June 9, 2023
Jay Jay French recalls two key things that allowed Twisted Sister to hone their craft

Jay Jay French recalls two key things that allowed Twisted Sister to hone their craft

Photo by Joe Schaeffer Photography

Guitarist Jay Jay French managed Twisted Sister for most of their career except during their ’80s heyday period. He recently went on social media to share some valuable insights on what enabled Twisted Sister to be able to hone their craft and persevere until they were able to “make it”, land that elusive record label deal and eventually achieve multi-platinum success with 1984’s Stay Hungry.

French stated (as transcribed by Sleaze Roxx): “You know, early on, we had a meeting and I said, ‘Well, how much do we all need to make a week in order so that all you need to do is this? That’s it.’ And they — we all came to a figure of how much we need to make a week and I said, ‘OK, if we can make that a week, this is our goal right?’ So yeah, so that was number one — the ability to be economically stable. That’s really important. Number two, the scene was mind blowing! I mean, here we are playing within a 100 mile radius of Manhattan and there are hundreds of clubs — hundreds! Drinking age is 18. Well, the drinking age is 18. Don’t you think there’s a lot of 15, 16 and 17 year old kids with phone proof? Made it in shop class because in those days, you take a pencil and you freaking do an outline of a licence and you got away with it. Thousands of kids!

So when you have thousands of kids and mega clubs, this allows you to like your wounds of rejection in the afternoon, after you get a letter from [a] record label and go back out and play to 4,000 people that night and 4,000 people love you. And so, if they love you, it gives you more energy to go after it the next day. We had the luxury of immense local popularity that allowed us time to get out shit together, and become better and that’s really — I — you can’t say enough. And Dee [Snider] became a better songwriter. We became better performers. You know, [it] went on year after year after year after year.”

Twisted Sister performing “Lady’s Boy” (from North Stage Theater 1982):

Twisted Sister‘s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” video (from Stay Hungry album):

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