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Dee Snider Is Taking Back The Horns.

Dee-snider Dee Snider of Twisted Sister is pissed. He's pissed at Texas. He's pissed at Bon Jovi. He's pissed at AOL and now he's pissed at you. Snider is engaged in an all out war with the general public. The 80's Metal Soldier is enraged over the blatant disrespect and common misuse of the Metal Horns; The universal symbol adopted by Heavy Metal some three decades ago.

It's common knowledge throughout the Metal community, that legendary Rainbow and Black Sabbath front man, Ronnie James Dio, was the first to introduce the Metal Horns, hand gesture within the genre. Although the dragon slaying and rainbow riding Dio was the first to popularize the Metal Horns, he certainly does not lay claim to it's invention. Article-dio

In fact, the Metal Horns, also known as "Karana Mudra" in some Eastern cultures, is used as a symbol to expel demons. The good people of Texas are familiar with a similar gesture called "The Hook Em' Horns", commonly used by the students and athletes of the University of Texas at Austin. In Baseball, the gesture is used regularly to indicate that there are two outs in an inning. Jeez, if you take the same finger formation and turn the palm up... VOILA! Spiderman even gets into the action.   Spiderman_satan_sign 

Regardless of the very backdated and sometimes cluttered history of the so called, "Metal Horns", Mr. Snider is hell bent on making sure that the symbol stays with its most prominent and perhaps appropriate guardian. In fact, he is so adamant in his defense of the horns, that he has recently launched a website devoted to "Taking Back The Horns" from all those that misuse it. If you gather up enough courage to visit his website, that bares the same name, you will no doubt, find him fighting the good fight on a multitude of levels. Whether he's bashing AOL for wanting to create a Metal Horns Emotican (Which would be awesome) or taking shots at a toddler for flipping the sign to his Mom, Dee Snider takes this as seriously as an erection that lasts for more than four hours.Metal-Straight-Horn-SNH002- 

The truth is, I don't blame him. Mostly because he's incredibly intimidating and I am deathly afraid of him. But I also see the source of his frustration. Pop Culture took a huge shit on the head of Heavy Metal in the early 90's and inevitably left it for dead. Bands such as Twisted Sister, Skid Row, Motley Crue and other mainstream Hard Rock acts were openly mocked and tossed aside in the wake of the Grunge movement.

Fast forward to the present day. It seems as if Pop Culture has selectively chosen to summon some of these aging Metal Icons back from the dead. Along with them, comes the Metal Horns. So why not make some hot, bedazzled, Metal Horns tee shirts for the ladies out in Beverly Hills? Fuck! Why not even slap the Horns on some kids clothing and we'll make a buck on Metal? Dee Snider won't have it.080106eldiablo

While I agree with almost everything Dee Snider says (again because I am afraid of him), I do take issue with one of his accusations. Mr. Snider tends to blame Bon Jovi for everything from the death of 80's Metal to the recession. I happen to think that Mr. Jovi has been unfairly made the scapegoat in this instance. With all due respect to Mr. Snider (please don't punch me in the solar plexus, for I might pee myself.), I believe that Mr. Jovi has made an admirable leap from the 80's Metal scene to that of contemporary Rock, all the while, being respectful to the genre that helped launch his career. He also happens to be the only Hard Rocker from that era to have successfully transitioned from Metal Hair to, well... normal hair. He has found a clever way to carve out a niche for himself as a part actor in Hollywood and he happens to look fabulous in jeans.

All of this sounds kind of far fetched but it's happening and Dee Snider is taking it personally. So you have two choices. You can either jump on the band wagon and spread the Metal Horns around like a bad STD; Or you can step the fuck off, if you aren't a True Metal Head and leave the Metal Horns out of your poser pictures and your Facebook profiles.

I know what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna continue to fly the Horns where they should be flown; At a Queensryche concert or a Twisted Sister show, while drinking warm beer, under the cover of night. This way, I can keep my dignity and avoid being punched in the nutsack by Mr. Snider.

Good day Sir.




Jason never thought he'd have daughters and now he will always be Out-Numbered.

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"Mr. Jovi."

Out. Standing.


Hilarious. I hate Texas so you will never catch me using the horns because of their influence. Dee Snider is most certainly crazy and scary. I won't mess with him.


I like to throw some horns. I like metal. To avoid chicken bag or solar plexus punching from Mr. Snider, does he require me to send him my iTunes library and/or photos of my CD collection?


When I was in junior high you were either a Guns 'n Roses person, or a Bon Jovi person. You couldn't be both. (I had discovered Depeche Mode by then, so I kept journals full of bad poems about the angst of being misunderstood and alone.)

I wouldn't want to hook horns with Dee, or with Dio for that matter... I think his Karana Mudras can cause stuff to burst into flames.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

I say THIS.


"please don't punch me in the solar plexus, for I might pee myself." Classic.

Thanks for duly crediting AND differentiating Spidey's influence. All this time I thought those guys were trying to shoot webs. I see now that they were all just making cute little bunny hand puppets.


All i remember about Twisted Sister is that they were sort of considered a joke among the Metal Heads I knew in the 80s...

Hopefully Mr. Snyder doesn't come and pummel me for that.


Well, that's wonderful, except the hook 'em horns sign came about in 1955 - the same year Dee was born.


I'm afraid Mr. Snider did not invent anything new. And the Longhorns of UT will be still signing "Hook 'em!" long after he becomes a forgotten page in the annals of pop music.


Sorry, gotta agree with Laura. I despise football, but it is quite true that UT fans were using the gesture even well before Dio came along. All the same, I do like the idea that metal deserves more respect than it's gotten. Then again, I like metal. And it's also kind of the ultimate survivor of popular genres of music. You can't keep it down; it won't go away. You can't hurt it by misusing the horns... it's METAL!


Freakin hilarious! I knew spidey was my fav superhero for a reason!


I work with young children. We actually do something similar to metal horns, except that our thumb, and two middle fingers are extended and touching. We call it "quiet coyote - he has his mouth closed and his ears open." It's so much better than the "peace sign" that is beyond over-done, going "shush" or even worse, yelling "SHUT UP!" to a bunch of six year olds.


Great article and thank-you for linking to the Taking Back the Horns site. Just read the post on "Usage" - that's some funny (and useful) shit right there!


Right on! I think Dee's heart is in the right place. Somehow, he'll manage to wrangle the situation and restore order to the Metal community. Listen to me. What the fuck am I talking about?


My comment kind of sounds like I hate metal. I love metal. But I also happen to live in Austin and work 5 miles from the UT campus so I might be just a taaaad protective of the hook 'em horns gesture.


Nice posting. Do you know about these mudra books?


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