Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French on Jeff Beck’s Greatness: ‘Eric Clapton Stayed the Same. Jimmy Page Got Worse as Time Went on’

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Twisted Sister was co-founded by Jay Jay French in 1972 and has been a prominent band in the world of heavy metal. Jay Jay has been known for his guitar playing style which is very unique and his energetic stage presence.

Recently, French talked with the Metal Voice and revealed his thought on what he thinks of various musicians like Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.

2023 started in one of the most notorious ways. The world recently lost one of the most prominent artists who defined guitar in the 60s and 70s. It is no other than Jeff Beck. Jay Jay French had things to say about him and even said he is one of the ‘greatest guitarists of all time’. Jeff passed away on January 10, this year and it was a huge loss. If he were alive today, he would have been happy to hear what Jay Jay had to say.

Jay Jay had things to say about Jeff Beck but didn’t back down from saying various other things he believes. In the interview with Metal Voice, he said, “Having witnessed all that stuff and realizing that then Beck goes on and develops this incredible style of guitar playing over the next 50 years, it’s okay. Guess what? Jimi’s dead, and you [Jeff Beck] developed, and Jimi didn’t have the luxury of developing. Eric [Clapton] didn’t change much. Eric stayed the same. Jimmy Page got worse as time went on; he got sloppier and eventually straightened himself out. I guess he’s okay today.”

And by the way, I’m not knocking these people. These were my heroes. You think of the greatest guitar players though, the ones who, when you hear them, you know who they are. Not just that they’re technically great, but you know who they are. So you can add to this list if you want, but [these are] the guitar players that I know, when I hear [them], I’ll tell you who it is.”

French worked his way out and said how BB King is a different person which is reflected in his guitar playing. Jay Jay said that nobody else plays like BB King. Same with Leslie West, they are a different entity. In the interview, he said, “BB King. No one plays like BB King. Leslie West. No one sounds like Leslie West. Carlos Santana. Nobody sounds like Carlos Santana. Jimi Hendrix. Nobody sounds like Jimi Hendrix. Jeff Beck. Nobody sounds like Jeff Beck.”

He added, when you see Eric Clapton, there are a million guys that play like him. Jay Jay also said that Stevie Ray Vaughan and Joe Bonamassa are the same, there are too many guitarists who play like them. He also makes sure that he is not trying to say they are not great. But, while they are great, they don’t reflect their personality on the fretboard in their own individual way he says.

For Jay Jay French, Jimi Hendrix, and Jeff Beck were innovative guitar players, in comparison to Eric Clapton, Stevie, and Joe Bonamassa. For him, sounding unique is an important factor. No matter what he said, seeing his insights about such a topic was an interesting thing.

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