The Story Why Dee Snider’s Father Had Him Arrested
via Loudwire / Youtube
Dee Snider, the charismatic frontman of Twisted Sister, recently opened up about the complex dynamics he shared with his father during his formative years. As the son of a stern state trooper, Dee’s rebellious spirit clashed with his father’s strict upbringing. In a candid interview, Snider shared the surprising story of how his father used his law enforcement connections to have him arrested, shedding light on the challenging yet influential relationship that shaped the future rock star’s journey.
A “Korean War Vet Hard-Ass”
Dee Snider described his father, Bob, as a tough-as-nails state trooper and a Korean War veteran who served as his inspiration. During an appearance on The Kenny Aronoff Sessions podcast, Snider revealed that his father’s famous line, “What do you wanna do with your life?” featured in Twisted Sister’s iconic video for “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” was derived from his father’s constant screams during their tumultuous interactions.
“He’s my inspiration. If you see the [music] videos, that’s my dad, screaming and yelling,” Snider explained
As a teenager, Snider found himself in frequent clashes with his father. Recounting one particular incident, Snider revealed that his father utilized his law enforcement connections to orchestrate an arrest while he was working at a beach burger joint. The shock of being apprehended in front of his colleagues and customers, only to discover his father waiting nonchalantly in his squad car, left Snider feeling bewildered and frustrated.
“I used to work down at the beach and he was a state trooper down there. He would have cops come in and arrest me at work!” Snider told Kenny Aronoff. “So, I’m working in a burger place on the beach, right? And all of a sudden these cops come in, throw me into the wall, search me, pull out drugs out of my pocket. I never did a drug in my life! And everybody’s looking. [The cops] handcuff me, drag me out of the place, and my dad’s out back in his squad car going, ‘Hey, just wanted to say hi, see what was going on.’ I’m like, ‘Really? Now I’ve got to go back to work and explain [why] I just got arrested?’ It was tough.”
Nemesis Turned Motivation
Despite the strained relationship, Snider acknowledged that his father became his nemesis and, subsequently, his motivation to prove himself. Facing discouragement, ridicule, and mockery from his father, Snider channeled his determination into pursuing a career in music, aiming to demonstrate his capabilities and defy his father’s doubts.
The rocker admitted:
“My father was my nemesis. He was my motivation. I was out to show him that I could do it. He discouraged me, laughed at me, mocked me.”
“I remember he grounded me and wouldn’t let me rehearse with the band anymore. So I took up jogging and I used to jog to rehearsals. So I’d go out jogging every night. And I was in high school, and he goes, ‘You’re jogging again?’ I go, ‘Yeah, you know. Gotta stay in shape.’ Jog down to rehearsal, rehearse, jog back home. He goes, ‘Man, that was a long run you did there.’ And I would be sweating, of course. I’m like, ‘Yeah, you know. Gotta stay in shape.’”
Elaborate Tactics to Pursue Music
Snider shared anecdotes about the elaborate methods he employed to circumvent his father’s restrictions on his music aspirations. When his father grounded him and forbade band rehearsals, Snider resorted to jogging to and from rehearsals, presenting it as a fitness routine to conceal his true intentions. These tactics allowed him to pursue his passion while simultaneously maintaining his father’s perceived authority.
Understanding and Reconciliation
As time passed, Snider gained a deeper understanding of his father’s perspective. Despite their differences, their relationship has evolved positively in recent years. Snider acknowledged that his father’s beliefs were shaped by growing up during the Depression era, where dreams were often considered unattainable. Witnessing his son’s success, including television appearances and financial prosperity, left Snider’s father both stunned and reconsidering his own convictions.
The Twisted Sister frontman explained:
“All these years later I’ve kind of come to understand him more. In recent years we’ve gotten really close and I’ve just understood that he came from a different time and a different era. In his strange way he thought he was protecting me. He thought that I was headed for a fault. I remember him saying, ‘Dreams don’t come true!’ He would scream at me. He came from the Depression. He grew up with that ‘dreams don’t come true’ mentality. That’s not the real world. Believe me, he was stunned. Stunned when he saw me on TV. Stunned when he saw his son making money, dressing up like a queen.”