Dee Snider singing jazzy Broadway pop tunes? Okay. Here’s his take on “Mack The Knife.”
In the 1980s, a Long Island man named Dee Snider dressed up in spandex and crazy make-up as one ugly “sister” (as part of the band Twisted Sister) and made heavy metal/music video history with two insanely popular songs, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock.” I love those songs, and the videos for them? They were outstanding. “I Wanna Rock” is one of the best music videos I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot.
After Twisted Sister’s heyday (1984-1985), there was a time when he and his family were pretty much broke. But Dee kept a positive attitude, and in recent times, he and his family had their own “reality show” on A&E, followed by Dee’s stint on Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” where he was best known as “the guy who hurt his finger.” On Apprentice, Dee worked with singer Clay Aiken, and now Dee has a new CD out called “Dee Does Broadway,” where he and Clay sing “Luck Be A Lady” together. It is, in one word, surreal.
When you think of Dee Snider, the lead singer of Twisted Sister, the last thing you think of is Broadway showtunes.
So, what does he do? He goes and makes an out-of-the-box album of them, and enlists Broadway royalty to guest on key songs– so you’ve got Patti LuPone (“Tonight/Somewhere”) and Bebe Neuwirth (“Whatever Lola Wants (Lola Gets)”) branching out of their comfort zones as Broadway meets Metal music in a rare and great way.
Also on the new album, to make it even more appealing to music fans, you’ll hear another 1980s mainstay, Cyndi Lauper, on “Big Spender.” Meanwhile, Dee’s eldest son, “Jesse Blaze Snider,” joins his young-at-heart old man on “The Joint Is Jumpin’.”
The video for Dee’s take on “Mack The Knife,” (seen above), was directed by his son Cody Blue, and his other son, Shane, makes a cameo in it. In classic Twisted Sister style, this music video is like a funny mini-movie– you’ve got a talent show set-up, where the nerdy host mispronounces Dee’s name, followed by Dee giving the classic jazz-swing take on Bobby Darin’s 1950s classic, “Mack The Knife.” Then, at about the 2:15 mark, watch out, because the beast is unleashed– Dee goes from bland to outrageous, and his Twisted Sister persona, minus the crazy outfit, takes over. Dee has a brilliantly bold operatic voice, and when he sings Broadway showtunes in a Metal way, the results are: surreal! There’s that word again.
With Dee Snider, he’s always surprising people with who he is and what he does– and now, after almost three decades in and out of the spotlight, he’s still relevant and interesting– and I have a feeling this album will be one of his best-sellers ever. I’d buy it. I also plan to read his new book, “Shut Up and Give Me the Mic,” to find out more about this unique character.
One more unexpected thing from Dee– In 1998, he penned a song entitled “The Magic of Christmas Day (God Bless Us Everyone),” which has since become a staple on the radio every Christmas, as sung by none other than Celine Dion. I think that’s hilarious and so so cool. Hard to believe a heavy metal rocker wrote THAT song– but, hey, that’s Dee Snider for ya– a multi-talented creative force to be reckoned with!