© Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com

The first most of us ever saw of Dee Snider, he was part of a band of frightfully costumed and garishly made-up incredible hulks raging against suburban parental authority in the 1983 video for their break-out hit “We’re Not Gonna Take It”. That song and it’s follow-up “I Wanna Rock” remain two of the signature hits of hair metal. However cartoonish the violence depicted in the group’s videos (there’s a strong Road Runner v. Wile E. Coyote thing going on in them), they attracted the unwanted attention of Tipper Gore and her Parents Music Resource Center. Snider surprised many by proving to be a well-spoken advocate of heavy metal artists’ First Amendment rights.

By the mid-80s, Twisted Sister’s fortunes were already on the wane, and though, with a revolving line-up, they remain a well-loved live act, their recording career essentially ended with the 1987 flop Love Is For Suckers. In 2000, Dee Snider released his first solo album Never Let the Bastards Wear You Down. In 2012, he appeared as a contestant on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice (on a previous season, he’d appeared as a guest, helping out contestant John Rich in one of his challenges). His second solo album Dee Snider Does Broadway was released a few weeks after his elimination from the reality competition.