For all you Twisted Sister fans… I was living in this historic West Adams house near USC’s Los Angeles campus in 1984 when an unknown rock band called “Twisted Sister” rented it for two days to film their first video for MTV, “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”
I found old snaps of the house from 1984 in an old box in the workshop recently, and thought you might enjoy a few of my favorite memories of their visit.
I think it’s safe to say that pretty much no one outside the club scene in New York had heard of Twisted Sister when the massive studio filming truck pulled up to film the video at our house. So, I was expecting the band members to be women. You can imagine my surprise when I met Dee Snider and his bandmates dressed in their outrageous stage attire. I knew right then this was going to be a very outrageous video.
In the video, the opening scene begins with the kid playing the guitar in what is the front “guest” bedroom upstairs, seen in the photo above as the upstairs left window. Dad gets tossed off the balcony off the master bedroom seen on the right.
Later on, the band are squeezed together, hanging out of my upstairs bathroom window singing. I’m really not sure how the four band members squeezed into those windows, as there was a cast iron claw-foot bathtub directly under the window. The faucet-end of the tub was under the window, making the squeeze impossibly tight for the band-mates. I wonder if they remember jamming themselves into the tub and out of the window!
A few of the neighbors’ homes also made it into the video, including the scene where “dad” is swinging out of a tree (the tree is gone now).
As outrageous as Dee Snider and the band looked, they were the nicest people and, most noticeably, absolutely dedicated to their family and kids who had joined them at the house during the filming.
Oh yeah, the house was built in 1909 in a true craftsman style of architecture, and those are my college pals, including my friend and roommate, the late Bob Bortfeld, hamming it up on the porch steps.
Several other videos and movies were made at the house over the years I lived there, including playing Barry Manilow’s mom’s house in his Copacabana TV movie, and other flicks with Christopher Lee and James Earl Jones. But, Twisted Sister was the first and most memorable by far.
My story of Twisted Sister’s most memorable visit in 1984 goes deeper, but I’ll leave it for later.
Here’s a link to the original and official Twisted Sister “We’re Not Gonna Take It” video: https://youtu.be/4xmckWVPRaI