WE NEED YOUR HELP — Support your hometown newspaper by making a donation.
Entertainment

Dee Snider, Baldwin’s own, set to rock on Long Island

Locals reminisce about ‘Danny’ and his rock-and-roll roots

Posted

Baldwinite and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider will perform for a one-time concert event to promote his solo album, “Leave a Scar,” at Stereo Garden in Patchogue on June 11. The show will be limited to 200 vaccinated or tested concertgoers due to Covid-19 restrictions; nonetheless, it will be filmed for future release for those unable to attend.

Although born in Massapequa, NY, Snider began his musical career in Baldwin. He attended Shubert School and Baldwin High School, where his peers described him as already musically inclined. This wasn’t particularly unexpected as Linda Hamel, who attended high school with Snider, explained that they had a very strong music program and many talented students.

“I remember Dee singing in the halls quite often,” fellow schoolmate Vincent G. Barnwell said. BHS student Grace Johnson Gardner also mentioned, “He was always trying to get this or that jam session going.”

During his academic tenure, Snider sang for the BHS choir, from where he was selected for the All State Choir. “By then, he was showing his rock and roll side,” fellow BHS choir peer Cathy Hume Hester said. Snider was also a countertenor in the All Saints Episcopal Church choir in Harrison Avenue, which is still active.

BHS students Beverly Vaughn-Marion and Linda Moxley reminisced about their high school production of “Godspell,” in which Snider had the lead. He sang a solo in the medley, “You Are the Light of the World,” which the concert choir recorded as an LP in 1973.

Snider was also in a couple of extracurricular bands. In Harlequin, he played alongside Roger Petersen on the guitar and Joe Moro on the drums at the McDonald’s grand opening in the Baldwin Shopping Center in 1974. Karen Philiba Parsons, who used to roadie for the band, told of how her mom would make them all spaghetti. 

In junior high school, he was in a Black Sabbath cover band called Gypsey with Robbie Light. In a 2009 interview for Rumpus, Snider states, “This was when Black Sabbath first came out, we played just Black Sabbath.” Jeff Sadowsky remembers his junior high days, “Danny would do his paper route then come over to practice.”

It’s no secret that Baldwin was formative in Snider’s musical career. He confided to Newsday in a 2004 interview that his rejection of his father’s and Long Island’s expectations of him ignited his rebelliousness, saying, “And out of this frustrated blue-collar hell, a lot of great music has grown.'' Indeed, Hamel noticed his restlessness, “He was a nice, somewhat bored kid with the rest of us.”

You can get tickets for the show through Eventbrite. A portion of the ticket sales will be donated to Melissa’s Wish, a New York-based not-for-profit whose mission is to provide relief to the caregiver in the form of financial support to help ease the stress endured while providing care to those afflicted with an illness.