Aerosmith will be ending its summer “Blue Army Tour” with a touchdown this weekend.
The Boston rockers will play the first-ever Concert For Legends as part of the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival on Friday, Aug. 7 in Canton, Ohio, the night before the shrine’s class of 2015 is inducted. “I consider every gig we play a special gig, because after doing this for 45 years you kinda go, ‘Well, how many more gigs do we have in us?'” guitarist Joe Perry tells Billboard. “But any time there’s something like this, that raises it above, it’s great. There’s a first involved, and we’re gonna get to meet some guys that I’ve looked up to and admired over the years. That’s a pretty amazing thing, and it’s one of the benefits of being in a band like this.”
Perry says he himself is “not a hardcore sports guy,” but like his bandmates is a Boston partisan, meaning the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots are his team. “I even go tailgating when I’m home, when I get a chance to go see the Patriots,” he reports. And he not surprisingly defends Pats star (and likely future Hall of Famer) Tom Brady in the Deflategate controversy that has the quarterback sitting out the first four games of this season (though he’s appealed the penalty).
“I just hear stuff secondhand,” Perry notes, “but, listen, Tom Brady isn’t the best quarterback in the league for nothing. I mean, he’s won too many games and pulled off too many brilliant plays; I don’t think it’s because the football was deflated, you know? Maybe the bladder was punctured. Who knows? That’s all I can say about it.”
The National Football League, of course, is happy to have Aerosmith on board regardless of any partisan rooting interests. Enshrinement Festival executive producer George Veras says that the event is “taking a page from the NFL’s playbook” of having a high-profile musical performance as part of the Super Bowl each year. The show at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium has sold out, and Veras says the Concert For Legends “will now become a permanent part of the Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week.”
The members of Aerosmith will be going their own ways after the Canton concert, though Perry reports that the group has plans to tour again during early 2016 — most likely in February or March — and then in the summer. Steven Tyler will be focusing on his upcoming country solo album, while Perry will be working on a number of projects, including Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp’s Hollywood Vampires collective. Perry plays on four tracks for the group’s album, which comes out Sept. 11, and he’ll be part of the three shows the Vampires are planning to play during late September, culminating Sept. 24 at the Rock in Rio festival in Brazil.
“That’s gonna be a riot, and really something different,” Perry says. “Getting to be an honorary member of the Hollywood Vampires is great, ’cause I’m an East Coast guy and everybody else is a West Coaster. It’s a real gas. I know it’s something Johnny wanted to do for a long time, actually have a band. We’ve only got the three gigs booked, but I’m hoping that once this thing starts to roll it snowballs and starts getting bigger and bigger. We’re gonna put a lot of time into it, into the rehearsals, and I have a feeling we’ll probably get a call from this club or that theater or that place or whatever. You never know what will pop up, but I think we’ll be ready.”
Perry isn’t quite as certain about getting Aerosmith back in the studio for a follow-up to 2012’s Music From Another Dimension!, however. “There’s talk about it,” he says, “but we’ve all got different projects going on on the side. I don’t think there’s gonna be room in there for any kind of, like, full-blown studio album. But these days a lot of that doesn’t matter; you can record in a hotel room, for chrissakes, and throw it online and there you go, there’s some new material. That may be more likely for us than doing the whole big studio thing, so we’ll see.”