JAY JAY FRENCH Says TWISTED SISTER Has Two Songs That Are 'Standard Bearers In The World Of Popular Music'
TWISTED SISTER guitarist Jay Jay French spoke to Brazil’s Wikimetal about the fact that in today’s day and age when anyone and everyone floods the musical market, it becomes increasingly hard for one band, artist or songwriter to stand out in the flow to be heard and earn a living by making music.
“First of all, the good news is anybody can make a record,” he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “But the bad news is anybody can make a record. And so there’s so much out there that how do you rise above the noise? That becomes the issue. Now, we happen to have two songs — ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ and ‘I Wanna Rock’ — that have raised above the noise to the point where they are standard bearers in the world of popular music, in much the same way that JOURNEY’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin” is just a standard bearer. Whether you like them or not, that’s not the point — it’s a standard-bearer song. QUEEN ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘We Are The Champions’, these are standard bearers — these are massive hits that people sing in stadiums.
“Very much the mentality of Europe and South America as it pertains to stadium-sounding anthems is one of the reasons why TWISTED SISTER is successful today,” he continued. “Even though our music is played in American football stadiums and baseball stadiums, it is almost tailor made for South America and Europe, because in South America and Europe, at soccer games, everyone puts their arms around each other and they sing these songs. So this is one of the ways that our songs become standards. But also we license them for movies and commercials and soundtracks.
“In the ’60s, counter-culture groups were offended by corporations: ‘We’ll never give our music to Chevrolet. We’ll never give our music to Ford. We’re never gonna do that, because that’s beneath us. We’re not part of the corporate stuff.’ Well, nowadays, I’m saying, what we’re saying, [is] anything we can do to get our music out there is important — any avenue,” French added. “It just so happens licensing music is the last bastion of real money in the music industry, because it’s old-time money. The way they pay you is just the way they’ve been paying you for the last 30, 40, 50 years. It’s not like streaming or anything else — you get real money. So the benefit of it is twofold — one is you get paid a lot; and the other side of it is you get broadcast a lot.
“So, if you would ask a 10-year-old kid do they know TWISTED SISTER, maybe they don’t. You start singing ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’, the kid’s gonna be singing ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’. So if our consolation prize is that our music is standardized around the world, and young kids know it and it shows up in commercials and TV shows, then you know what? That doesn’t suck. That’s a good thing. So that’s what we’re lucky in possessing — between ‘I Wanna Rock’ and ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ — two international anthems that are standardized.”
“We’re Not Gonna Take It” has been used in commercials for hotel chain Extended Stay America, Claritin, Walmart, Stanley Steamer and Yaz birth control.
The song’s lyrics say in part “Oh you’re so condescending/Your gall is never ending/We don’t want nothin’/Not a thing from you.”
“We’re Not Gonna Take It” was first released as a single (with B-side song “You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll”) on April 27, 1984. The “Stay Hungry” album was released two weeks later, on May 10, 1984. The single made No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, making it TWISTED SISTER’s only Top 40 single, and the song was ranked No. 47 on VH1’s “100 Greatest ’80s Songs”.
“We’re Not Gonna Take It” was written solely by singer Dee Snider. As influences for the song, he previously cited the glam rock band SLADE, the punk band SEX PISTOLS, and the Christmas carol “O Come, All Ye Faithful”.
TWISTED SISTER called it quits in 2016 after completing a farewell 40th-anniversary tour. The band’s last-ever concert took place in November of that year — 20 months after the passing of TWISTED’s longtime drummer A.J. Pero.
French’s new “bizoir” — part memoir and part business primer — “Twisted Business: Lessons From My Life In Rock ‘N’ Roll”, was released last month via RosettaBooks.
In a new interview with Jon Marchewka of Rock In The FastLane, former ACCEPT and current U.D.O. frontman Udo Dirkschneider was asked what he would like his legacy to be. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I always try to be normal. I’m not a typical rock and roll star, [sporting] sunsglasses and [telling people], ‘Hey, man…’ I try to be a normal, normal person. But what I [know] is that I inspired a lot of bands — with ACCEPT and also now with U.D.O. That makes you proud that you did something in this business — inspired other musicians, and also really well-known musicians. And that was really, like, ‘Woah! Okay.’ That makes you proud. And then you know that you did something in this business. So, that’s it for me. It’s, like, okay, thank you very much.”
U.D.O.’s latest album, “Game Over”, was released on October 22 via AFM Records.
Last year, U.D.O. collaborated with Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr, the military band of the German federal armed forces, on an album called “We Are One”, which was released in July 2020 via AFM Records/Soulfood Music.
U.D.O.’s current lineup includes Udo’s son and drummer Sven Dirkschneider, bassist Tilen Hudrap and guitarists Andrey Smirnov and Dee Dammers.
Udo’s DIRKSCHNEIDER & THE OLD GANG project, in which he is joined be fellow former ACCEPT members Peter Baltes (bass) and Stefan Kaufmann (guitar), recently released a new single and video, “Every Heart Is Burning”.
DIRKSCHNEIDER & THE OLD GANG, which is rounded out by Udo’s son Sven Dirkschneider (drums), Manuela Bibert (vocals) and Mathias Dieth (guitar), issued its debut single, “Where The Angels Fly”, in September 2020. A second single, “Face Of A Stranger”, followed in April. On August 27, all three songs were released as the “Arising” CD, a 12-inch vinyl and a download.
In a new interview with the “Everblack”, ALICE IN CHAINS guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell was asked if he still likes cranking it up and churning out some heavy riffs in between delivering a softer side of the rock spectrum. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Absolutely. It depends on the mood. We had a metal night at my poker game last week. We haven’t been able to have too many of ’em over the last 18 years when we started having the fellows over for some home poker games. Usually somebody will DJ and we’ll take different turns. Well, last week was all metal. It’s great. It’s a big piece of the pie for me.”
Back in 1996, Cantrell told Guitar World magazine that ALICE IN CHAINS was “part of the metal thing. We’re a lot of different things, too. I don’t quite know what the mixture is, but there’s definitely metal, blues, rock and roll, maybe a touch of punk… The metal part will never leave us. And I never want it to.”
Asked about the fact that many metal bands at the time were obsessed with making things heavy, at the expense of creativity or originality, Jerry said: “I’ve always been interested in bands that make heavy shit without sounding so obvious. There’s something about having strength and not flaunting it. It’s not about coming out and mauling your ass, but easing in. Before you know it, you’re in a death lock, which you didn’t see coming because it was so smooth and seductive you didn’t know it until it had your face down on the canvas. To me, being heavy has nothing to do with how many speakers you blow or how many decibels you play at.”
Cantrell’s new solo album, “Brighten”, will be made available on October 29. The LP was co-produced by Jerry over the past year with film composer Tyler Bates and Cantrell’s longtime engineer Paul Figueroa. They welcomed a dynamic cast of supporting players, including drummers Gil Sharone and Abe Laboriel, Jr. (Paul McCartney), pedal steel master Michael Rozon, Vincent Jones on piano, Wurlitzer, and organ. Other rock legends added to the fun of this LP, including Duff McKagan (GUNS N’ ROSES) on select bass tracks, Greg Puciato (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN) handling all of the background vocals and Joe Barresi (TOOL, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE) overseeing the mixing of “Brighten”. Together, they recorded eight originals and the LP closes with an approved-by-Elton John cover of his classic “Goodbye” as the finale.
EXODUS’s Steve “Zetro” Souza talked to “The Zach Moonshine Show” about his band’s decision to postpone the North American leg of its “The Bay Strikes Back Tour” to 2022. The 30-date trek — also featuring TESTAMENT and DEATH ANGEL — was originally scheduled to kick off on October 6 at the Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo, California and make stops in Austin, New York, and Detroit before concluding on November 27 at The Fox in Oakland.
Speaking about the thought process behind pushing back the tour, Zetro said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “They wanted us to test every night, and the bands didn’t wanna test every single night. ‘Cause the venues we were playing were not as big as say… MEGADETH just went around with LAMB OF GOD and TRIVIUM, and they did sheds, and HATEBREED — they played amphitheaters — and those are pretty big places where you can keep spread apart. We weren’t gonna have that luxury, and if Chuck Billy [TESTAMENT singer] gets sick three weeks after the tour starts, for whatever reason, the tour [is] over. So we felt it was better to let this thing play out just a little bit more. And the tour will start — same dates. If you bought a ticket, we will honor it at the dates. The same dates, the same venues, and this one starts April 9th. I mean, almost exactly the same route — every date starts… ‘Cause we would have been there now; we would have been doing it; we would almost have been through it right now — we would have been two weeks into it. I think it was a better decision for now. I just want safety for everybody; that’s all that matters.”
“The Bay Strikes Back Tour” dates have been rebooked beginning in April and will include additional cities not originally scheduled for the tour.
“The Bay Strikes Back Tour” 2022 dates:
Apr. 09 – San Luis Obispo, CA – Fremont Theater
Apr. 10 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues
Apr. 12 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
Apr. 13 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
Apr. 15 – Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theatre
Apr. 16 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
Apr. 19 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
Apr. 20 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
Apr. 21 – Austin, TX – Emo’s
Apr. 22 – Dallas, TX -Amplified Live
Apr. 23 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
Apr. 26 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
Apr. 27 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz
Apr. 30 – Sayreville, NJ -Starland Ballroom
May 01 – Baltimore, MD – Soundstage
May 02 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
May 03 – Philadelphia, PA – Theater of Living Arts
May 05 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount
May 06 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
May 07 – Cincinnati, OH – Madison Theater
May 09 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
May 10 – Cleveland, OH – The Agora
May 11 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
May 12 – Detroit, MI – The Majestic Theatre
May 14 – Joliet, IL – The Forge
May 15 – Joliet, IL – The Forge
May 17 – Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theatre
May 19 – Denver, CO – Summit
May 20 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot
EXODUS will release its new album, “Persona Non Grata”, on November 19 via Nuclear Blast Records. The LP was recorded at a studio in Lake Almanor, California and was engineered by Steve Lagudi and EXODUS. It was produced by EXODUS and was mixed by Andy Sneap. For the third time in the band’s history, they returned to Swedish artist Pär Olofsson to create the album artwork.
“Persona Non Grata” is the follow-up to 2014’s “Blood In Blood Out”, which was the San Francisco Bay Area thrashers’ first release since the departure of the group’s lead singer of nine years, Rob Dukes, and the return of Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004.
In July, EXODUS drummer Tom Hunting underwent a successful total gastrectomy in his battle with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the stomach. He rejoined his bandmates on stage on October 7 at the Aftershock festival in Sacramento, California.
EXODUS tapped John Tempesta to play drums for the band at Psycho Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada in August and at Full Terror Assault in Cave In Rock, Illinois in September while Hunting was recovering from surgery. Tempesta was a member of EXODUS from 1989 until 1993 and played on the band’s albums “Impact Is Imminent” (1990) and “Force Of Habit” (1992).
A GoFundMe campaign to help Hunting with medical expenses had previously raised more than $114,000 — including $5,000 from Tom’s former EXODUS bandmate, current METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett, and $1,500 from FOZZY singer and wrestling superstar Chris Jericho.
Nita Strauss, the guitar shredder for the ALICE COOPER band, was the featured guest on BBC’s “The Rock Show With Johnnie Walker” during the “Rock God” segment. Nita picked Steve Vai and stated about her choice: “Steve Vai has been my favorite guitar player since I first started playing guitar and always been my biggest inspiration because of not just his technique but the joy and passion in his guitar playing. That’s something that I try to emulate in my own playing every day, and I think all guitar players could benefit from that as well. So, Steve Vai, you are my rock god.”
In a 2018 interview with Sweetwater, Nita talked about how she was inspired as a teenager by Vai’s performance in the 1980s film “Crossroads”. She said: “When I watched that movie, I was super into gymnastics. I was an alternate on the Junior Olympic team — that’s how serious I was about doing gymnastics. The next day after watching that, I walked into the gym where I had been going as a child. Let’s say that practice started at 5 o’clock. I walked in [at] probably 5:10, 5:15. My coach looked at me like, [taps wrist], and I said, ‘I know. Yeah, yeah, I know.’ And I got my stuff out of my locker and I left, and I never went back. All I did from that moment forward was play the guitar. I never even thought about doing anything else. I loved it. I was that kid that was practicing every hour of the day. You could not take the guitar out of my hands. At the dinner table, under the cover with the lights out after bedtime, I was always playing. Taking the guitar to school, practicing at lunch… I didn’t start out being any good at this instrument. Everybody starts out at exactly the same level, and that’s something I love about music. No one can do your push-up for you. No one can practice for you. No one can run those hours of scales for you. No one starts out any better than anyone else.”
Nita also cited Vai as the inspiration for her debut solo single “Pandemonium”, saying: “Steve is actually the reason I did ‘Pandemonium’. I was so focused on launching WE START WARS, my original band, and I always wanted to do a solo record. All my heroes are instrumental guitar players, but I sort of had that ‘I’m not ready’ feeling — I was like, ‘I don’t feel like I’m the guitar player that I want to be when I put this out.’ That’s just called fear. Fear has no place in what we do here. The first time I met Vai was at ‘Generation Axe’ [his 2016 tour with Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi]. Steve said, ‘I’m putting together this compilation of female guitar players. Would you be willing to contribute a song to it?’ I said, ‘Oh yeah, absolutely. I definitely have something.’ [My boyfriend/manager] and I were walking to the car, and he goes, ‘So, do you have something?’ I said, ‘No. Not a clue.’ [Laughs] ‘I have nothing. I don’t even have an idea.’ But I went home, and in the next few days, I formulated what would become ‘Pandemonium’, and I had so much fun doing it.”
Earlier in the month, Nita shared “Dead Inside”, her first new music since the release of her critically acclaimed debut solo album “Controlled Chaos” in 2018. The track is her first-ever solo collaboration with a vocalist, David Draiman, frontman of Grammy-nominated rock icons DISTURBED.
A nearly three-hour virtual album-release party for DREAM THEATER’s 15th studio LP, “A View From The Top Of The World”, is available below. The video includes a live question-and-answer session with the band, the premiere of the “Digging For A Spark” making-of documentary, a conversation with engineer James “Jimmy T” Meslin and mixer Andy Sneap, as well as fan and band trivia.
“A View From The Top Of The World” is a seven-song LP which marks DREAM THEATER’s second studio album with InsideOut Music/Sony Music. The artwork was created by longtime cover collaborator Hugh Syme (RUSH, IRON MAIDEN, STONE SOUR).
DREAM THEATER — comprised of James LaBrie, John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess, John Myung and Mike Mangini — was in the middle of a sold-out world tour in support of their last release “Distance Over Time” and the 20th anniversary of “Scenes From A Memory” when a global pandemic brought the world to a stop. The musicians found themselves at home, with LaBrie in Canada and the rest of the group in the States. As fate would have it, they’d just finished construction on DTHQ (Dream Theater Headquarters) — a combination live recording studio, rehearsal space, control room, equipment storage, and creative hive. With LaBrie in Canada, he initially wrote with the band via Zoom on a monitor in DTHQ. In March 2021, he flew down to New York, quarantined, and recorded his vocals face to face with Petrucci.
Petrucci recently stated about the “A View From The Top Of The World” title: “Honestly, titling records is a funny thing because sometimes it comes really quickly — sometimes it even comes before — and sometimes it’s really hard trying to come up with, ‘What is the title that’s gonna reflect what this album is all about?’ This one, it was difficult. There was nothing that was really coming to mind. The things that were were… I don’t know. It’s hard to be original. Things you used or it just didn’t quite do it.
“I remember the discussions we were having [were] that the music was really powerful; it was dark, but it was also positive; there’s a lot of energy; there’s a lot of spirit,” he continued. “So, what would kind of encapsulate that? Eventually, one of the songs on the album is the epic ‘A View From The Top Of The World’, the title track. I had a list of dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens [of titles]… And then one day I just kind of saw that, and I was, like, ‘You know what? That’s pretty damn DREAM THEATER-y as a title.’
“Like anything that we do, I just pose it to everybody and say, ‘What do you guys think of it?'” John added. “I think the time when you know that it is the title, or it is the decision, whatever it may be, it’s when everybody kind of comes back, like, ‘Yes. That’s so cool.’ I remember everyone was, like, ‘That’s such a positive title. That’s cool. Love it. Thumbs up.’ Blah blah blah. And you know. Then you’re, like, ‘Okay, cool.'”
Former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach has returned to the stage for a tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of the band’s double-platinum, acclaimed album “Slave To The Grind”. The trek kicked off on September 25 in Waterloo, New York and will wrap in San Diego, California on December 17.
Fan-filmed video footage of Bach’s October 23 performance at the Theatre Of The Living Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania can be seen below.
Earlier this month, Sebastian was asked in a new interview with Rockin’ Metal Revival if he ever regrets writing such high vocal parts that he now has to reproduce live on stage three decades later. He responded: “All I can tell you is that I’ve been singing so much in the last four or months. I can’t tell you exactly what I was doing yet, but I will be able to. My voice is the same it’s always been.
“I’ve gotta say just a couple of things answering your question — a couple of things come to mind,” he continued. “For a guy like me or a guy like Bono [U2] or a guy like — I don’t know, Geddy Lee [RUSH] or somebody like that, making a record is not the same as doing a show; it’s not the same thing; it’s a different thing. Making a record is you standing in an air-conditioned room with water next to you and coffee and you’ve got the lights perfect. And you’re standing as still as you can, and you get to sing it as many times as you want until it’s perfect. [Laughs] Nothing can be more different than a show — unless you’re using [backing] tapes. But I’m proud to tell your audience that we will not be using any tapes anytime soon, so it’s a real rock show. But doing a show is more like communicating the spirit of the song and the music to the audience, and everybody gets into it. And I’m not just gonna stand there and try to be perfect. I’m gonna run all over the place and I’m gonna put on a show.
“As singers get older, I don’t like changing the key of the song because, to me, that makes it sound like a different tune, and I’m not interested in that,” Sebastian explained. “If I’m gonna change a little vocal part in the same key, to me that’s a cooler way of doing it instead of making it into the key of KORN. That works great for KORN.
“I have to sing every day properly and do it for many weeks in order to get my voice to the top of its abilities, and that’s what I’ve been doing. I just played and I had no problems doing all those tunes. I’ve got no problems — knock on wood.”
Bach fronted SKID ROW until 1996, when he was fired. Instead of throwing in the towel, the remaining members took a hiatus and went on to play briefly in a band called OZONE MONDAY.
In 1999, SKID ROW reformed and, after a bit of shuffling over the years, featured a lineup consisting of bassist Rachel Bolan and guitarists Dave “Snake” Sabo and Scotti Hill, alongside drummer Rob Hammersmith and singer Johnny Solinger.
SKID ROW fired Solinger over the phone in April 2015, a few hours before announcing ex-TNT vocalist Tony Harnell as his replacement. Eight months later, Harnell exited the band and was replaced by South African-born, British-based singer ZP Theart, who previously fronted DRAGONFORCE, TANK and I AM I.
Fan-filmed video footage of QUEENSRŸCHE’s October 23 performance at Snoqualmie Casino in Snoqualmie, Washington can be seen below.
For the past four and a half years, Casey Grillo has been filling in for QUEENSRŸCHE’s original drummer Scott Rockenfield, who stepped away from the band’s touring activities in early 2017 to spend time with his young son.
As previously reported, Rockenfield filed a lawsuit against the band’s fellow original members Michael Wilton (guitar) and Eddie Jackson (bass) two weeks ago, alleging, among other things, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and wrongful discharge.
In the complaint, which has been obtained by BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Rockenfield claims that he took paternal leave of absence from QUEENSRŸCHE in February 2017 after his fiancée experienced complications during the birth of their son and had to have an emergency Cesarean delivery. According to the drummer, his leave of absence was approved by the members of QUEENSRŸCHE and he was to retain an equal one-third interest in all QUEENSRŸCHE companies (QR Companies), including Tri-Ryche Corporation, Melodisc LTD., Queensryche Merchandising, Inc., EMS Music, LLC and Queensryche Holdings, LLC.
Scott alleges that or about October 11, 2018, Wilton and Jackson purportedly “voted to dismiss Rockenfield from the QR Companies due in whole or in part to his taking of approved family leave. Rockenfield was informed of his purported dismissal from the QR Companies in a letter dated November 3, 2018.”
Rockfenfield also claims that Wilton and Jackson did not include him in the recording QUEENSRŸCHE’s latest album, “The Verdict”, “despite his availability and willingness to participate.”
The drum tracks on “The Verdict” were laid down by QUEENSRŸCHE singer Todd La Torre.
Last week, QUEENSRŸCHE’s Michael Wilton confirmed that guitarist Mike Stone will likely contribute guitar solos to the band’s next studio album.
Since late May, Stone has been handling second-guitar duties in QUEENSRŸCHE, which announced in July that longtime guitarist Parker Lundgren was exiting the group to focus on “other business ventures.”
Stone originally joined QUEENSRŸCHE for the 2003 album “Tribe” and stayed with the band for six years before leaving the group.
Preshow with Queensrÿche! Shoutout to 102.5 KZOK: The Classic Rock Station’s Waldo for hanging with the guys before they hit the stage tonight!
Posted by Snoqualmie Casino on Saturday, October 23, 2021
MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx spoke to SiriusXM’s “Trunk Nation L.A. Invasion” about “The First 21: How I Became Nikki Sixx”, his new book which looks back at his formative years beginning with his birth in 1958 as Franklin Carlton Feranna to the date in 1980 — before the band was formed — when he legally rechristened himself Nikki Sixx. Written with Alex Abramovich, the new memoir was released October 19 and quickly shot to No. 1 on Amazon’s rock music books chart. It is also in the Top 40 of Amazon’s overall biographies and memoirs chart.
“The reason I used a co-writer [this time around] is my last book took two and a half years to write, and I just wasn’t down for that,” Nikki explained (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “And I wanted to have somebody who get the story on paper and that also had a voice like mine. And then I’d go over and work on top.”
Elaborating on the research that went into writing the book, Nikki said: “[Alex] called me and he said, ‘Hey, Nikki, I found your first girlfriend.’ I go, ‘Is she still in Jerome, Idaho?’ I was 13. He said, ‘No. She’s in Utah.’ And she’s married. She has a Facebook page, but there’s no social media, there’s no any way to get a hold of her. There’s just a landline.’ He goes, ‘What do you think I should do?’ And I go, ‘Let’s call her.’ So he calls, and he goes, ‘Hi. I’m Alex. I’m working on a book about Frank Feranna.’ And she goes, ‘I remember Frank.’ And he goes, ‘Would you be open to talk about it? And Frank would like to talk to you.’ So she started saying, ‘Where did Frank go to after? I heard he moved to Seattle.’ And then he kind of starts backtracking, and he ended up in Los Angeles. And he says, ‘Now he lives in Wyoming with his wife and daughter. And he’s got four older kids.’ And she goes, ‘What did Frank ever end up doing?’ And he’s, like, ‘Ohhh. Ehhh… Well, he tours.’ And she goes, ‘What do you mean?’ And then he goes, ‘He’s in a band.’ And she’s, like, ‘Frank’s in a band?’ And then it was, like, kind of that moment where he was, like, ‘Oh, wow. This is happening in real time. This is so innocent. And so perfect.’ Even though it didn’t fit into the storytelling in the book. [And she says], ‘What band?’ ‘MÖTLEY CRÜE.’ Dead silence. She goes, ‘I had a MÖTLEY CRÜE album in my hand one time, and I looked at the photo and I go, ‘That looks just like my first boyfriend Frankie.’ And she looked down and it said, ‘Nikki Sixx.’ So, she put the record [down]. She didn’t even buy the record. [Laughs]”
Released on October 19 via Hachette Books, “The First 21: How I Became Nikki Sixx” was edited by executive editor Brant Rumble, who acquired world rights in a deal with Chris Nilsson of 10th Street Entertainment. It is available in hardcover, eBook and an audio edition by Hachette Audio.
Feranna was abandoned by his father and partly raised by his mother, a woman who was ahead of her time in some ways and deeply troubled in others. Frankie ended up living with his grandparents, bouncing from farm to farm and state to state. He was an all-American kid — hunting, fishing, chasing girls, and playing football — but underneath it all, there was a burning desire for more, and that more was music. He eventually took a Greyhound bound for Hollywood.
In Los Angeles, Frank lived with his aunt and his uncle — the president of Capitol Records. But there was no short path to the top. He was soon on his own. There were dead-end jobs: dipping circuit boards, clerking at liquor and record stores, selling used light bulbs, and hustling to survive. But at night, Frank honed his craft, joining SISTER, a band formed by fellow hard-rock veteran Blackie Lawless, and formed a group of his own: LONDON, the precursor of MÖTLEY CRÜE. Turning down an offer to join Randy Rhoads’s band, Frank changed his name to Nikki London, Nikki Nine and, finally, Nikki Sixx.
Photo courtesy of Jason Shaltz / SiriusXM
According to TMZ, METALLICA frontman James Hetfield sold the 20 acres of vacant land he owned in Pima County, Arizona for $1.2 million.
James bought the plot of land, which is near the United States border with Mexico, in 1998.
Last month, Pima Community College was selected from a competitive field of community colleges across the country to receive $100,000 from METALLICA’s All Within My Hands foundation as part of its Metallica Scholars initiative.
James said in a 2016 interview that he moved his family from the San Francisco area, where he and METALLICA had been based for 35 years, to Vail, Colorado because he didn’t feel as if he belonged in the Bay Area anymore.
“I kind of got sick of the Bay Area, the attitudes of the people there, a little bit,” he said. “They talk about how diverse they are, and things like that, and it’s fine if you’re diverse like them. But showing up with a deer on the bumper doesn’t fly in Marin County. My form of eating organic doesn’t vibe with theirs.
“I love the Bay Area. I love what it’s got to offer, but there’s just an attitude that… it wasn’t healthy for me,” he said. “[It was] starting to feel like, uh, I was just fighting all the time.”
In February 2018, Hetfield turned over 1,000 acres of land overlooking California’s Lucas Valley as open space so that it could end up with the Marin Agricultural Land Trust.
Seven years earlier, Hetfield wanted to develop some of his land along Lucas Valley Road in Marin County into home sites, but the neighbors objected. It led to a prolonged legal battle that the METALLICA co-founder eventually abandoned.