DEE SNIDER: How 9/11 Reunited TWISTED SISTER
Dee Snider has opened up to New York’s Q104.3 radio station about how the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001 reunited TWISTED SISTER, 13 years after the band originally broke up. TWISTED SISTER was joined by ANTHRAX, Sebastian Bach, Ace Frehley and OVERKILL at an all-heavy metal concert organized by Q104.3‘s Eddie Trunk and New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza. «New York Steel», held less than three months after 9/11, raised close to a hundred thousand dollars for New York Police And Fire Widows’ And Children’s Benefit Fund.
Snider recalls: «We were the bands nobody wanted when the big concerts were held. Nobody wanted heavy metal bands. I remember we called and said, ‘Everybody in the world is singing ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’. MTV was, like, ‘It’s a little too angry.’ It was a no-brainer to join ‘New York Steel’.» Dee remembers thinking, «This is a reason to get back together. It wasn’t about the money. After that, we went to North Korea and played for the troops.»
For Snider, the TWISTED SISTER healing actually began the morning of 9/11. After the planes hit the twin towers, Dee got a call from TWISTED SISTER bassist Mark «The Animal Mendoza». By then, Mark was a civilian working in communications for the state police. The former bandmates had barely spoken during the 15 years since their break-up, but Mark was compelled to call, urging Dee, «Go get your kids.» Dee and Suzette Snider‘s four children ranged in age from kindergarten to high school. Dee says: «Mark hated my guts. We weren’t speaking. The fact that he picked up the phone… whatever petty differences we had over the break-up seemed insignificant.»
Following the TWISTED SISTER split, Mendoza was one of the only people in the state of New York who was capable of coordinating communications between law enforcement agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. On 9/11, he was driven from his home by state police to the official «bunker» at The Jacob Javits Convention Center, where this heavy metal bassist worked for three months at the epicenter of law enforcement communications.
The surviving members of the classic lineup of TWISTED SISTER — Snider, Mendoza, Jay Jay French and Eddie Ojeda — reunited virtually on March 20 for a special episode of Mendoza‘s Internet TV show «22 Now». The hour-and-a-half-long program was a tribute to the band’s late drummer A.J. Pero, who died exactly six years earlier at the age of 55 while on tour with the band ADRENALINE MOB.
TWISTED SISTER rose to prominence from the New York club scene in the early 1980s. Their biggest album, 1984’s «Stay Hungry», contained the hits «We’re Not Gonna Take It» and «I Wanna Rock».
Prior to last month’s virtual reunion, the four surviving members of TWISTED SISTER reunited for two days and nights in November 2019 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the band’s classic album «Stay Hungry».
TWISTED SISTER called it quits in 2016 after completing a farewell 40th-anniversary tour. The band’s last-ever concert took place in November of that year — 20 months after the passing of Pero.