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“Collectors have this issue all the time, which is: How much do you desire to possess versus what do you really need?” Jay Jay French on selling his guitar collection

“What’s gonna happen when all these guys are 70 years old and they’re gonna die and their families have all these guitars — what are they gonna do with them?”

Jay Jay French

Image: Mark Horton / Getty Images

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Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French has opened up about his decision to offload his guitar collection, saying “I was just in the mood to move on.”

The guitarist announced in a recent Instagram post the sale of a wacky-looking Guild X79 electric guitar. Speaking to Ultimate Guitar about the reason he’s selling some of his gear, French says: “Oh, I don’t know. How many guitars do you need? It’s like, how many shoes can you wear?”

“Collectors have this issue all the time,” he adds, “which is: How much do you desire to possess versus what do you really need? I’ve been collecting for years and years and years. And my collection is big. Not as big as many. Some people have 1000s of them. I had, maybe one time, 50 or 60 at one time, but I probably owned 300 to 400.”

“So you get them, you own them, you sell them, you keep them, you trade them… I was just in the mood to move on.”

“A couple of years ago, I found four guitars in my warehouse. I said, ‘I’ll sell them.’ And I put them up and sold them. I’m selling my vintage collection slowly, bit by bit. But what’s gonna happen when all these guys are 70 years old and they’re gonna die and their families have all these guitars — what are they gonna do with them?”

French continues: “I’m 71. How much longer am I going to keep these guitars? I don’t play. I’m not actively playing. And even if I did, I play Epiphones live. I don’t take any of the other guitars out with me.”

That said, the musician admits that there are some axes in his collection that “aren’t going to go anywhere, probably.”

“The guitars I used for recording, the original pink burst Les Paul that was on every album on every stage for years. And the [Ibanez] Destroyer, I’ll keep that for years and years, more than likely,” he says. “The family will keep it or decide to do something with it. They’re part of the history of Twisted Sister. So right now, they’re on display at the museum.”

“But at the end of the day, David Gilmour sells his stuff, Clapton sold his stuff, and people just sell their stuff. I just looked and said, ‘Ah, I’ll just sell this one.’”

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