In a recent interview with Loudwire, TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider talked said that he invented stage diving.
He told Loudwire:
“I don’t know if you know, but I invented stage diving. We were this popular club band for many years. And in the earliest days, we were dressing literally in women’s clothing, and I was getting into a fight every night.
“I was the lead singer, frontman, and band security. Now, this one night, we come out on stage, and it’s packed – like 1,000 people in a club that holds 500. Jam-packed, a sea of people, and some guy throws the bottle at us…
“Now, let me explain something to you guys: throwing something at the band is the least cool thing in the world to do. Because we can’t see… ‘Who threw that bottle?! Who threw that bottle?!’
“I see the audience is all pointing at this one area, and I’m going, ‘Over there! Who threw that bottle?!’ I said, ‘If you got one ball – not one ball; if you got half of one ball, you will show yourself!’ Nothing…
“So I go, ‘You know what? You suck! Your father sucks! Your mother sucks!’ And as soon as I got to ‘your mother,’ like, that’s the line you don’t wanna cross, and I knew I was crossing it. ‘Your mother sucks!’, and this guy’s [middle] fingers go up – bam! Middle fingers way up!
“I said, ‘You?! Is it you?!’. And this is where I invented stage diving. I decided that I am going to swan-dive off a six-foot-high stage into the crowd, and the audience will catch me. I mean, it is a thousand people in a 500-person room – how could they possibly not catch me?
“Now just to cut to Eddie Ojeda, my guitar player, Eddie says he remembers turning sideways and seeing a pair of red platform boots sailing eye-level past his head as I dove into the crowd. [Chuckles]
“What I did not account for, being the first stage-diver, is that it’s human nature that when you see approximately 185 pounds of silver lamé – which is what I was wearing that night – flying your way, the human instinct is: get out of the way!
“I don’t know how these people parted, like the damn Red Sea! I don’t know where they went but somehow, these 1,000 people managed to squeeze sideways and I came plummeting down and smashed into the ground.
“Now, I’m not that tough a guy. It’s the shock of a movie character coming off the screen. Nobody expects the guy onstage to actually come into the crowd, so you’ve got your advantage of surprise.
“Plus, I was sober, which works great as well when you’re fighting drunk people. But every now and then, I know you’re gonna meet your match. So I’m smart enough to look around and see who’s got my back, and I noticed there’s a pretty big biker SMFs [‘sick mutha fuckers’], fans of the band. So I figure, they got my back.
“So as I peel myself off the ground, it turns out I nearly broke my leg. I bruised the bone, we ended up canceling multiple shows ’cause my leg just blew up like a balloon.
“But I got off the ground, and the dude with the bottle is in full-on kung-fu stance! He’s got the whole praying-mantis-one-leg-up-in-the-air. I’m like, ‘Damn, I’m not ready for this, I’m wearing lamé!’
“So I look around quickly for my loyal minions who are gonna get my back, and there they are, making room for the fight. ‘Give ’em room guys, it’s gonna be a brawl!’ So now I’m in this packed club, I’m on the floor, my leg is throbbing, my lamé is splitting, and I’m dealing with a karate guy!
“So I just, in my six-inch spiked stiletto heels – red, if you remember – I just charge this guy, ramming him into the crowd like a wild man until security jumps on him and they drag him away and I crawl back onto the stage.
“The place is now losing their mind. They’re cheering, ’cause this was epic! And I invented stage diving; people were going, ‘Hey, he just invented stage diving! That was amazing! Next time we should catch him!'”