- The Metal Voice
Mike Portnoy & Steve Vai Used To Sneak Into Bars To See Twisted Sister at 15 yrs Old-Jay Jay French
Canada's The Metal Voice recently spoke to Twisted Sister Guitarist Jay Jay French. In the interview Jay Jay French was asked about why Mike Portnoy and Steve Vai were chosen to induct Twisted Sister at the Metal Hall of fame gala 2023. Also how Mike Portnoy ended up filling in on drums after A.J. Pero died.
Full interview here
French said, "Mike Portnoy and Steve Vai are going to induct us (Metal Hall of Fame) and the reason why they are going to induct us is, they used to sneak in and see Twisted Sister when they were 15 years old in the bars in Long Island. This is Steve Vai and Mike Portnoy, two of the greatest rock musicians on the planet. " He continued, "Now when A.J. died, for those of you who don't know, A.J. was in a band called The Adrenaline Mob and that was his side gig when Twisted wasn't on the road. He was on the road with Adrenaline Mob and he died in the tour bus of Adrenaline Mob in a parking lot in Poughkeepsie, New York, he had a heart attack. A.J. also replaced Mike Portnoy who was in Adrenaline Mob. So A.J. dies and the day after there was a memorial show in New Jersey. Adrenaline put on the show and I went because they asked me to appear on behalf of Twisted Sister and play a song with Adrenaline Mob. And I'm sitting there and Mike Portnoy was there and Mike Portnoy and I were in the dressing we'd never met officially and we're both crying because A.J. just died 24 hours before. We're both like crying you know but anyway um Mike looked at me and says man uh what are you guys gonna do because we had a tour lined up and I went I don't know ? I don't know if we haven't even discussed it. He said well look I'm not touring this summer and if you need a drummer call me I'm available. So we attended A.J.'s wake a couple of days later and we're all sitting around his father-in-law's house in Staten Island discussing the future of the band and I went you to know Mike Portnoy offered his services should we decide to continue. Now at that point the whole European Festival tour was set up that summer so we all these promoters are now calling to find out because we're headlining 15 festivals and we're telling them give us some time because we can't process this is too traumatic. We were so Blown Away by Mike's offer and we thought about it and said you know what oh we'll take you up on it. "
The Metal Hall Of Fame is a non-profit organization that enshrines forever those iconic musicians, artists, music industry executives who are responsible for making hard rock and heavy metal music what it is today. Their contribution to the genre is invaluable, and they keep inspiring fans throughout the world, from generation to generation. A special Rocavaka meet-and-greet with Snider, Rocavaka's brand ambassador, will take place after the induction ceremony where limited-edition Snider numbered Rocavaka bottles will be made available for purchase and signing. Tickets are $35 in advance or $45 at the door via www.metalhalloffame.org
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