Jay Jay French states that Twisted Sister members were probably more morally upstanding than PMRC
Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French was recently interviewed by Heavy Metal and Booze at this year’s Days Of The Dead convention, which took place in Chicago, Illinois, USA on November 16, 2018.
With respect to the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) hearings that Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider testified at back in 1985, French advised (as transcribed by Blabbermouth with slight edits):
“I don’t think the band ever processed it. But that’s just the band. We were too busy doing something else. There was too much other stuff happening at the time. But he certainly, I think, was stunned [by] the misrepresentation of what our music was. It was fun stuff, and the videos were very cartoony. It wasn’t a threat to the moral fabric of America [like] we were accused of being. I think he was stunned by it, and I was stunned by it, because the band was the straightest rock band in the world. We didn’t allow drugs and alcohol in the band; we fired anybody who did it. That’s not the story of Mötley Crüe or anybody else; it’s our story, though, so that’s our thing. We were so straight and we were so hard-working, and the fact that we were being accused of stuff when we were probably straighter than half those congressmen who were questioning us who probably had alcohol and drug problems and we didn’t.
So it was kind of ironic that we were probably more morally upstanding [than they were]. We didn’t gamble. We were married. We had families. We didn’t do drugs. We didn’t drink. We were just in that crazy heavy metal band portraying this crazy lifestyle. I don’t mean to say it was an act, meaning we were trying to fool people, but, in fact, we portrayed a crazy band. We were going out there and having fun and just looking as crazy as we could and acting as crazy as we could, but when we went home, we went home to our families and our kids. And we didn’t gamble and we didn’t drink. And not for reasons other than the fact that we thought drinking was dumb and gambling was stupid. If you do those things and you get in the way of us being successful, because you’re too stoned to show up on time and you’re too drunk to be in rehearsal, it affects my livelihood. So that’s why we became so anti-drug and alcohol. It makes sense, but there are not that many bands who adhere to that. So it worked for us. The point is that Dee shared that philosophy with me when he joined. I said, ‘You don’t drink or do drugs?’ He said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Great. It’s so hard to find people who don’t do those things.’ People join bands to do those things. So when you say to someone, ‘It’s a requirement.’ And he went, ‘No, man. I don’t. I never did.’ And I went, ‘You’re the guy.’ Then, of course, he became a great songwriter and frontman.””
Wikipedia states the following about the PMRC: “The Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) was an American committee formed in 1985 with the stated goal of increasing parental control over the access of children to music deemed to have violent, drug-related or sexual themes via labeling albums with Parental Advisory stickers. The committee was founded by four women known as the “Washington Wives” – a reference to their husbands’ connections with government in the Washington, D.C. area. The women who founded the PMRC are Tipper Gore, wife of Senator and later Vice President Al Gore; Susan Baker, wife of Treasury Secretary James Baker; Pam Howar, wife of Washington realtor Raymond Howar; and Sally Nevius, wife of former Washington City Council Chairman John Nevius. The PMRC eventually grew to include 22 participants before shutting down in the mid-to-late 1990s.”
You can read other excerpts of the interview with Jay Jay French by Heavy Metal and Booze at Blabbermouth and/or listen to the interview below:
We sat down with Jay Jay French from Twisted Sister and discussed some of his musical influences, the future of Twisted Sister, if there is one, and we talked about metal being underappreciated in the US compared to other countries.