…even if you ARE Dee Snider, from Twisted Sister!”
Earlier today, a friend shared this video which was taken from Hellfest 2013 in June. Although it’s just the second part of the band’s set, the 5:50 mark onwards is… something else altogether. (I’ve already fast forwarded it to that part, for your convenience.)
While Snider did correct himself after the first remark (‘If you’re not handicapped, stand the fuck up’), he essentially put his foot in his mouth when he shortly requested the crowd to jump.
While a few comments on youtube suggest that this was probably a reference to his segment on the ‘Best Story Ever’, where he recalled once losing his cool at a section of the audience for not standing up at a Twisted Sister show, it could also be that he actually did make a horrible mistake (yet again) at Hellfest this year.
After all, it seems clear enough that a number of people hadn’t even seen his ‘Best Story Ever’ before:
How many of those people were actually handicapped, though? True, a fair share of the audience did indeed laugh. Either they already knew of this embarrassing story, or they hadn’t and just figured he was fooling around.
Yet if not everyone at the band’s set was in on the joke, let alone saw it as such even if they knew of the story, this could create a potentially heated debate from the world wide web.
While some venues and arenas do enable handicapped lovers of extreme or heavy music easy access, which can be made all the more sweeter with courtesy from others all the way to the moshpit; it remains that there are those which still have yet to accommodate various disabilities with even a wheelchair ramp. And, of course, rubbing it in someone’s face that they can neither stand nor jump is often plain rude.
Whether or not Dee Snider meant to be nasty to anyone, Twisted Sister fan or not, the problem is that his banter in the Hellfest clip is currently being read as such, at least online. Though it may have all been in intended good humour, singling out the members of your fanbase who can’t “stand the fuck up” isn’t necessarily going to do yourself any favours.