Jay Jay French and Steve Farber

Twisted Business: Lessons from My Life in Rock ’N Roll

Twisted Sister co-guitarist Jay Jay French is a resilient man; the see-saw of personal and professional triumphs along with troubles he has endured would’ve destroyed most people. His new autobiography is also a business-advice guide incorporating what he has learned in a (nearly) 50-year career.

French, who auditioned for Kiss precursor Wicked Lester, was a drug dealer/user as a teen, and relives several misadventures wrought by that reckless lifestyle. Realizing it was hindering his rock-star dream, he gave it up; later, Twisted Sister became staunchly anti-drugs/drinking. Still, it took a decade of dogged hard work to ink a record deal.

As a successful businessman, French managed Twisted Sister and Sevendust, and he oversees licensing deals including use of their megahit “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”

Many guitar-related stories are included, like how his cash offer of $135 to buy a Telecaster priced at $147.50 at the renowned Manny’s in NYC was rudely rejected, but accepted at another store. These days, French rarely plays, but he still tends to a world-class collection of vintage guitars. A fascinating and blunt memoir.

This article originally appeared in VG’s February 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

No posts to display