And you’re gonna take it!
Because it’s gonna be good!
The singer–best known as the big-haired, large-lunged Twisted Sister frontman–met with me yesterday at 54 Below, where he’ll be doing an act of Broadway numbers and holiday standards. (True story.)
He even explained to me why that’s not so shocking. Here’s how our chat went:
Hi, Dee. You’ll have a band behind you?
There will be 12 people on that little stage. They told me the piano doesn’t move, so I’ll probably be standing on the piano. [laughs] I’ll do show tunes, Christmas classics, and a few Twisted Sister hits.
Wait–Dee Snider likes show tunes?
I did an album called Dee Does Broadway. It was well received, but nobody bought it. I did duets with Patti LuPone, Bebe Neuwirth, Cyndi Lauper, and Clay Aiken, and with the cast of Priscilla, we did “There Is Nothing Like A Dame.” My parents had three records, and one of them was West Side Story on an endless loop. I ended up singing “Tonight” and “Somewhere” with Patti LuPone!
I’m so jealous. Will the act show a softer, more sensitive side to Dee?
If appreciating Broadway is a softer, more sensitive side, yes. But I always think, “What about my stage attire and theatrics didn’t convince you that I used to be a theater major in high school? Maybe I needed to send out more clues!” [laughs]
I’m totally convinced. Have you ever been asked to actually do Broadway?
I was in Rock of Ages for a few months. I’m trying to do things that are challenging. I’m not trying to repeat. I go out and do reunion shows with Twisted Sister, but I won’t be doing new music with them. It was a great time and it’s fun to listen to–but it was an ’80s band.
“We’re Not Gonna Take It” is an angry-anthem classic. Was it inspired by “I’m mad as hell…” from Network?
Not at all, except maybe subconsciously. It was influenced more by singing in the church choir. It’s been pointed out that the first few notes are the same as “Oh Come All Ye Faithful.”
Oh, well, that’s public domain. And they’re quite different songs.
One is “turn the other cheek” and the other one is “an eye for an eye”–which speaks to the half Jew in me!
Was it interesting growing up as a half Jew?
Anyone of the faith knows I’m not really Jewish because my mother is not Jewish. But I’d get Hanukah money every year and spend it on Christmas gifts for my brothers.
Well, I’m glad Kathie Lee’s not the only half Jew doing Christmas albums. Break a leg, Dee!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 18, 2012