Twisted Sister Biography
Although the band was formed by guitarist Jay Jay French in December 1972, all of their songs were written by Dee Snider from 1976 onward.
The soon to be named Twisted Sister was formed after Jay Jay French was added following auditions in the 'band house' located in Ho-Ho-Kus New Jersey in late December 1972. Manhattan resident John Segall (Jay Jay French) auditioned and was asked to join the 'glitter band' Silver Star. Silver Star was the creation of the drummer Mel Anderson (Mell Star) as the New Jersey version of the New York Dolls. At the same time as Silver Star/Twisted Sister was created, Mell Star's brother, Al Anderson, was the guitar player for Bob Marley & The Wailers. Jay Jay hated the name Silver Star and pushed to have it changed. On Valentine's Day in February 1973 Silver Star changed its name to Twisted Sister.
The band found work immediately and started playing 6 nights a week (mostly in the same club for the entire week). They secured a residency at the Mad Hatter in East Quogue, NY for the summer of 1973 and played 105 nights from Memorial Day to Labor day. By December 1974, when this first version of the band broke up, Jay Jay had already played nearly 600 nights and about 3,000 performances as the band played 5 x 40 minutes shows per night, each with costume changes, some ending as late as 8 am the following morning. The second version of the band changed lead singers (Rick Prince) and guitar player (Keith Angel) and continued for a couple of months into 1975 before singer Rick Prince failed to show up for a rehearsal. In the third lineup change, Jay Jay the took over the lead vocal chores and management duties. The band split up after Labor Day weekend 1975. In October 1975 the fourth version of the band started to play the club circuit. Jay Jay hired a former high school friend of Eddie Ojeda, who joined as co-lead singer and second guitarist, and got drummer Kevin John Grace after reading an ad that Kevin put in the Village Voice. Bass guitarist Kenny Neill (Kenneth Harrison Neill) remained and completed the lineup. The band followed a glam rock direction. They played at local clubs but floundered in relative anonymity.
In February 1976, at the suggestion of the band's agent, Kevin Brenner, Jay Jay was told that the band could only go so far without being able to play Led Zeppelin cover songs and urged Jay Jay to hire Danny Snider (Dee Snider). This version lasted 6 weeks before version seven began on April 1st, 1976 with new drummer Tony Petri, the group took a heavier musical direction.
At this point, the bands popularity began to soar as the band, especially Dee and Jay Jay started to talk (rap) to the audience about current topics of the day between songs.
The band went though three more line up changes between 1979 and 1982. Drummer Joey Brighton replaced Tony Petri, former The Dictators drummer Richie Teeter replaced Brighton and finally AJ Pero replaced Teeter.
The band started its own t-shirt company and record label. They released two singles which eventually made it over to the UK and caught the attention of Martin Hooker, the president of indie label Secret Records.
In June 1982, the group released its first EP, "Ruff Cuts", on the Secret Records label. This was followed shortly by their first stu .... Click here to read the full bio on DISCOGS.