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TWISTED SISTER's Explosive Jam Session With MOTÖRHEAD On The Tube in 1982

It was a different time.

Twisted Sister The Tube

This vintage footage of Twisted Sister jamming with members of Motörhead brings new meaning to the phrase "it's only rock and roll metal but I like it." Even better is the fact that we were able to track down additional footage which, while recorded for The Tube, was not aired. Often bands appearing on the BBC show hosted by Jools Holland, would keep performing for the in-studio audience. And this was one of those times. But before we get to this mythical performance, let’s learn more about Twisted Sister's time in the UK in 1982, and how Lemmy and Motörhead helped UK metal fans look beyond the makeup and spandex, helping them see the real Twisted Sister. According to Snider, Lemmy and Motörhead were the reason Twisted Sister broke through in the UK, where metal fans were notoriously not into bands wearing makeup. 

Twisted Sister's fired-up appearance on The Tube came mid-way through their nine-date tour of the UK in support of their debut record, Under the Blade (1982). After three nights at the Marquee Club, Twisted Sister would perform on The Tube on December 17. And what transpires during the filming provides some sharp insight into the contentious atmosphere surrounding Twisted Sister just based on their stage getups. It didn't help that another host of The Tube, Paula Yates (the ex-wife of Bob Geldof and girlfriend of the late Michael Hutchence of INXS), introduced the band by saying "they look like women but they play like men." Yates' also proclaimed Twisted Sister that they were the biggest bunch of "hell raisers' to ever come out of the States. Something Twisted Sister would live up to during their blistering, and at times vehement performance.

As the band takes a quick banter break between songs, Dee dedicates the next number, Twisted Sister's cover of the Rolling Stones' 1974 hit, "It's Only Rock and Roll, (But I Like It)" too the all the "folks out there that can't handle Twisted Sister because of the way we look." He also takes a moment to address a girl in the crowd wearing a beret (?), that her hat "looks like crap." Nice. As Twisted Sister is motoring through the jam, Dee tells the audience it was time to bring out the "big artillery" to the stage and that meant Lemmy and Motörhead guitarist at the time Robbo (Brian Robertson) to the stage to help close the song out and things get fucking LOUD.

While things keep smoking hot on stage, Dee takes a moment to give something back to the crowd who he and Twisted Sister had in the palm of their hands, by taking off his makeup while Lemmy and the band play on. And it gets intense thanks to Snider's fervor and connection with the crowd. The word legendary does not even begin to describe what happened that day, as you will see. 

During their time in the UK, Twisted Sister also played the Reading Festival where Dee brought out an Uzi during the song "Shoot 'em Down" (which Dee has said seemed like a "good idea" at the time), firing blanks at the crowd and blowing out his microphone in the process. For their final song, the band was also joined by Lemmy, Fast Eddie Clark, and Pete Way for another rowdy version of "It's Only Rock and Roll But I Like It."  The next gig, while not as huge as Reading, had Twisted Sister open a show for Motörhead on July 24 at the Wrexham Football Club in North Wales by Lemmy's personal invitation. Wrexham reluctantly allowed the show to go on, most likely because the soccer club was in dire need of money at the time.

Other bands (seven total) on the roster included Budgie, Raven, Orion, and Tank, and a few other minor acts. The show itself was rather controversial due to its volume, much like Motörhead's show at Port Vale in Lemmy's birthplace of Stoke-on-Trent during the Heavy Metal Holocaust Festival in 1981. The crowd at Wrexham were full of booze and by the time Twisted Sister was ready to hit the stage, the crowd was armed with bottles and anything else they could get their hands on, ready to use the band as target practice. But that never happened as Lemmy took the stage to introduce Twisted Sister and, as Snider details in his book, Shut Up and Give Me the Mic, with that one act Kilmister, if he hadn't already, officially made it "cool" to like Twisted Sister. Something we hope you to come to realize (if you haven't already), after watching the following footage of Twisted Sister back in their heyday.

Twisted Sister on The Tube, December 17th, 1982.
Lemmy and Robbo join Twisted Sister for 'It's Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It).'
Twisted Sister performing 'Shoot 'em Down' as the credit roll on The Tube.
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