“Whattaya want to do with your life?!”
“I wanna rock!”
We’re Not Gonna Take It took slapstick and put a distortion pedal on it. It’s got Dee Snider in his full-blown shock-glam outfit, pink rags, huge hair and blue eyeshadow. The other guys also show themselves to be a dab hand with the makeup.
This video has become a classic of the “don’t take it seriously” genre of heavy metal and is fondly remembered by many 80s metal fans. MTV played it on high rotation during 1984, helping to boost sales of the album Stay Hungry into the millions. Mark Metcalf plays the manically angry father in this video as well as the teacher in I Wanna Rock. The kid is played by Jeremy Sisto who has since found fame in Six Feet Under and Law and Order.
It seems tame by our standards, but the rebellion and violence against the parents saw this video and Twisted Sister come under attack from panicked conservatives. The song featured in the “Filthy Fifteen” list created by Tipper Gore’s Parent’s Music Resource Center and the video was shown at the Senate hearing into “porn rock” in 1985. Dee Snider appeared at the hearing to oppose censorship, aided by John Denver and Frank Zappa.
* Dee Snider has said We’re Not Gonna Take It heavily references O Come All Ye Faithful. Check out their Christmas album A Twisted Christmas and see the similarities.