garnered attention overseas, particularly in the UK, where it was well received. Their second album, “You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll,” further solidified their status in the metal scene, but it was their third album, “Stay Hungry,” that brought them international fame. Released in 1984, the album included smash hits like “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock,” which became anthems of teenage rebellion.
Despite their success, the band was not immune to the pitfalls that come with fame. Internal conflicts and the pressures of the music industry began to take their toll. Their follow-up albums “Come Out and Play” (1985) and “Love Is for Suckers” (1987) failed to achieve the commercial success of “Stay Hungry,” leading to tensions within the band. Twisted Sister disbanded in 1988, with various members pursuing their projects.
The band reunited in the early 2000s and found that they had a new generation of fans, many of whom were children of their original fan base. Their reunion was marked by extensive touring and the release of a Christmas album, “A Twisted Christmas,” in 2006. The death of drummer A.J. Pero in 2015 led to a farewell tour and, eventually, the final dissolution of the band. In 2016, they played their final show, effectively closing the book on their storied career.
Dee Snider, born David Daniel Snider, is the iconic lead vocalist and songwriter for Twisted Sister. He joined the band in 1976 and quickly became the driving force behind their success. Snider was pivotal in defining the band’s image and stage performances, becoming known for his flamboyant stage attire and energetic persona. He was the primary songwriter for many of the band’s hits including “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock,” both featured on their breakthrough album, “Stay Hungry,” released in 1984. Snider left the band when they initially disbanded in 1987 but returned for various reunions until the band’s official farewell in 2016. Outside of Twisted Sister, Snider has had a varied career, including a solo music career, radio hosting, acting, and even participating in reality TV shows like “Celebrity Apprentice.”
Jay Jay French
John French, known professionally as Jay Jay French, is the rhythm guitarist and one of the founding members of Twisted Sister. He has been with the band since its formation in 1972. French played on all of the band’s albums and was particularly instrumental in guiding the band through its early club circuit days in New York. He continued to be a constant presence even as other members came and went over the years. Apart from his musical role, he acted as the band’s manager and was crucial in business decisions, including signing with Atlantic Records. Outside of Twisted Sister, Jay Jay French has been involved in artist management and is a motivational speaker.
Eddie “Fingers” Ojeda
Eddie “Fingers” Ojeda joined Twisted Sister in 1975 as a lead guitarist. Ojeda contributed to all of the band’s major albums and is particularly noted for his dual lead guitar efforts with Jay Jay French. His distinct guitar tone and solos are a signature part of Twisted Sister’s sound. Ojeda remained with the band until its initial disbandment and later during its reunion tours. Outside of Twisted Sister, he has released solo work and has contributed to other musical projects.
Mark “The Animal” Mendoza
Born Mark Glickman, Mark “The Animal” Mendoza is the bassist for Twisted Sister and joined the band in 1978. Mendoza was known for his aggressive style of playing, earning him the nickname “The Animal.” He played on all the major albums including “Stay Hungry,” which went multi-platinum. Mendoza has been a constant in all Twisted Sister reunions and was there for their farewell tour in 2016. Outside of the band, Mendoza has worked as a producer and has been involved in various other musical projects.
Anthony “A. J.” Pero
Anthony Jude Pero, commonly known as A. J. Pero, was the drummer for Twisted Sister from 1982 until his untimely death in 2015. Pero played on all of Twisted Sister’s major albums and was noted for his drumming skills, particularly on tracks like “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” His drumming was a key part of the band’s signature sound. Pero was with the band for all its highs and lows, including the initial breakup and subsequent reunions. He also played for other bands like Adrenaline Mob and was active in various musical projects up until his death.
Kenny Neill was the original bassist for Twisted Sister and was with the band from its inception in 1972 until 1974. Neill was part of the band’s early years, contributing to their formative sound and stage presence. Although he didn’t play on any of the band’s major label releases, his work in the initial stages helped lay the groundwork for what the band would later become.
Mel “Starr” Anderson
Mel “Starr” Anderson briefly served as the drummer for Twisted Sister in their early years. He was part of the band’s initial phase when they were still making a name for themselves on the club circuit. Anderson didn’t play on any of the band’s major albums but was part of their formative years.
Michael “Valentine” O’Neill
Michael “Valentine” O’Neill was an early guitarist for Twisted Sister, being a part of their initial lineup. Like many of the early members, O’Neill contributed to the band’s formative sound but did not participate in any of their major albums.
Billy “Diamond” Stiger
Billy “Diamond” Stiger was another drummer who played with Twisted Sister during their early years. While he did not participate in any of the band’s major releases, his time with the band was crucial in shaping their early sound and stage presence. Stiger left the band before they achieved mainstream success.
Keith “Angel” Angelino 1975
Keith “Angel” Angelino was a guitarist who joined Twisted Sister briefly in 1975. Like many early members, Angelino was part of the band’s formative years but did not participate in their major albums.
Frank “Rick Prince” Karuba
Frank “Rick Prince” Karuba was another early member who contributed as a guitarist during the band’s early years. Though he didn’t participate in any major albums, his role in the band’s formative years can’t be discounted.
Kevin John Grace
Kevin John Grace was the band’s original drummer, playing a role in shaping Twisted Sister’s early sound. Though he didn’t participate in the major albums, his early contributions helped lay the foundation for the band’s later successes.
Tony Petri was one of the early drummers for Twisted Sister, joining the band in the mid-1970s. Although he didn’t play on the band’s major label releases, his contribution during the early days helped shape the band’s aggressive style and stage presence. After his tenure with Twisted Sister, Petri has largely remained away from the limelight, and details about his later career are scarce.
Ritchie Teeter joined Twisted Sister in 1980 but had a brief stint with the band. He was part of the lineup during a crucial period when the band was gaining traction but did not appear on any major releases. Prior to Twisted Sister, he was a member of The Dictators. Details about his career post-Twisted Sister are not widely available.
Joey Brighton was another drummer who had a brief stint with Twisted Sister. Brighton was part of the band’s early years, contributing to their sound as they were developing their identity in the hard rock scene. He did not participate in the band’s major albums. Information on his career post-Twisted Sister is limited.
Walt Woodward III
Walt Woodward III drummed for Twisted Sister during a brief period in their history. Like many of the band’s early drummers, Woodward helped to shape the band’s sound but did not contribute to their major albums. Little is known about his subsequent career.
Joey “Seven” Franco
Joey “Seven” Franco joined Twisted Sister in the late 1980s and played drums on the “Love Is for Suckers” album. His tenure came during a turbulent time for the band as they were grappling with changing musical landscapes. Franco brought a different style to the band’s sound during this period. He has also worked with other artists such as Widowmaker and has enjoyed a successful career as a drummer beyond Twisted Sister.
Mike Portnoy, best known for his work with progressive metal giants Dream Theater, joined Twisted Sister for a brief period in 2015 following the death of their longtime drummer A.J. Pero. Portnoy stepped in to honor Pero by helping the band fulfill their touring commitments. Although he didn’t record any albums with Twisted Sister, his association with the band was met with a positive response from fans. Portnoy is renowned for his technical proficiency and has received numerous awards for his drumming. He has also worked with a plethora of other bands and projects, including Transatlantic, The Winery Dogs, and Sons of Apollo, among others.
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