Dee Snider Really, Really Hates MTV’s “Unplugged”

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For a generation twice removed from the heyday of folk music, MTV’s “Unplugged” series was revolutionary. With legendary performances from acts as varied as Nirvana, Alice In Chains, LL Cool J, Metallica, Korn, Kiss, and Mariah Carey, the format shattered barriers and offered fans a glimpse at a side of these musicians they weren’t previously aware of.

It is the opinion of many that stripping away distortion and effects forged a better relationship between audiences and the craft of songwriting itself. After all, it doesn’t get much more vulnerable than a musician and an acoustic guitar. More vulnerable means more authentic means better, right?

It should come as no surprise that ambassador of heavy metal and arch nemesis of Tipper Gore and the PMRC Dee Snider does not share this opinion. 

In a series of tweets, the bombastic Twisted Sister frontman elaborated on his position. When asked by a fan if he’d ever been asked by MTV to do an “Unplugged” session, he replied:

“I have an incredible aversion to MTV’s Unplugged. It always suggested to me that somehow we weren’t ‘legit’ if we couldn’t play our stuff acoustic.

“My answer to MTV was, ‘When Paul Simon or Tracy Chapman plug into a Marshall stack and ride the lightning, I’ll unplug!'”

After another fan suggested that the phrase “incredible aversion” was impolite, Snider continued:

“I was going to say “hate” but figured I’d class it up.

“I not only hated Unplugged, but believe it was partially responsible for the demise of metal in the early 90’s.

“I mean when you only put out power ballads & stop playing electric instruments…it’s not metal anymore, is it?”

Agree with him or not, Dee Snider’s hypothesis about “Unplugged” and its relation to heavy metal’s dip in popularity isn’t entirely off base. Who would have thought acoustic instruments could spark such an electrifying debate? I’ll see myself out…

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