Wednesday, November 26, 2014


As if we needed another reason to dig Dee Snider.... He's auctioning off memorabilia to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fight AIDS! Check it out. Here at ChiIL Live Shows it was our pleasure to catch opening night of DEE SNIDER’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE, and it was freakin' hilarious. The script is wickedly witty, well written and exceedingly clever. The rock/metal jabs and jokes have the insight of an insider (LSD-Lead Singer Disease & the Ozzie Osbourne chalice were infinitely amusing.) Highly recommended, because Santa Rules! 

Dee Snider, creator and star of DEE SNIDER’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE, will auction off various personally autographed awards and memorabilia for charity. In the spirit of the holiday, all proceeds from the auction will benefit one of his favorite charities Broadway Cares/Equity Fight AIDS. The charity auction is currently running through December 22, 2014 and will be hosted at  A select number of awards and memorabilia will be available each week for one week only.  Dee Snider is starring as the narrator in DEE SNIDER’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E Chestnut) through Jan. 4, 2015.

“In deciding what to do with this myriad of items, it occurred to be that there might be people out there who would enjoy displaying some of these things in their own home—as a reflection of a past or present passion they might have or just because they were mine and be willing to pay money for them.  I’m hoping that there are some very generous people out there who will bid on them, knowing that their money will be going to help others in need,” said Snider.

In 2014, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS awarded over $175,000 to AIDS and family service organization in Illinois, with more the $150,000 specifically sent to 12 social service agencies in the Chicago area, including AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Chicago House, Children’s Place Association, Howard Brown Health Clinic, Vital Bridges and more.

Tickets for DEE SNIDER’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place are on sale now. Dee Snider Experience tickets are also available and include seats in the first two rows and an intimate meet and greet, autographs and photos with star and creator Dee Snider.  Tickets are available for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710.  Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St., 18 W. Monroe St. and 175 E. Chestnut), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online at

Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations.  By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised over $250 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States. 

BC/EFA is the major supporter of seven programs at The Actors Fund – the employee assistance program of the entertainment industry - including The HIV/AIDS Initiative, The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, The Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic and more. 

BC/EFA also awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide.  

For more information, visit

The Boot Campaign is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to Cultivating Awareness, Promoting Patriotism, and Providing Assistance to military personnel, past and present, and their families. Started in 2009 by five women from Texas known as the Original Boot Girls, the Boot Campaign encourages Americans to “get their BOOTS ON” as an easy and tangible way to express one’s Patriotism and Gratitude for all who serve. Proceeds from all Boot Campaign combat boot sales, events, direct donations and corporate sponsorships fund the campaign’s five Assistance initiatives: Jobs, Housing, Wellness, Urgent Assistance, and Family Support.

Items available in the auction are listed below with a personalized description by Dee Snider:

Doing these shows was definitely a memorable life experience.  What the public doesn’t realize is that we filmed 16 hours a day, six days a week, THREE shows a week!  And that’s just the guys.  Due to hair and makeup issues, many of the women are working 20+ hour days and functioning on only three or four hours of sleep a night.  Add to that the incredible heat in the “boardroom” (because of the television lighting and that they turn off the AC because it’s “too loud”) and you can better understand why people are having meltdowns on camera.  These posters are given to the show’s cast at the end of the season.  Each is signed by the entire cast and the only autograph missing from either of the poster is…Stephen Baldwin.  Why?  Well…he’s Stephen Baldwin.

This is one of the nicest plaques I received for sales of Twisted Sister’s “Stay Hungry” album and one of my favorites.  I think the red and green leather represents the colors of Atlantic Records, and they probably thought it looked “heavy metal.”  Here’s a bit of trivia to stump your friends: In Australia they mistakenly list our song “Captain Howdy” as “Captain HONEY.”  Not a very scary name for a schizophrenic sexual sadist.

Received in ’84-‘85, this was one of only two countries where this song achieved a gold level in single sales.  While WNGTI is viewed as one of the mega hits of the 80’s, in reality it only made it to number 21 on the Billboard charts in the U. S. when initially released.  Fortunately, the song has had staying power and continued to grow in popularity!

Received in 2012 for ongoing sales of this single in Canada, this beautiful plaque is evidence of the said staying power of this song and WNGTI.  Only just barely making it into the top 40 in the U. S. (#35), and peaking at #44 on the Canadian charts, it received no awards initially.  28 years later, it achieves “double platinum” status.  Go figure.

Received in 2012 for ongoing massive sales of this single in Canada, this is a beautiful plaque.  Per capita, Canada was our biggest country in the world for record.  As I said earlier, Canada was one of two places in the world that this song achieved gold status when it originally came out.  28 years later, it is now “octuple” platinum status.  Thank God for that!

Presented in 1985, before receiving it, I was told the quintuple platinum plaque was a “coffee table top”.  It is.  The most impressive of our awards for this album it again brings home just how big Twisted Sister and this record were in Canada in ’84-’85.  And that was back then.  Since the 80’s, we’ve added at least another million album sales to Stay Hungry in the U.S.  One can only assume that continued sales must have taken it at least “octuple” platinum in Canada.  This of course would be a kitchen tabletop. 

When you set out to “make it”, you think in terms of your own backyard; record sales where you live.  It’s when you start seeing big sales in countries you’ve only read about in you geography books that the reality of how huge your band has become hits you.  Going “gold” in New Zealand was that reality check for me.  When we eventually toured there, I discovered one of the most amazing countries and one of my favorite places in the world to boot.  Kiwis rock!

This plaque just further shows the love Kiwis have for my band.  Unfortunately I haven’t been back since we played there in 1985.  I know there are fans there for my band Twisted Sister who would love to see us, but the right offers just haven’t come in.  That was a bit of an over share wasn’t it?

Scandinavia really embraced Twisted Sister and this is one of the few countries that our “Come Out and Play” album really did well in.  Our last show on that tour, and the last show with drummer A.J. Pero, was in Finland on June 21st at the “Festival of Lights”.  This is the longest day of the year, and the Fins (who deal in the winter with near total darkness and in the summer with a sun that virtually never sets) celebrate in style.  Half of the total alcohol consumed in the country for the year is consumed on that one day.  Crazy, right? When we finally made it to the stage to close the festival, 2/3 of the audience was literally unconscious! 

While Twisted Sister’s follow up to Stay Hungry did not do as well, we still got a lot of love for the album from the faithful Scandinavian fans.  I loved this album and it reflects the band finally having complete creative control from the songs, to production, to album art, to stage production and costuming.  Here’s some trivia: the song “Be Chrool to Your Scuel” has guest performances on it by Billy Joel, Brian Setzer and the late Clarence Clemmons.

Sweden really fell in love with Twisted Sister in 1984.  We were embraced not only by head bangers, but by the “beautiful people” as well.  The only country where our name was uttered in the same breath as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Springsteen and Prince, I remember signing albums for the children of the royal family and the Volvo kids as well.  Crazy.  The Swedes still adore us to this day.  This plaque is set in Beautiful clear glass with a metal frame.

Again, Sweden was (and still is) one of our greatest countries for Twisted Sister’s popularity.  Interestingly, unlike the rest of the world, when “We’re Not Gonna Take It” was initially released; the Swedes did not embrace the song.  It was the release of “I Wanna Rock” that ignited their interest, then WNGTI was re-released and Sweden fell in love with the song the second time around.  Presented in 1985.

In the 90’s, my wife Suzette asked me to write her a Christmas song.  I told her she was crazy.  Christmas songs have an indefinable sound that is incredibly hard to recreate.  How often do you hear a “new Christmas song?”  Suzette’s parting words on the subject were, “You can do it, you’re a classically trained countertenor.”  It’s true I am/was, but still she was asking me to do an impossible task.  Somewhere along the way during a “heavy metal” writing session, the song “The Magic of Christmas (God Bless Us Everyone)” poured out of me.  I recorded it and gave it to my wife as a Christmas gift that year, never intending to release it to the public.  Many years later, an engineer on the session, who had now become a Grammy Award-winning producer (Ric Wake) called me and informed me that Celine Dion wanted to record my Christmas song on her holiday album “These Are Special Times.”  This came at a particular tough time for me economically and my royalties from the more than eight million copies sold worldwide went a long way toward building my family’s home we now live in.  This is why we call her “Saint Celine.”

The following year, Saint Celine and Rosie O’Donnell (then known as “the Queen of Nice”) recorded a duet of the song for Rosie’s holiday album “A Rosie Christmas.”  Seeing Rosie and Celine opening a network holiday special, performing “The Magic of Christmas” with a children’s choir, was yet another truly surreal moment in my life and career.  I’m so glad my wife asked me to write her a Christmas song!  This beautiful presentation is for sales of more than one million copies of Rosie’s album in the United States.  Merry Christmas, Suzette!

Presented for over 500,000 paid downloads in the United States alone, this is a direct reflection of the longevity and continued popularity of this song.  As big as it was in the day, it missed achieving gold single status at that time. (In the 80’s, the gold single award was unfairly set at one million sold, then changed in the late 80’s to a half million after we had missed the former mark.)  Over the years the song has continued to sell and this plaque reflects those sales.  This said, with the rampant illegal downloading of music that has gone on for the last 20 years or so, one can only imagine how many actual downloads of this song have occurred.  If I had a nickel for every illegal download….

There are two countries I have experienced “Beatlemania” like fan hysteria in and those are Canada and Mexico.  The fans in Mexico were so aggressive and physical when mobbing me on a promotional tour there, I had to learn how to say, “Let go of my hair, mutha effer!” in Mexican just to survive.  This plaque is in a beautiful gold-leaf frame with an actual gold plated frame.  That’s right, the gold and platinum album awards are not actually gold and platinum.  They aren’t even the band’s albums in the frame!

The last of the Scandinavian countries to climb aboard the Twisted Sister train, “Stay Hungry” didn’t even make it to gold in Norway.  This would be the one country where our follow up record “Come Out and Play” did better than its predecessor, but hey, this is where black metal and church burnings was popular.  This said, we are still huge in Norway and regularly headline festivals over there.  And the songs from Stay Hungry are the most popular songs there of our live set.  Again…staying power.

I was asked to voice the introduction for a new horror/metal band called Lordi.  They were big fans of Twisted Sister’s and it meant a lot to them to have my voice (and Jay Jay French’s lead guitar) on their record.  Oddly, Lordi appeared on the annual, international “Eurovision Song Contest” and won!  The victory made them the pride of Finland and launched their careers.  Lordi’s debut album went on to go triple platinum—bigger than any Twisted Sister record – in Finland and I was presented this plaque for my participation in the recording.  It’s a beautiful plaque and will make a lovely addition to some Lordi/Twisted Sister fan’s home!

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp has become an annual event for so many “less fortunate” who have not gotten the breaks career wise or just want a chance to stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the heroes of their youth.  (I for one count my lucky stars every day that I actually “made it”.)  While I’ve never been a “camp counselor” for the RNRFC (I just don’t think my focused, no partying lifestyle is the fantasy that the campers want to hear about), I did speak to the gathered masses at the NY camp.  It was a great experience and I was presented with this great portrait for my participation.  I really like this drawing.

When I started hosting Fangoria Radio – a weekly show on Sirius/XM—the owners of Fangoria presented me this framed issue #1 of their legendary magazine on my 50th birthday.  My birthday was actually filmed and broadcast as part of the “Party Planner” reality show on a stormy night in a castle.  It was very cool.  As a horror fan, I’d always loved Fangoria, and to actually work for the company and be appreciated in this way was amazing.  The issue is in mint condition.

This CMT reality show was a life-changing experience and one of my earliest introductions to reality television.  Eight, non-country singer/celebrities were sequestered, “Big Brother” style, in a 40,000 sq. foot log cabin for two weeks and challenged to become country singers.  With a houseful of non-rockers as housemates and Bobby Brown for a roommate, I experience things no human being should experience (Bobby drinks too much and sleep walks; you do the math) and I learned that singers from different musical genres share a lot of the same issues and life experiences.  John Rich (Big & Rich; Celebrity Apprentice) was a hell of a host and now a good friend.  I hated country when I arrived, but learned that there are some types of country music that I can embrace.  Yee-haw!

One day, on my nationally syndicated radio show “House of Hair,” I received a request from someone in a town called “Cridersville.”  I joked they should change the name of the town to Snidersville—after all it was only two letters—and a few months later the show received word from the Cridersville that the town was ready to honor me by doing just that!  Well, my family and I headed out there and enjoyed two amazing days of appreciation for the various career and charitable things I’ve done.  National discussion of the event actually made me one of the most talked about things on Google for a few hours (mostly, “Why the hell are they honoring him?” I’m sure.).  This beautifully framed poster celebrates the renaming of Cridersville, OH, “Snidersville.”  It was such a successful event for me that I have often thought of combing the names of towns around the world looking for others that rhyme with Snider so I can do it again.  But that might be pushing it…

While in “Snidersville,” I got to be in a parade, lead a motorcycle ride, have a barbecue with the Mayor and other “dignitaries” and visit the General Dynamics factory that manufactures our military’s tanks.  I also visited the Wilson football factory (official manufacturers of all NFL footballs), where I was presented this limited production “Snidersville” football in honor of the renaming ceremony.  It’s 1 of 3 or 4, I believe.

This simple metal-framed theater poster adorned the front of the Brooks Atkinson Theater during my run in the show as “Dennis Dupree.”  A truly great and life changing experience, being in that show has now taken my career down a musical theater/Broadway path.  While seeing this billboard outside the theater each day when I arrived filled me with joy (who would have ever thought I’d be on Broadway?  Certainly not me!), my greatest memory of it will be the photo my parents had taken of them standing in front of it when they came to see me in the show.  Being part of “the greatest generation,” they never truly appreciated my involvement or success in rock and roll.  It doesn’t speak to them.  But seeing their son’s name on Broadway was something they really connected with (as theater fans) and I don’t know when they were prouder of me.  

When my three-month run with the show ended, I requested the poster to hang in my home but was told it had already been destroyed.  As it turned out it had been put in storage and was quickly rescued and given to me.  I’m hoping one of the legendary ROA “Superfans” will bid on it and take ownership.  These amazing people have seen the show as more than 200 times!  They were so welcoming of me during my run and I thank them all for that!  It made my time there a hell of a lot easier!

In 1997, a scary movie I wrote, starred in and co-produced called “StrangeLand” was released to an unsuspecting public.  Really…they had no idea it came out!  The first film to have the dubious distinction of being rated R “for scenes of torture,” it is credited with starting the torture genre of horror movies.  If only I made a 10th of the money that StrangeLand inspired films like “Saw” and “Hostel” made….  But hey, I get “mad, dope props” from the horror community for my effort.  So I have that going for me….

This unique piece was created for a scene in the movie that ultimately landed on the “cutting room floor”.  The scene was where my character Carlton Hendrick (Captain Howdy), escapes his hanging and goes to his father’s grave for comfort.  The military designation on the grave and the inscription (“The engine is discipline.”) was supposed to speak volumes about what led to the characters fractured mental state.  Unfortunately, the scene was muted.

StrangeLand was not the original name of the movie.  It was “Helltown.”  Set in the fictitious town of “Helverton,” Colorado as the crime spree of Captain Howdy ensued, and the authorities were unable to stop him, some vandal spray painted the town sign changing Helverton to Helltown – reflecting the feelings of the community and what they were going through.  It was decided by my producers that since there was already a film called “Helltown” (starring Spencer Tracy, it wasn’t a horror film) and that having a movie with that name wasn’t cool enough for their company (they had just won an Oscar for “Slingblade”), that the name should be changed.  And “StrangeLand” it became.  Which for the record is much cooler.

This beautifully framed poster is from the promotion of VH1’s 2000 dramatization of the legendary Senate PMRC hearings.  In a real WTF life moment, I was asked to play the part of myself in this movie alongside actors playing Frank Zappa (Griffin Dunne), John Denver (Tim Guinee), Al Gore, etc.  Truly a surreal experience, I was the equivalent of a real tyrannosaurus rex on the set of Jurassic Park.  And I wore the actual clothes I wore before Congress in 1985.  It doesn’t get much stranger than that!

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