He likes to think of himself as an average Long Island family man, but when Dee Snider strolls the sidelines of his sons' soccer fields, he garners more than his share of glances for his long blond hair shaved at the sides, silver earrings and tattoo that reads, Illegetimus non Carborundum est (pseudo-Latin for Don't Let the Bastards Get You Down). But he has come a long way from the days when he fronted the band Twisted Sister wearing smeared lipstick, fishnet stockings and mangled dresses. The heavy-metal quintet snarled their way through the 1984 hit "We're Not Gonna Take It" and became the champions of troubled youths everywhere. "It was genuine," Snider, 41, says of his painted-on rage. "People believed we were that angry, and we were." Ironically, the band's success also led to its decline. "It was tough writing about teen angst and struggling when you were sitting pool-side," says Snider. Depressed and deeply in debt after the band's 1987 breakup, Snider refused to leave his house or speak to anyone for a year. "Dee became consumed with himself," says his wife of 15 years, Suzette, 35, a makeup artist who also sewed Twisted Sister's costumes. "That nice person who was there now and then was now never there." Therapy rescued Snider, enabling him to move on to other projects. Today he does voice-over work (the Discovery Channel, Fila sneakers) and sells his own line of grungewear. He's still on the radio too—not as a singer, but as a frequent guest of his close friend Howard Stern. "I admire Dee's creativity," says Stern. "He's a Renaissance man." Snider has little contact with bandmates Eddie Ojeda, Jay Jay French, A.J. Pero and Mark Mendoza, who are all still active in the music business. "If I were in Aerosmith's or Ozzy Osborne's position, I'd still be rocking," says Snider. "But I don't want to still be struggling with music at this point in my life." He does have one regret, though: "that Twisted went out with a whimper and not a roar."
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