Why Dee Snider’s Dad Had Him Arrested
Dee Snider has detailed the complicated -- and often times combative -- relationship he had with his father in his formative years.
The Twisted Sister frontman's dad, Bob, was a state trooper, described by Snider as a “Korean War vet hard-ass.”
“He’s my inspiration. If you see the [music] videos, that’s my dad, screaming and yelling," Snider explained during an appearance to promote his new novel Frats on The Kenny Aronoff Sessions podcast, alluding to Twisted Sister's famous clip for "We're Not Gonna Take It." "That was his line, ‘What do you wanna do with your life?’ He used to scream that at me all the time. And I immortalized him in the video.”
Watch Twisted Sister's Video for 'We're Not Gonna Take It'
As a teen, Snider and his father routinely butted heads. On one occasion, Bob used his law enforcement connections to mess with Dee.
“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 recalled to 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.”
Though Snider's relationship with his dad was contentious, it also fueled the future rock star.
“My father was my nemesis," the singer admitted. "He was my motivation. I was out to show him that I could do it. He discouraged me, laughed at me, mocked me."
When Snider began focussing on music, he had to come up with elaborative ways to get around his father's restrictive rules.
"I remember he grounded me and wouldn’t let me rehearse with the band anymore," the rocker recalled. "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.’”
Despite their differences, Snider reported that he and his dad, who is now 92, have a good relationship.
“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," the Twisted Sister singer explained. "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."
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