Dee Snider is a heavy metal icon thanks to his days as lead singer of the'80s hair band Twisted Sister. The rock star went on to appear in TV, film and even on stage in the Broadway musical Rock of Ages. Snider recently released a Broadway album Dee Does Broadway, featuring duets with Patti LuPone and Cyndi Lauper. Before he joins the upcoming season of The Celebrity Apprentice (raising money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS), Snider is performing a holiday concert at 54 Below. Get into the Christmas spirit with Dee Does Broadway & Holiday Favorites on December 20 and 21. Below, he talks about the upcoming show, working with LuPone, his rock history and his dream duet partner: Kristin Chenoweth.
What record/album was your favorite growing up?
My first. The Beatles A Hard Day's Night soundtrack.
What concert most influenced you as a performer?
Oddly I didn't get to see many concerts as a kid, and there weren't videos or DVDs to watch at that time. I drew inspiration from photos. Pictures of Alice Cooper performing influenced me the most.
What is your go-to audition song?
I last "auditioned" for a singing gig (lead vocalist for Twisted Sister) in 1976. Haha! I sang some stuff by Led Zeppelin and blew their minds!
What song are you most excited to perform in your show?
I'm doing a mash-up of "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "O Come All Ye Faithful" (from my musical A Very Twisted Christmas, currently in development) for the first time. That should be interesting.
What song gets you in the holiday spirit?
While I love Christmas songs and there are many classics that thrill me, I have to say the Christmas song I wrote for my wife Suzette that Celine Dion (and others) recorded. It's called "The Magic of Christmas (God Bless Us Everyone)." It's the first holiday song played in our home each Christmas season.
What musical theater track is the most played on your iPod?
Dee Snider and Patti LuPone's duet on "Tonight/Somewhere" (West Side Story) from my CD Dee Does Broadway. I still can't believe I dueted with Patti!
If you could invite any performer onstage for a duet at 54 Below, who would it be?
What musical theater performer from the past do you wish you could collaborate with?
Well, I would say Patti LuPone and Bebe Neuwirth, but I got to work with both of them on Dee Does Broadway. I would love to sing with Kristin Chenoweth.
What album was the soundtrack to your 20s?
AC/DC’s Highway to Hell.
What’s your favorite love song?
"When a Man Loves a Woman."
What song makes you feel sexy?
Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy." KIDDING!
What is your favorite workout track?
Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell."
What’s the best hidden gem in on your iPod?
Ellen Foley's "We Belong to the Night." (Look for it, people!)
Favorite break-up song?
I've been with my wife Suzette since 1976. If I had one, it is long forgotten.
What song most makes you smile?
The soundtrack for Rock of Ages! It brings back such amazing, fond memories!
When this song plays, I can’t help but dance:
I don't dance...I head bang!
Check out Dee Snider’s Dee Does Broadway & Holiday Favorites at 54 Below on December 20 and 21. Below, see the video that started it all, 1984's "We're Not Gonna Take It."