“I Wanna Rock” is a song written and composed by Dee Snider and performed by his band Twisted Sister. It was released on the 1984 album Stay Hungry.
Like the earlier “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, the video features actor Mark Metcalf, best known as the abusive ROTC leader Douglas C. Neidermeyer from the movie National Lampoon’s Animal House. Here, he plays a teacher with a similar personality to Neidermeyer, who harasses a student for drawing the Twisted Sister logo on his notebook. He chastises the student by shouting “What kind of a man desecrates a defenseless textbook?! I’ve got a good mind to slap your fat face!”, which echoes a line from Animal House: “What kind of man hits a defenseless animal [a misbehaving horse]? I’ve got a good mind to smash your fat face in!”
Metcalf’s character reprises his question from the “We’re Not Gonna Take It” video, “What do you want to do with your life?!” This provides a lead-in for the track, as the student answers with the first line of the song, “I wanna rock!“, after which he and four of his classmates are instantly transformed into Twisted Sister’s five members. After the vicious teacher’s repeated attempts to stop his rock-loving students not only fail but also backfire on him, he crawls into the principal’s office, only to be confronted by the principal, played by Stephen Furst, who played Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in Animal House, alongside Metcalf. Furst reprises one of his lines from the movie: “Oh boy, is this great!”, before he sprays water from a seltzer bottle at the teacher.
A parody entitled “Goofy Goober Rock” is featured prominently during the climax of the 2004 animated film The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.
In 2009, “I Wanna Rock” was named the 17th-Greatest Hard Rock Song by VH1.