Mike's Big Column

Twisted Sister was huge in Long Island but no where else. Outside of the Island, no one really heard of them. A friend of mine persuaded me to go out and see them. When Dee came out and the lights went on, I was like, 'What the fuck is this?' After I gave it a chance, I thought, 'Hey they are pretty good.' I started talking to Fatty and Hillary in between sets and they became good acquaintances.

I would bullshit with Fatty more than anyone else because we had the same sense of humor and a lot in common. He became my mentor as far as rock and roll goes. I had a strong desire to learn what went into setting up the stage. Kev showed me a few things here and there. John Russo was the guitar tech at the time, he also showed me a few things. So little by little, I was taking it all in.

Now we are getting into the winter of 1978-79. Twisted Sister starts their assault on the suburbs. John Russo leaves and Mark Mendoza takes over guitar duties. One of the first shows Mark works is Emit's Inn in Jamesburg, New Jersey. I think there was about 30 people in the audience. Dee was trying everything to get them motivated. Nothing was working (send in the nuns), so he got down off the stage, stayed behind the police barriers they had everywhere they went, and started working the "crowd" in his own special way. Well, one of the hillbillies didn't like it at spit at Dee. Dee flipped out and took a swing at the jackass. Out of no where comes this giant fuzz ball of hair. Mendoza picks the guy up by the throat, escorts him out the door and animalizes him a tad.

Well, the show's over and the feeling was this guy was gonna come back with some mountain folk. It was time for Altini to give a hand to pack up and get the fuck out of there.

Until next time,

Part 1: Introductions
Part 2: Animal At Emit's
Part 3: Mike's Big Guitar Debut
Part 4: You're Yelling In My Ear...
Part 5: Security, Peacekeepers and Eddie Kramer
Part 6: Never Buy Lo Mein Fron A Bait Store
Part 7: Greetings from Asbury Park
Part 8: Ah! Hito! Hiata!! It is...Garbage-Ra!!
Part 10: Goodbye, Tony, Hello, Joey... Goodbye, Joey, Hello, Richie...
Part 11: The Gemini, Big Sal and Altini's Fan Club
Part 12: 'Where's My Corned Beef Sandwich??'