TWISTED SISTER's JAY JAY FRENCH Explains Inspiration For 'Twisted Business' Book
May 2, 2021
TWISTED SISTER guitarist Jay Jay French spoke to Canada's The Metal Voice about his upcoming book, "Twisted Business: Lessons From My Life In Rock 'N' Roll", which is due on September 21 via RosettaBooks. The 68-year-old musician, who is also a keynote and motivational speaker, as well as an entrepreneur with several music industry businesses, stated about his reasons for writing a book (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "In the book, I basically start off the book by saying that, look, TWISTED SISTER was turned down more times than a bedsheet in a whorehouse and had come back more times than Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers. So in telling the story of the band's constant regeneration, rejection [and] coming back, I developed a business concept. And all of a sudden, I started doing speaking engagements not for musicians — which I thought was gonna be the primary focus — or music conventions; I was getting hired by business groups, all sorts of business groups, like travel agencies and banking organizations, accounting firms, insurance companies. So what are they all hiring a heavy metal guy who used to be a drug dealer and drug addict and a transvestite giving advice to college graduates when I'm a high school dropout? Well, the fact is nothing beats success more than success, and especially if you learned it on the street. And I turned practical observations into learning tools. And that's what the book is about.'
Elaborating on his success philosophy, French said: "It's the 'Twisted Method Of Reinvention', really, what I talk about in the book. And I make it easy to digest, because I take the letters T-W-I-S-T-E-D, for 'twisted', and I turn 'em into the rules of the road, which is tenacity, wisdom, inspiration, trust, excellence and discipline. Why does that matter? Because most people who think that you succeed in my business is a product of making a deal with the devil. It's sex, drugs, rock and roll and fairy dust, having to do with some sort of a compact that you make with some devil-worshipping cult that allows you to succeed when everybody else fails. And we do a good job of selling that bullshit, by the way, because that's what we do. 'Hey, man, let's fucking party, man. I just happened to write a couple of hit songs and have a hit.' And we all know it's bullshit — I mean, it is. And I can't speak, by the way, for any other band — I can't speak for SCORPIONS, KISS, WHITESNAKE. I mean, everyone has a different pathway, and I understand that. Success is like snowflakes; everyone's story is different. But I believe that what made us successful were the rules that I laid out in the book. So that's really the whole genesis of the whole thing."
French wrote "Twisted Business", which is described as a "part business book, part memoir," with his mentor, Steve Farber, a best-selling author and one of the world's top leadership and management experts.
After taking over as manager in the 1970s, French developed TWISTED SISTER into the most heavily licensed heavy metal band in history, leading the group to perform more than 9,000 shows in forty countries.
French's two biggest hits with TWISTED SISTER, the rock anthems "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock", have become two of the most licensed songs in the history of heavy metal, appearing in hundreds of TV, radio and internet commercials, movies and TV shows. French currently oversees all music licensing and all business regarding TWISTED SISTER.
In addition to his career as a musician, manager, producer and executive producer, French is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, as well contributing writer for business magazine Inc.com, pens a BEATLES column for Goldmine called "Now, We're Sixty Four" and writes a an audio column for Copper, an online music and high end audio magazine published through PS Audio.