God, this dude is one hot mess. And we mean Jay Jay French, lead guitarist from the metal band Twisted Sister — not Todd Zwillich, the Capitol Hill radio correspondent, whose interview with French and the band’s frontman, writer and co-producer Dee Snider aired on this morning’s “The Takeaway” radio program in Manhattan.
Zwillich has been filling in at the New York City studios. He said he was shocked to learn he’d be interviewing Twisted Sister. And though never a metal head, he was highly enthused about the interview. The band is allegedly making a comeback in Vegas with a Christmas album. This would be “Twisted Christmas” (i.e. head-banger reinterpretations of Christmas classics.) But we don’t know if it’s this Christmas or next. We’re not sure they know either by the looks of this whacked out photograph. (The band prides itself on being drug free and free of “big hair”, Zwillich explained.)
“I never thought that my job as a Washington correspondent would ever lead to me being live on air wth Twisted Sister,” Zwillich said, referring to them as “standard middle-aged frothers” and noting that the duo was fun and “loose” on air.
During President Obama’s campaign, French was a big Obama fan, even changing his anthem, “I Wanna Rock” to “I Want Barack.”
The Twisted Sister interview was the culmination of a series of shows on unknown holiday music. Other shows have included: Muzak (yes, the awfulness that plays in seedy hotels and department stores) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) for his new Hanukah song. (Mormon senators who can’t sing can write Hanukah music. See the painfully awkward video, hear the horrible music and read The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg’s article here.)
To hear Zwillich’s interview with Twisted Sister, visit www.thetakeaway.org. “The Takeaway” is a co-production of WNYC Radio and Public Radio International.