Happy Birthday today (July 13) to Twisted Sister bassist Mark “The Animal” Mendoza. He’s 62. Other rockers celebrating include Trixter guitarist (sometimes Def Leppard fill-in) Steve Brown (47) and guitarist Damon Johnson (Brother Cane, Thin Lizzy, Black Star Riders) is 53.

Twisted Sister’s classic lineup formed in 1976 with Dee Snider on vocals, Jay Jay French on guitar, Eddie Ojeda on guitar, AJ Pero on drums, and Mark Mendoza on bass. They released their first studio album Under the Blade in 1982. Their second album You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll was released in 1983. The band achieved major success in 1984 with the release of their third album Stay Hungry featuring the hits “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock”. Stay Hungry went multi-platinum selling 3 million copies with videos for the singles receiving heavy airplay on MTV. Twisted Sister followed up the success of Stay Hungry with not as successful Come Out and Play album in 1985. The album sold 500,000 copies. Twisted Sister split up after the release of 1987’s Love Is For Suckers.

Twisted Sister reunited in 2001 and has done some recording and touring ever since. Drummer AJ Pero passed away in 2015 and the band announced shortly after that they would be calling it quits. The band recruited drummer Mike Portnoy and toured to celebrate their 40th anniversary with a farewell tour in 2016. Cheers to one badass bass player, Mark "The Animal" Mendoza!

For more on Twisted Sister, check out the band’s official website here.

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Tigman with Steve Brown of Trixter/Photo by Joe Raap