9/11 Stories: Dee Snider

Twisted Sister lead singer/songwriter Dee Snider says it was 9/11 that reunited Twisted Sister, 13 years after they broke up. The band was joined by Anthrax, Sebastian Bach, Kiss’s Ace Frehley, and Overkill, at an all-heavy metal concert organized by Q104.3’s own Eddie Trunk and New York Mets (now Hall Of Fame) Catcher Mike Piazza. “New York Steel”, held less than 3 months after 9/11, raised close to 100-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 Dee Snider, the Twisted Sister healing actually began the morning of 9/11. After the planes hit the twin towers, Dee got a call from former 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 him, “Go get your kids!”. Dee and Suzette Snider’s 4 children ranged in age from kindergarten to high school. Snider 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, Mark “The Animal” 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.

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