Jay Jay French On Dee Snider Sharing The Spotlight With All Twisted Sister Members

A few months after Twisted Sister’s reunion show, the band’s guitarist Jay Jay French talked about it to Ace’s Space Radio. The musician explained how Keith Robert War filled in Eddie Ojeda‘s place and expressed his feelings about the last-minute change.

Twisted Sister performed at the Metal Hall of Fame charity gala on January 26, and most of the band’s surviving members were there to play. Their guitarist, Eddie Ojeda, could not make it to the performance due to Covid-19, and Keith Robert War took the stage with the band in his place.

In a recent interview, Jay Jay French revealed that he was concerned when he found out Ojeda would not be playing with them. The musician stated that even though Dee Snider, Mark Mendoza, and he took most of the spotlight, all the members had a level of trust for each other and were used to playing together. So, he was not happy to hear Ojeda couldn’t play.

French expressed his opinion on the matter as follows:

“Look, Dee occupies a lot of oxygen in the room, and I take up a lot of oxygen, and Mark takes up a lot of oxygen, but that doesn’t take away from anything. I was concerned when Eddie wasn’t there because I’m used to having Eddie on stage with me. It doesn’t matter that Keith knows his parts. It’s kind of like being on a football field or a baseball team with guys who you’re comfortable with, and even though you can bring in bench players, and they can be great players, but there’s a comfortability level you have with the guys that you know.”

After these thoughts, the guitarist recalled how and why they decided to play without Ojeda despite wanting him to be on stage. French explained that they felt compelled to go ahead with the show because their fans worldwide were eager to see them perform live. Canceling the show upon discovering Eddie Ojeda’s condition would be inconvenient for those people. Thus, they devised a solution, and War stepped in to fill his place.

Twisted Sister guitarist recounted the memory by stating:

“When Eddie called, and he said he had Covid, it was a hard call to take. Then I said to Eddie, ‘Look, we’re gonna have to play regardless.’ And he said, ‘What do you mean?’ And I said, ‘There’s too many people who are expecting us to play, ’cause now we’ve said we’re gonna play, and now we really kind of have to play.’ … We had people from Australia, people from Japan, people from Europe, people from South America [flying in to see the performance]. So there was a lot riding on it. And the day before, if you said you’re not playing, then what about those people who have now traveled and spent however much money, and they can’t cancel, and they can’t get their money back, and it becomes a real problem. So we really had a logistical issue here. And for, like, a half hour, it was kind of dodgy. But the band’s been together so long, and the band’s dealt with so many emergencies over the years that how many contingency plans can you go through? A lot. ‘Cause, we’ve pretty much been confronted with everything. If you look at a business… Businesses thrive on stability, but then you have challenges, crises, and catastrophes, and the longer you’re together, what seems like a catastrophe is now just a challenge or a crisis. When you’re younger, it’s a catastrophe. [In this case] it was, like, ‘Okay. So now what? Let me just kind of think about it for a minute. And we thought about it for a minute, and I said, ‘There’s a way to handle this.’ It’s three songs. It’s not like it’s a whole show.”

Jay Jay French believes that, although Dee Snider is better known as the vocalist, Twisted Sister members share the spotlight and aim to preserve the band’s structure as much as possible. Having his long-lasting bandmates on stage while playing is essential for the guitarist as he trusts them. Still, he and other members also consider their fans’ satisfaction while planning their shows and solving problems.