From rock icon to Broadway to reality star, Renaissance man Dee Snider really does do it all. With his busy schedule, you wouldn’t think Dee has time for anything else, but he always has time when it comes to his family and helping others.
Dee hosted the Dee Snider & Friends Jam For Autism fundraising event at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury this past Thursday. Putting together an all-star lineup of musicians, with fellow Long Islander Debbie Gibson, American Idol‘s Constantine Maroulis, and Broadway’s Chad Kimball, the stars rocked out to support the Sid Jacobson JCC programs for people with autism and their families.
Here’s a look into how and why the event was put together in the words of Dee’s brother, Mark:
“So I’m sitting in the conference room at Sid Jacobson JCC for a meeting of the Special Needs Advisory Committee. On this day we’re brainstorming ideas on how to raise money for their wonderful Special Needs Center where my sons have been attending their after-school and weekend programs for almost 15 years. The woman sitting next to me is the Program Director of the Special Needs Center, Michelle Laser. She whispers into my ear, “Hey, is your brother really Dee Snider?” “Yes,” I cautiously reply, not quite sure where she is going with this. “Well?,” she says, her eyes popping out of her head. “Well, what?,” I said. “Well???,” she repeated enthusiastically. And then it hits me right between the eyes! Although I’d never asked Dee to do anything like this before, I was fairly confident that he would agree to it. So a few weeks later over breakfast I proposed the idea to Dee to put on a concert to raise money for Sid Jacobson JCC and my hunch was right – of course he would perform in honor of his nephews Corey and Trevor, because that’s the kind of guy he is.”
Blue Oyster Cult’s Eric Bloom and Buck Dharma, Nine Days’ John Hampson, Zebra’s Randy Jackson, Rainbow/Black Sabbath drummer Bobby Rondinelli, Mountain’s Leslie West, Twisted Sister bandmate Mark Mendoza, and The Good Rats’ Pepe Marchello also took the stage in the name of the cause. The performances were amazing, with standing ovations after every act. Dee was gracious, thanking everyone who had a hand in making the night possible, and even raffled off his own Twisted Sister platinum record, raising $5,000 from raffle ticket sales.
For Dee’s next charity event, he will be joining up with Debbie Gibson’s Gibson Girl Foundation, whose main goal is to bring children and the performing arts together, for the 2012 Gibson Girl Gala. The gala, taking place May 21 at Oheka Castle, will be hosted by A.J. Hammer of HLN’s Showbiz Tonight, as well as Debbie and her mother, Diane, and will feature performances by Debbie, Dee, their fellow Celebrity Apprentice contestant Aubrey O’Day, and Ali Isabella. The event will honor Gary Melius and Ann Liguori. According to Ali Isabella’s website, she will be performing a duet with Debbie.
In the meantime, Dee has a lot to keep him busy until the Gibson Girl Gala. He’s got his twisted memoir Shut Up And Give Me The Mic (that he wrote himself!) that gives a look into his wild life and a new album called Dee Does Broadway (click for a listen to his rock version of “Cabaret”), featuring duets with Cyndi Lauper, Patti LuPone, and his former Celebrity Apprentice castmate Clay Aiken, both coming out May 8. His FEARnet sitcom Holliston was picked up for another season and he’s lending his voice to Disney XD’s new cartoon Motor City that premieres April 30.