The founding member of the hair metal band Twisted Sister is threatening to sue a small coffee shop in Mission, Kansas, called Twisted Sisters, saying the shop’s name and web URL are diluting the band’s brand.
An attorney for the band last month sent a letter to sisters Sandi Russell and Nancy Hansen that stated: “Our client commenced use of the TWISTED SISTER mark in 1973 and has developed a considerable amount of goodwill in and to the TWISTED SISTER mark and brand.”
As of this writing, the Twisted Sisters coffee shop website had been abandoned, despite the fact that Russell and Hanson had no idea who Twisted Sister was when they founded the shop last August.
“Quite honestly, when I first received your letter, I truly had to go to the site you provided to learn of this band. Sorry. After Elvis, the Beatles and the Beach Boys, my love of music tends to be country,” Russell wrote the band’s attorney. “All of the references to twisted, twisters and tornadoes come out of where we live, Middle America, Tornado Alley, home of Dorothy and Toto.”
The band’s frontman, Dee Snyder, recently spoke to Kansas City’s KCTV 5 News about the potential legal action, defending founder John French and what appears to be his obsession with protecting the band’s trademarked name.
“People are going crazy because it seems like this Goliath is attacking this David, this poor little David for the Twisted Sister trademark,” Snider told the station. “I told JJ, I said, ‘You know, man, you’ve got to call in to some of these TV shows and some of these radio shows and defend yourself.’ Because he apparently tried to work something out with the people at that shop and their first response was, ‘Who’s Twisted Sister?’ They actually said they’d never heard of the band. Really? Really? That much I know. Everybody’s heard of Twisted Sister.”
Here is the band’s biggest hit, “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” which naturally takes on new meaning in this context: