When you hear Twisted Sisters’ 1984 ode to rock and roll defiance “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t a self-professed billionaire and his family of automaton vampires, and yet somehow the song served as the official campaign song for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign for almost a year. The band’s frontman, Dee Snider, who calls himself a friend of Trump, and appeared on Celebrity Apprentice, said he originally gave him permission to use the song, but later rescinded it after he realized what his campaign was actually about.
“Like many of us out there, we have great friends who we never discuss the big three with: sports, religion or politics. Because we know if this discussion breaks out, that’s the end of the friendship. And I’ve got friends who I know have far different political opinions than I do,” he told CNN this past June.
“When Donald started running for office, he asked me, he called me. He says, ‘Can I use the song?’ And he’s a buddy. And I said, ‘Yeah. Go ahead.’ But as the months went on, I heard a litany of his beliefs that I’d never discussed with him. I finally called him and I said, ‘Man, you’ve gotta stop using the song. People think I’m endorsing you here. I can’t get behind a lot of what you’re saying.’ And that night… He has not used it since. He said, ‘Dee, fair enough.’ He’s a friend. As a friend, he called me. As a friend, I called him, and he stopped using it. I still like him, but, man, I did not know some of the things that he believe in and stood for.”
And that was the time the guy from Twisted Sister was the voice of reason in this political season.
Anyway, here’s a video of happier times, when Trump and his family all rocked out on stage with Snider at a charity benefit in June of last year. It’s exactly as awkward as you are imagining.