Dee Snider Clarifies Doug Aldrich and Kiss Comments, Says Most Replacement Players ‘Aren’t Band Members’
Dee Snider recently caught some flak for derogatory comments made about former Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich and the current Kiss lineup, but as the Twisted Sister frontman argued during an appearance on Eddie Trunk Live, he wasn't just making idly rude remarks.
Saying he'd already apologized to Aldrich (and called himself a "jackass") for singling out the guitar player on Twitter by asking "which Whitesnake album of importance" Aldrich played on and adding, "I'm tired of musicians who joined famous bands after their heyday claiming they are from those bands," Snider explained where he was coming from when he posted those tweets, saying it all started when he drove past a billboard for Las Vegas' Raiding the Rock Vault show and saw it advertising an appearance by "Doug Aldrich From Whitesnake."
"I said 'Doug Aldrich?' I've met Doug, I know he played with Whitesnake. I'm going, 'From Whitesnake?' This show proclaims they have all these great people from these great bands," said Snider. "Doug Aldrich — that came in, like, 2008! And to claim that he was from Whitesnake, it really irked me. And that's why I did that. I tweeted, 'What important record did he play on?'"
As Snider went on to argue, his comment came from a place of respect for the founding members of bands that achieved success the old-fashioned way — "the people that were in the van, that were on Sunset Strip selling tickets for pay-to-play shows" — who sometimes end up being swept aside during the lineup changes that affect so many veteran bands. As he pointed out, he never went on the road as "Twisted Sister" without the other band members — and he sees a big distinction between being in a band and playing with a band.
Using guitarist Al Pitrelli's stints with Asia and Megadeth as an example, Snider continued, "He's a paid sideman. He's on salary. He's not a band member. None of these guys are band members." Calling the practice of billing post-peak players as "of" or "from" a famous group "misleading to the public," he added, "There are guys today who are in Guns N' Roses? Dude, you're not in Guns N' Roses. You're playing with Axl Rose. ... I'm sorry, man. I'm sorry. If you're hired [to play in] a band after their heyday, I don't care if you played with them for three decades."
Using his long-running radio show House of Hair as an example of this principle in action, Snider added, "We've never played a Whitesnake record with a Doug Aldrich song on it. I'm sorry, Doug. We've never played a Kiss record with any of the guys after Bruce Kulick. Why? Because we're a hits show. We play hits. We plays songs people know, songs people wanna hear, songs people love. ... These are the defining records, these are the defining musicians, this is the music of these people's lives, and that's what my show gives to them."
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