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Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French gives his opinion on Ace Frehley

Jay Jay French Ace Frehley

Classic Rock

Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French gives his opinion on Ace Frehley

Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French talked in an interview Cassius Morris Show about how a guitar brand is not strictly connected to the sound of a guitarist. The musician also reflected on how Ace Frehley was an influential guitarist to so many kids.


Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French gives his opinion on Ace Frehley:

“Leslie West, B.B. King, Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix, they’re all going to sound like themselves, no matter what they play – because it’s here [in the fingers] Steve Vai… That doesn’t mean that you’re not inspired by a particular brand guitar or you’re not inspired by a particular amplifier or a particular pedal. Because they give you the inspiration to practice more. But the better you are as a player, the more it’s in the fingers.”

“When people say to me, ‘Who are the three most influential guitar players in the United States?’, like who are the ones who’ve created more desire to become rock stars than anybody else, this is what I’ll say… I’ll say the three guitar players who probably created more of a desire for a musician to become a rockstar were Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, and Ace Frehley.”

“Ace Frehley doesn’t come close to Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix on one level. But his image and his performance style and his effect on the dreamscape of hundreds of thousands of kids have probably been more impactful than many other guitar players.”

The musician continued, saying:

“And by the way, there’s plenty of great players that may be technically better than him. What I’m just saying is that I believe that Ace’s thing has been more responsible for more kids wanting to go out and buying a guitar and becoming a guitar hero.”

“For me, it was Mike Bloomfield from the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. He was the first guitar player that blew me away, knocked me on my ass. For me it was Jimi Hendrix, for me it was Jimmy Page, for me it was Jeff Beck. I saw Rod Stewart’s first show in New York with Jeff Beck, and Rod Stewart was so scared. He was hiding behind the P.A. system, it’s his famous story. Jeff Beck had to kick him in the ass to get him out.”

“He was just terrified, it was his first show with Jeff Beck when the album came out in ’68. So when you would go see Jeff Beck or you would go see Carlos Santana or B.B. King or any of those guys, you’d see him at night. I would come home at four o’clock in the morning, and I put the guitar on a stand in front of a mirror and pretend I was them. People say to me, ‘Well, you’re such a Beatle fanatic, why don’t you play Beatles songs?’ Well, that’s a very good question. Because I am not only a Beatle fanatic, I write a Beatle column and I am considered a Beatleologist.”

Jay Jay French continued:

“But I never cared about sounding like them, for whatever reason. I can’t explain why. So even though they hit when I was 11 years old, oh my god, they changed my life and everything was great. I didn’t necessarily care about playing like that.”

“It wasn’t until I heard the blues, and I got bitten by the blues bug. The minute I got bitten by the blues bug, which was Mike Bloomfield from Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Eric Clapton, one of the most famous albums in the world, which is the John Mayal Bluesbreakers;”

“I can guarantee you, you ask Slash, you ask Joe Bonamassa, you ask any of these guys what’s the album that made you want to become who you are. They will tell you either Mike Bloomfield’s playing on Paul Butterfield’s Blues Band or Clapton’s playing on the Bluesbreakers.”

“Clapton was 19, and I don’t think he’s ever played better. I think he peaked on that record, and it’s generally accepted, by the way. It’s generally accepted amongst guitar players my age when asked about, ‘What guitar tone drove you crazy and made you want to play?’ You go, ‘I heard Clapton’s Bluesbreakers record…’ I went, ‘Oh my god.’ He was the first guy to marry a Gibson Les Paul and an overdriven Marshall amplifier. So he had his sound.”

“Jimi Hendrix, he’s the first guy to marry a Marshall amp with a Stratocaster turned up to 10. So he spoke a new language. When you want to talk about innovators, these guys who created new languages on the instrument. So that’s why it matters to me.”

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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