Jay Jay French Reveals How Bowie Influenced Twisted Sister in New Doc Preview

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PHOTO: Mark Weiss/Getty Images

In this exclusive clip from the new documentary We Are Twisted F***ing Sister, the band’s founding guitarist Jay Jay French explains how David Bowie’s influence affected his ideas about rock and roll image.

The New Yorker recalls how, when he was 21, Bowie was featured on the January 1973 cover of Fusion magazine in full-on Ziggy Stardust androgyny.

“I went, ‘Woah, woah, what is this? This is not the Grateful Dead!’” French recalls. “This is something completely different. And I changed gears 180 degrees.”

French says he was also becoming aware of glam through local groups like the New York Dolls.

“That was a new world for me,” French says of the glitter-rock scene emerging at New York City’s Mercer Arts Center. “Bowie was there, Lou Reed was there, and it was this glam, glitter kind of thing.”

Unfortunately, he was unimpressed by what he heard. “These bands were not that musical to me,” he says. “They were pretty bad, actually.” That, in turn, led him to decide to create a band that could merge the outrageous looks of the genre with the musical talents necessary for mainstream success.

Written and directed by Andrew Horn and released by Music Box Films, We Are Twisted F***ing Sister charts Twisted Sister’s rise from their mid-Seventies beginnings as a cross-dressing glitter-rock act to their mainstream success in the mid Eighties.

When Twisted Sister landed a recording contract in 1983, they became one of the biggest glam-rock bands of the Eighties, with live shows that drew sell-out crowds and music videos that defined early MTV. But “the band that killed disco” was no overnight success. We Are Twisted F***ing Sister presents the never-before-told story of the 10 grueling years leading up to the band’s success, recounted directly by the band themselves, their managers and their biggest fans.

We Are Twisted F***ing Sister is showing in select theaters across the country. See below for locations and dates.

The documentary will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on February 23 and can be pre-ordered now. It will also be available as a streaming video and as a download.

SELECT THEATER SHOWINGS
2/15/16 Cinefamily, Los Angeles CA
2/15/16 Bryant-Lake Bowl, Minneapolis, MN
2/17/16 Space Gallery, Portland, ME
2/18/16 Pelham Picture House, Pelham, NY
2/19/16 Cinema Village, New York, NY
2/19/16 Ahrya Fine Arts, Beverly Hills, CA
2/19/16 Plaza Theatre Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
2/19/16 Grand Illusion Cinema, Seattle, WA
2/19/16 Hollywood Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
2/20/16 Alamo Drafthouse Yonkers, Yonkers ,NY
2/22/16 Music Box Theatre, Chicago, IL

2/23/16 Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA

2/26/16 Gateway Film Center, Columbus, OH

2/27/16 Cinema Arts Center, Huntington, NY

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