Natalie Gravenor | Friday December 20th, 2013
Filmmaker (“Doomed Love”, “East Side Story”, “The Nomi Song“) and realeyz.tv blogger Andrew Horn is putting the finishing touches on his latest rockumentary, “We Are Twisting Fucking Sister!”. The shift in subject matter from the late 70s/early 80s New York Downtown arty new wave scene that engendered Klaus Nomi to the hard-working, hard-rocking metalheads from Long Island may seem somewhat incongruous. Yet there is an organic link.
Among the jaw-dropping anecdotes told to Horn while researching “The Nomi Song” was a particular humdinger, recounted by Nomi’s manager, Ron Johnson. Some clever promoter booked Nomi, who sported Kabuki by way of Dr. Caligari in space stage make up, as a supporting act for the rouge-cheeked, lipsticked and eyeshadowed Twisted Sister. Twisted’s use of make up emulated glam forebears like the New York Dolls and David Bowie, and their largely suburban, working class audience never questioned the band’s bad-ass macho image. Unfortunately, tolerance of make up and other “non-masculine” signifiers didn’t extend to Nomi, who was booed and pelted with produce. Horn tracked down Twisted singer Dee Snider as well as guitarist Jay Jay French (who ended up in the movie) to get another twist on the incident. French was very sympathetic to Nomi’s plight and the band tried to soften the blow for Nomi as best as they could, but it was a lost cause.
Quality time spent with Snider, French, and eventually other band members, tipped Horn off to another great story, that of Twisted Sister themselves. Paying their dues as a bar band (playing glam and hard rock covers) in the Tri-State (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut) area in the early 1970s, Twisted eventually attracted crowds of thousands on a regular basis, with no record contract, no radio airplay and pre-Internet. Fan adulation was proportional to music biz disdain. Will the band triumph against the odds?
“We Are Twisted Fucking Sister!” is in the home stretch. To cross the finishing line, Horn needs funds to cover costs of technical polishing, video material restoration and rights clearance. Check out the crowdfunding campaign he has set up on Indiego. Even if you’re not a fan of Twisted Sister or heavy metal’s not your bag, the movie offers fascinating characters, a suspenseful story and lots of insight into the workings of the music industry – and how an intrepid band created a viable parallel universe. Support the film and check out exclusive clips which Horn will be adding weekly. And, while you’re at it, get a one of a kind Christmas gift – the crowdfunder perks include the inevitable T-shirts, but also first pressings of 7 ” records, lunch dates with band members and personlized phone mailbox messages. Not to forget exclusive online film viewing, but more on that after the campaign is over…