Growing up Twisted

I have always been a fan of heavy metal, rock and “hair bands”. Back in the 80’s it was all about the hair, spandex and “pretty boys”. Bands like Ratt, Poison, Whitesnake, Twisted Sister, Judas Priest, Winger… I loved them all (Kip Winger was such a hottie! LOL!). Much to the dismay of my parents of course. My parents raised me to be very “prim and proper” (very old fashioned!). I also attended church every week and went 16 years with PERFECT attendance at church (I even received some nice awards for that too). It was hard for many people to believe that sweet little Kimberly would go to rock concerts whenever she could. I even had best friends who had their own rock band called Arakis.

I blame my hard of hearing on too many rock concerts. LOL!

Here is a funny story. Before I really became friends with the guys from Arakis I was really only friends with one of the band members because he sat in front of me in Science. We knew they practiced all the time at this other boys house.

One night my friends were over at my house for a sleep over. We rented the horror flick “Dawn of the Dead” and my Mom made burgers and hot dogs.

One of my friends dared me to call up the band Arakis and invite them over. It was a JOKE! And I was “double dog dared” so I had to do it (LOL). To my surprise they asked where I lived and said they would be right over.

OH NO!!!!!

It was summer vacation but it was a Thursday evening. My Father, Sister and Brother all had to work the next day.

Around 8:oo PM three cars showed up in my driveway. Out came 14 (YES! 14!) boys all dressed in spandex pants, spikes and hair that was sky high. My parents aged about 10 years that night when they came knocking at the front door.

So there we were, me and my four best girlfriends and 14 boys all dressed up in the best heavy metal attire, sitting in our playroom eating hot dogs and watching “Dawn of the Dead”.

The night actually went very well. No one got out of control. Everyone was quiet. The lead singer of the band even had a cup of tea in the kitchen WITH MY MOM! He said tea made his throat feel better after singing and actually asked my Mom for a cup of tea. From that moment on my Mom liked him. Even when we met him at the store a few weeks later , dressed in spandex pants and even had a giant safety pin going across the front of them, he came over to my Mom to talk to her. She told me he was a very sweet boy.

From that day on me and my friends were known as the “Dawn of the Dead” girls. Even to this day, nearly 30 years later, we’re still known as that.

Fast forward to March of 2009. It was just a typical Sunday afternoon. My family wanted to get out to enjoy the fresh air so we opted to go to a local park. It was nothing special. We weren’t even dressed up. After all it was just the park and we were going to walk around.

When we were parking our car my husband said to me “Isn’t that Dee Snider?”. Nah… not THE Dee Snider, lead singer of Twisted Sister? Why would he be at our park?

It turns out that it WAS Dee Snider! He was at the park for a fundraiser for the March of Dimes. Dee is the national spokesman for Bikers for Babies, which helps to raise funds and awareness for the March of Dimes. http://www.BikersforBabies.org.

Our son was born 9 weeks premature so we can truly appreciate all the work that the March of Dimes does for families to help prevent birth defects, prematurity and infant mortality. For more information about this great charity please visit http://www.MarchofDimes.com.

My husband and I were starstruck. Our kids just thought we were nuts.

We notice Dee was stopping to take pictures with other people so we thought we’d take a chance and see if we could get our picture with him too. We called out his name and he walked over to us and said “Hey guys, how’s it going?”. Umm… we’re in SHOCK! Thanks for asking (LOL…we didn’t really say that).

Dee is THE SWEETEST GUY! He seems so mean and scary when he’s all dressed up and on stage (or in videos) but in real life he is incredibly sweet. He even took the time to get to know our kids, addressed them by name, and went on to tell them how did a song for the Spongebob Squarepants movie ( “Goofy Goober Rock” a derivative of “I Wanna Rock”). He got down to their level and everything. And it wasn’t like he talked to us for a few seconds and moved on. No way! He spend well over 5+ minutes chatting with us. We even took several pictures with him.

I looked horrible with my hair pulled back in a ponytail. The sun was in my son’s eyes and you can tell my daughter was NOT amused to be getting her picture taken with some “old dude”. LOL! 

He looks so huge on stage, very much “bigger then life”, but in real life he’s just a normal guy.

We lucked out and also got to see him perform a few songs. It was very impromptu. There was a band at the park for the event and everyone talked him into singing a few songs. Dee even joked about how he played in Germany just a few days earlier with Twisted Sister to an audience of over 30,000, and now here he is playing in front of the hamburgers (the grills were right next to where the band was set up).

He sounds just as awesome in person as he does on the radio.

Now whenever our kids hear a Twisted Sister song they automatically say his name, Dee. Its like they see him as a friend or something. Which is cool. Especially growing up as a fan.

I was THRILLED to learn that Dee Snider and his family have a new reality series on A&E called “Growing up Twisted” which airs Tuesdays at 10:00 PM (check your local listings guide). We were lucky to see four back-to-back episodes tonight. My kids were even excited to see him on TV (although they didn’t really watch the show).

Growing up Twisted follows the day-t0-day lives of Dee, his wife Suzette, and their four kids:

Jesse (27) – a very talented aspiring rock musician who is married with the cutest little daughter name Logan Lane.

Shane (22) – a stand up comedian.

Cody (20) – a budding film maker

Cheyenne (13) – the only girl in the family. She is also a singer.  

My husband and I enjoyed all four episodes. Suzette can be a bit “loud” (for lack of a better word). She clearly speaks her mind, no matter what. She’d drop dead gorgeous and looks amazing for her age. She doesn’t look a day over 25 and I believe she is almost 50!

Jesse is an amazing musician. I can see he inherited his talents from his Dad. In one episode he sang a song he wrote for his daughter’s baptism that brought tears to my eyes.

Shane and Cody can be very comical. They are typical college age boys. Always finding ways of keeping their family on their toes.

I can’t believe Cheyenne is my daughter’s age! She has multi-colored hair and a nose piercing. My daughter would flip if she saw that. She wants to dye purple streaks in her hair. LOL! Got to love teenagers.

Dee and Suzette have been together for 34 years! That is totally unheard of in this day and age (sad to say) especially when it comes to musicians.

Dee was just as sweet on TV as he was in person. You can tell how much he adores his wife and how much his children mean to him. He’s just your typical Dad-next-door, except he’s a heavy metal icon with long blond hair. LOL!

I was not asked to post anything about the show. I just thought maybe some of my readers who are around my age might appreciate knowing about the show, or maybe even some of my readers who are into Twisted Sister.

It was a fun show and I’m sure we’ll have it bookmarked every Tuesday night.

There is no official website I can direct you to for more information. I’m sure you can do an internet search for more information.


About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and "mini zoo" consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher's assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.


  1. What a fabulous post! My husband & I are huge fans of his & love the new show.

  2. Watched it last night, my son loves the song We’re not gonna take it. Usually what he sings with his guitar. Cool running into him & getting a photo:)

  3. Dear Dawn of the Dead girl!!

    What a great post–really enjoyed reading about your chance encounter with Dee Snider, who is still pretty awesome isn’t he? I saw him a few weeks ago on America’s Got Talent. He made a surprise appearance on the show along with Constantine Mouralis (remember him from American Idol?) and the cast of “Rock of Ages.” Looks like that would be a fun show to see.

    I know he (Dee Snider) sometimes comes to the Sturgis Bike Rally, which is going on now near where I live. I haven’t seen him, but it would be fun! I’d probably be too shy to ask for a picture with him though!

    We haven’t seen “Growing Up Twisted” but I think I’m going to have to check it out.

    Thanks for a great read. I really enjoy your writing.

  4. How cool that you got to meet him! I think he is super sweet. Haven’t you noticed how are the big scary guys are really fun loving puppy dogs.