TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider has slammed the Australian politician accused of rewriting the band's song without permission as a "common criminal" who is "stealing" the group's music.
Clive Palmer adopted the melody and rhythm of TWISTED SISTER's hit single "We're Not Gonna Take It" in his political advertisements for the United Australia Party. The advertisements feature a vocalist singing the TWISTED SISTER song's melody along with the lyrics: "Australia ain't gonna cop it, no Australia's not gonna cop it, Aussies not gonna cop it any more."
In TWISTED SISTER's original, Snider sings: "Oh we're not gonna take it, no we ain't gonna take it, oh we're not gonna take it anymore."
Earlier today, Snider, who is currently in Australia on a solo spoken-word tour, appeared on the "Today" show to talk about his ongoing issues with Palmer.
Calling Clive's song "terrible" and "a blatant rip-off," Dee pointed out that while it is nothing new for politicians to use songs from popular artists in their campaigns, Palmer's case is different, because he is using "We're Not Gonna Take It" "in a commercial without licensing. To use it at a rally or something like that, that's one issue, and those politicians, like Donald Trump, when asked to stop, they stopped," Snider explained. "But he's using it… [he's] breaking the law. He's a common criminal, in my opinion, and he's stealing my music. He's refusing to pay the royalties that he's supposed to pay to use it in a commercial campaign."
Snider also again repeated his claim that Palmer initially got in touch with the singer's publishing company about licensing the track before ignoring the advice and recording it anyway.
"Apparently, he approached my publishing company, put in the request for the license and then never paid it and started to using this song in the commercials," Dee said. "[The publishing company] just said, 'This is what it'll cost to use it.' And he just started using it without paying for it."
Snider also said that his publishing company is in the process of suing the politician.
"It's theft of services, basically, and it's going on to the courts," he said. "But it also makes me look bad, 'cause, as I looked into Clive's thing, he does not represent what I represent. I mean, the first line of the song is, 'We've got the right to choose.' That's a big deal to me; I stand by freedom of choice for everybody. And from what I've discovered about his stance, he's not pro choice."
As for how he thinks this whole thing will turn out in the end, Snider said: "They're gonna take it to courts, but it's gonna be one of those things where they'll negotiate a settlement. In the meantime, he's already ran his spots and did his damage. And there's people out there who think that I've endorsed his campaign."
Earlier today, Snider took to Twitter to call Palmer "nothing but a lowlife, piece of kangaroo dung, criminal without an ounce of dignity."
Back in 2015, Dee gave then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump permission to use the song on his campaign trail because they were friends. However, as the campaign raged on, Snider began to develop a greater understanding of Trump's ideology and changed his mind.