August 23, 2012

"I emphatically denounce Paul Ryan’s use of my song ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’..."

"... as recorded by my band Twisted Sister. There is almost nothing on which I agree with Paul Ryan, except perhaps the use of the P90X."

It's a rare entertainer who wants the association with Republicans. What's the upside? You might get some publicity, but the better publicity is in this sort of righteous refusal.

What was it, anyway, that Twisted Sister was saying it was not gonna take? Here are the lyrics. And here's the full-length video that includes the beginning with the dad yelling at the kid (who suddenly turns into Dee Snider). The thing not to be taken is pretty generic. The band claims the "the right to choose" and to "pick our destiny." They're also annoyed at whomever it is they are talking to, from whom they want "nothing" (which sounds pretty un-left-wing to me). The "you" addressed in the song is called "jaded," "trite," "worthless," and "weak" — which sounds like they're more opposed to the welfare state than to rugged individualism.

I'd say it's pretty good as a right-wing song, whether it was originally intended that way or not. But I can see why a performer embedded in our culture would cringe seeing his fairly generic protest song take on specifically right-wing meaning.

61 comments:

Pogo said...

They're not gonna take the royalties, either.

Shut up, and it's free money.

No need for endorsement, just shut up and sing. Hell, no need even to sing, as it's an old recording.

chickelit said...

How about Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold"? OK maybe not such a good choice in Wisconsin if people recall the Prosser brew ha ha.

TWM said...

Dee Snider is a smart guy. Nice one too from what I hear. So I'm thinking it's just the typical artist obligation to denounce a conservative using their stuff.

I bet he doesn't refuse the royalty money though.

Shouting Thomas said...

Musician's careers are formed in their late teens or early 20s... that's the entire explanation.

Everybody's a flaming liberal when they're 20 years old.

The audience demands that musicians remain true to what they were when they were 20 years old. Nostalgia is a professional obligation.

Musicians don't even know they're doing this. In Woodstock, musicians engage in all out warfare over who's more leftist than thou... because they know it will get them invited to play benefits, and improve their chances of getting airplay on NPR and WDST (Woodstock radio station).

Musicians have a gun to their head when it comes to politics. Don't take it so seriously.

madAsHell said...

I'm pretty sure that I've heard radio interviews where Snyder claimed to vote Republican.

chickelit said...

Actually, I appreciate the outing of musician's politics. Though the politics are predictable, it makes it easier for me as a geezer to decide whom to buy and whom not to buy when then remastur things.

Palladian said...

Alice Cooper wouldn't mind.

drozz said...

remember when dee testified in front of the gores, and dee went upside everyone's head?

that was awesome.

Shouting Thomas said...

The flip side of the equation is that the music biz is one of the few remaining arenas of Wild West cowboy capitalism. You either sell tickets, put butts in seats and sell songs and MP3, or you're dead. There is no government program to bail you out.

And, this is exactly what draws musicians to the field. You don't have to play by the bonehead rules of the office, academia or government. The freedom is capitalism.

So, musicians want one thing for themselves, and preach something entirely different for the consumption of the audience.

Amexpat said...

Wouldn't be smart for any candidate to get permission before using a song?

wyo sis said...

Crinch pin?

Ann Althouse said...

"in Wisconsin if people recall the Prosser brew ha ha."

That actually is how you spell brouhaha in Wisconsin.

EMD said...

Dee Snider is a smart guy. Nice one too from what I hear. So I'm thinking it's just the typical artist obligation to denounce a conservative using their stuff.

This.

Shanna said...

Like clockwork.

You would think a performer who relies on things like royalties for a, by now, pretty old song would just shut up and take the money. Don't pretend your ridiculous hair band has some sort of integrity to protect.

Shouting Thomas said...

And, excuse my verbosity (I have to get to work), but I do admire Dylan for this.

During his brief stay in Woodstock, Pete Seeger and the other commies kept dogging Dylan to write more commie protest anthems.

He told them to go fuck themselves because he wanted to be the next Elvis, not the next Lenin. Unfortunately, he left Woodstock, leaving the scene to the commies, who destroyed Woodstock's chances to become a great center for the music biz like Nashville.

The commies wanted an ideological scene, not a music scene. And, that's exactly what the fucking morons got.

Amexpat said...

They're not gonna take the royalties, either.
Shut up, and it's free money.


Rush Limbaugh for many years used(and still does?)a Pretenders song to open his show. Chrissie Hynde, who definitely was not a Limabaugh supporter, laughed about it and said she's gave all the royalty money from Rush's show to PETA.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

I empahatically am impressed by their use of 'emphatically.' (duh)

roesch/voltaire said...

icI think Tom Morello expressed the reasons in his Rolling Stone column last week explaining why he and others object to the R&R use of their music.
Don't mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta "rage" in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he's not raging against is the privileged elite he's groveling in front of for campaign contributions.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/tom-morello-paul-ryan-is-the-embodiment-of-the-machine-our-music-rages-against-20120816#ixzz24NUZluSi

Lem said...

de·nounce
Verb:
1.Publicly declare to be wrong or evil.
2.Inform against.

Lipstick on a rat?


a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Also I'm putting my foot down when I take it off the bed.

MayBee said...

but the better publicity is in this sort of righteous refusal.

Is it really better publicity?
The music industry is liberal, but the buying public isn't. People who like Ryan are at his rallies and watching him on tv.
They hear the music and think, "gosh, I really like that song, I think I'll download it".

Notice how popular artists have gone from being too cool for American Idol to performing on it? It's not because they suddenly think American Idol is cool. It's not because there's good publicity in telling half the country they are disliked by the artist. It's because exposure sells music.

Nonapod said...

Dee Snider is confusing to me. After reading Dee's autobiography (fairly entertaining for a rock bio) it seemed to me that he came off as somewhat more conservative. But a couple of times he goes off on your typical rock'n roll guy rants against social conservative stuff. I'm pretty sure he mentioned he voted for Clinton and Kerry. He didn't mention if he voted for Gore, perhaps because it would seem hypocrital after Tipper and the PMRC stuff.

From his overall upbringing and attitude though he came off to me as more conservative, or at least a libertarian.

Seeing Red said...

Should the man who did a Stanley Steemer commercial open his mouth?

MayBee said...

From Snider's Wikipedia entry:

In 2003, he appeared with actor Arnold Schwarzenegger during his drive to recall incumbent California Governor Gray Davis. Snider sang the Twisted Sister hit, "We're Not Gonna Take It," which was adopted by the Schwarzenegger campaign.

Paul Zrimsek said...

What's this?? A Romney/Ryan pin???

EMD said...

Don't mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta "rage" in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he's not raging against is the privileged elite he's groveling in front of for campaign contributions.

Worst. Commenter. Ever.

Kenneth Burns said...

"We're Not Gonna Take It" was regularly heard in the early days of the 2011 protests against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Until DJ Nick Nice ("I got sick of hearing Twisted Sister") improved the music.

karrde said...

Didn't some musician complain about their music being used (by the Republican Party) in association with Sarah Palin in 2008?

MayBee said...

Snider supported Obama in 2008, so I suspect he remains an Obama supporter. He doesn't want his song used to help the other guy get elected.

It isn't about publicity.

PaulV said...

What we need to more conforming nonconformists.

paul a'barge said...

@Shouting Thomas: what makes you think Dylan left Woodstock.

My understanding is that he still keeps a house there.

SteveR said...

One mediocre song defines his life 25 years later. If you don't want your music used the wrong way, don't "sell" it.

Shouting Thomas said...

Dylan comes to Woodstock very occasionally.

I'm not aware that he still keeps a house. It's hidden about as far back in the woods as you can get if he does. And, I've been to just about every house in Woodstock because I'm was on the rescue squad for a number of years.

I've been to his old house, a very nice mansion up on Ohayo Mt. Dylan offered a friend of mine a job as his caretaker at that house.

Phil Jackson built (and may still own) a house in Woodstock, but he's never been in the house to my knowledge.

BarrySanders20 said...

80's hair bands looked ridiculous then. Time has magnified the absurdity.

Tough shit if hair boy doesn't want someone using his song -- isn't it about not following someone else's rules?

So if not this, what should Ryan's campaign song be? What should Obama's campaign song be?

Roesch/V must be worried. That's some major rage projection going on there.

MayBee said...

I wonder how these lefties who don't want righties to use their songs feel about businesses that don't want to serve groups they don't like?

Isn't this the musical equivalent of the lunch counter?

deborah said...

Gee, R/V, that was pretty mean.

garage mahal said...

My roommate out of high school owned one album, Twisted Sister, and he played that sonfabitch non stop around the clock. It's been an unbearable ear worm ever since. Sorry, no sympathy, Dee.

Sorun said...

@roesch/voltaire: You're retarded.

shiloh said...

Hey, cut the cons some slack as they "try" to be cool!

May I suggest. :)

edward irvin said...

These campaigns pay ASCAP fees so doesn't that give them license to play any music they wish at events?

LoafingOaf said...

"From his overall upbringing and attitude though he came off to me as more conservative, or at least a libertarian."

Libertarians are not conservatives or right wingers.

roesch/voltaire said...

Sorum you are of course aware that I put up a quote from Rage Against The Machine to show why these musicians don't want R&R to play their music. It does not necessarily represent my opinion, but I agree that they have a right to point out the disjunction between the song's intentions and the intentions of the pols who want to use their songs.

Donna B. said...

"generic protest song"

Bless his heart.

Sorun said...

@R/V: No, I didn't realize you were quoting someone else. How about putting quotes in quotation marks? That's what they exist for.

Also, learn how to use HTML tags for linking. Aren't you some sort of engineering professor? You should be able to handle that.

Chip S. said...

Aren't you some sort of engineering professor?

If so, it's got to be environmental engineering.

Mary Beth said...

Didn't some musician complain about their music being used (by the Republican Party) in association with Sarah Palin in 2008?

Heart didn't like them playing "Barracuda".

Shanna said...

Didn't some musician complain about their music being used (by the Republican Party) in association with Sarah Palin in 2008?

Complaining is all I ever hear from these people.

That RATM guy was even more ridiculous, since I think Ryan was just talking about what he likes to listen to working out, or something else fairly inocuous.

Maguro said...

It's world-class environmental engineering, Chip. Credit where credit is due.

Barry said...

re in the video "the dad yelling at the kid" -- that dad being actor and Milwaukee-area resident Mark Metcalf... to bring it all back to Wisconsin.

Christopher in MA said...

Sorum you are of course aware that I put up a quote from Rage Against The Machine to show why these musicians don't want R&R to play their music. It does not necessarily represent my opinion, but I agree that they have a right to point out the disjunction between the song's intentions and the intentions of the pols who want to use their songs.

The repeated incantation of "rage" must speak to you and what you imagine Ryan to be, though, or you wouldn't have gone to the trouble to post.

Rage. Very Princess Bride.

roesch/voltaire said...

Sorum I set up the quote by mentioning Tom Morello and then provided the link which automatically accompanies articles that are copied and pasted-- I assumed you could handle that-- but if it doesn't connect right away, you can copy it and put it into Google search and it will work just as well-- even Maguro and Chip can engineer their way around this:)

rhhardin said...

Limbaugh pays for his theme song, by the way.

Around a decade ago Chrissie Hynde refused to let him renew and continue using it, and there was a several month search for another theme song.

Then it turned out that Hynde's parents liked Rush, and Hynde relented, and Rush has been using and paying royalties ever since.

n.n said...

Mostly, they don't want anyone to harsh their mellow. They fail to consider that they are instead exchanging liberty for submission with benefits. The former when exercised in a society has a prerequisite of individuals capable of self-moderating behavior. They want to have their cake and eat it too. They cannot, in fact, have both. Only a select few ever enjoy the ideal in defiance of reality.

Rusty said...

Chip S. said...
Aren't you some sort of engineering professor?

If so, it's got to be environmental engineering.


Ouch.

Where engineers who can't do the math go.

Crunchy Frog said...

Niedermeier!

Kensington said...

"re in the video "the dad yelling at the kid" -- that dad being actor and Milwaukee-area resident Mark Metcalf... to bring it all back to Wisconsin."
==========

To some he's Animal House's Neidermeier, but to me he'll always be The Master, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's first Big Bad.

deborah said...

"If so, it's got to be environmental engineering."

More like uncivil engineering...a gentleman always uses quotation marks, when called for ;) I'm under the impression he's in Humanities.

I heart r/v, and consider him probably the best lib poster as far as substance and good faith argument.

furious_a said...

R/V: icI think Tom Morello expressed the reasons in his Rolling Stone column last week explaining why he and others object to the R&R use of their music.

...most awesome "power fist" EVER!

William said...

The ability to pick out a few catchy chords on the guitar does not correlate with political wisdom. Where did we get the idea that these guys with multiple failed marriages and frequent rehab stays have some great wisdom to offer us.....I don't mean this as a slam on their musical talent, but the fact that so many rock, rap, punk, etc. stars are hostile to Republicans is a kind bank shot endorsement of Republicans and their values. I think rap cop haters should form an activist group and campaign for Obama.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

The thing not to be taken is pretty generic.

Well, yeah. Mitt Romney is a pretty fucking generic sort of person.

But arbitrary authority as a song topic does narrow it down a bit. Even if Republicans can't stop finding ever newer more boring ways to exert and reward arbitrary authority every day.

John Lawton said...

Ryan should simply go with the original and far superior Who song of the same name!