Members of hard rock band Twisted Sister found massive success through the mid-1980s, scoring big with a quadruple-platinum album, sold-out stadium shows and crazy music videos consumed religiously by fans. From international fame to charting on the Billboard 100, the band was on the fast-track to sweeping success amid the mainstream heavy metal revolution.
Dee Snider, who was well recognized as the show stopping frontman and chief songwriter of the band, was making a good amount of money, according to Hard Rock Daddy. But then he was called before the Senate to defend his violent music videos. In order to get the politicians on his side, Snider mentioned he was "a teetotaling family man who never drank, smoked, or did drugs," a move which apparently ruined his credibility among fans. Musical tastes promptly changed with the dawn of grunge and Twisted Sister called it quits. With the band's departure from the public eye, so left the cash that came with it.
"When I was in Twisted Sister, I put all my eggs in one basket," Snider told Canadian Business. I was myopic in my vision. I never thought it would end, and then one day I woke up and I was in my 30s, married with three children, and I'd lost everything. Double bankruptcy. Grunge came, and I still needed to feed my family. My formula for success isn't necessarily what people want to hear. It's 10% inspiration and 90% desperation."
As Radar Online reports, the dramatic downfall in record sales and interest in glam metal acts amounted to Snider filing bankruptcy. The frontman told Fox News in 2012 that, by 1995, he was "flat broke." However, despite his financial struggles, Snider "just kept spending."
"You cannot imagine the humiliation and having to deny who you are," Snider told Fox News. "I'm like the Jay Leno of heavy metal, everyone recognizes me. Here I am in '95 leaving a thrift store because I don't want people saying, 'What are you doing here?' I would always look at the other stars who crashed and burned and say, 'That will never be me. I don't drink, I don't get high, I don't have a manager that rips me off. I don't have anyone that can put one over me,' and I didn't. I did it to myself."
However, Snider seems to have bounced back financially through "gradual" steps, starting with a minimum wage job (commuting via bicycle since he didn't have a car anymore). He and his family used coupons and thrifted clothing in order to save every penny. Snider told Fox News that, at one point, he couldn't even afford to buy his kids a piece of candy. Yet, thanks to good ol' 80's nostalgia and time on Broadway, he's back on good financial terms.