"Growing Up Twisted" Premieres July 27 on A&E- Rock Stars are Normal, too!
Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” is the first music video I remember seeing. I watched it in my cousin’s house one summer in Tiffin, Ohio- (we didn’t have MTV back home in Maryland) and learned every word. Despite the fact that Dee Snider was no teenager, I sensed he was everyman to teenagers everywhere- and at nine, I socked away his message, prepping to pull it back out at 13.
By the time I was ready to rebel, Dee had been through the wringer with Tipper Gore, as a lightning rod for parental controls. So it’s both ironic and appropriate to me to learn, all these years later, that my iconic rebel dude is actually a regular joe- and a regular joe Dad, at that. But of course, with a twist. In the Snyder household, rebellion would mean dressing up like Alex P. Keaton and taking up the cello.
Luckily for Dee, star of the new A&E series "Growing Up Twisted," none of his four offspring seem to be falling far from the rockin’ tree. Jesse is a dad and aspiring rock star, Shane is a comedian, Cody is a writer/director, and Cheyenne is the punk rock princess and Daddy’s Little Girl. And Dee’s wife of 28 years, Suzette is a powerhouse in her own right, governing the suburban Long Island circus with aplomb. She’s clearly a match for Dee.
The first two episodes take us into the marital relationship, rolling out with “Carpet and Drapes”- no, it’s not about interior decorating. I’ll leave it at that, but comfort you by saying there’s no money shots. No need to cover your eyes. Dee and Suzette prepare to celebrate their anniversary, and of course, it involves tattoos. In an O’Henry like twist, Dee wants to get his Suzette-tat enhanced while Suzette wants to get her Dee-Tat removed. It’s definitely a glimpse into a life that’s both just like everybody else’s mom and dad’s- and drastically different.
The second episode revolves around the christening of Jesse’s little girl. I like that no matter how wild a family may seem, ritual and tradition are the bedrock they’re built on. Even if the tradition involves a little more glam rock than Ozzie and Harriet.
If you ever wondered what it was like to come home from a world tour and settle back into the suburbs, or how a guy who tours and has girls rolling on cars in videos stays married, this is the show for you.
And since I’m the wife of a guy who tours 6-9 months out of the year as the bass player for a heavy metal band, I definitely could relate to some of the family dynamics. I was also relieved to see how well-adjusted and talented the Snider kids are growing up to be. We have three kids, and I’m always looking down the highway to see how our own somewhat non-traditional family life will affect our children long-term- I found “Growing Up Twisted” reassuring.
Check out the double header premiere on Tuesday, July 27, on A&E, 10/9 central. You’ll come away feeling super-normal- and surprised that rock stars are, too.