Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider has never been shy about sharing his opinions, controversial or not and recently, on Twitter, he reasoned that Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) and Ronnie James Dio (Dio, Black Sabbath, Rainbow) are “not real performers.” He did maintain that he thinks they are incredibly talented singers, however, noting there’s an important distinction between a performer/frontperson and being a singer.
Snider’s rationale echoes the approach Rolling Stone recently took when rolling out their updated list of the 200 Greatest Singers of All Time (which includes a couple dozen rockers among the ranks). The music outlet argued that technical ability wasn’t the sole factor in their decision-making and that other appealing, unique and impactful elements were also considered.
So, what led Snider down the path to make these claims?
How It Started
On Dec. 30, Snider paid tribute to late and great rock drummer Cozy Powell (Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and others) by sharing a YouTube link to Rainbow’s defining song “Stargazer” while commenting on Powell’s brilliance behind the kit.
His praise for the “incomparable” Dio’s voice later spurred a comment from a fellow Twitter user…
How It Went From There
…This Twitter user argued that Dio was the second greatest frontman in rock history with Queen’s Freddie Mercury being the best.
That’s when Snider stepped in and said, “You are confusing singing with performing. There is a huge difference between a great frontman and a great singer. Ronnie was one of the greatest singers of all time, but as a frontman, he pretty much just stood onstage and sang. Freddie was an amazing singer AND frontman.”
As is the nature of things on the Internet (and particularly Twitter), some fans took offense to this statement and clapped back at Snider, contending that Dio was also a top-shelf frontman.
Always honest with himself, Snider admitted, “I knew this would upset people” and clarified that he does not mean that Dio, Plant and others “don’t have stage presence.”
“They have it in SPADES,” he acknowledged, “but they are not performers.”
Dee Snider’s Tips on Becoming a Great Frontman
Elsewhere, The Twisted Sister icon took some time to chat about how he became such a showman onstage, going all the way back to playing clubs in the ’70s.
Other Frontmen Dee Snider Thinks Are Great
As the back and forth continued, Snider shouted out J Geils Band’s Peter Wolf and Kid Rock.
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