Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French Recalls Losing Spot to Ace Frehley in Pre-KISS Band
Former Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French knows all about the possibilities that rock music can offer. Perhaps in another life, he might have even become a member of KISS, seeing as he tried out for KISS' predecessor band, Wicked Lester, in the early 1970s.
The spot went to Ace Frehley, who of course would go on to be KISS' guitarist and first Spaceman.
French looked back on the circumstances in a recent interview with Talk Toomey that focused on his new book, Twisted Business: Lessons Learned From My Life in Rock 'N' Roll. The rocker has dubbed it a "bizoir," or a memoir combined with business advice.
French remembered, "By 1972, I had already been in one attempted club band that kind of didn't happen. This is after I stopped doing drugs and went straight. And then I got an audition for Wicked Lester, which became KISS, which wasn't particularly interesting." [via BraveWords]
He added, "I wasn't ready, Ace [Frehley] was. To be fair, there were a lot of guitar players who auditioned. I don't know who else they spoke to, but I'm sure it wasn't just me. And they picked Ace."
However, the founding Twisted Sister guitarist also knows that what's meant to be is simply meant to be. He admitted KISS ended up with the members best suited for them.
French continued, "When they picked Ace, they invited me down to hear the songs transferred from Wicked Lester's poppy rock thing that sounded like the band Looking Glass. And all of a sudden, they had a vision; metal was the vision. They could see it. Gene [Simmons] and Paul [Stanley] are smart, and they had a vision."