The Real Story Behind Aerosmith’s ‘Rocks’

Aerosmith’s Rocks turned 40 this year, but neither guitarists Joe Perry nor Brad Whitford think that the record shows one bit of age. “You put it on and you can still feel the excitement we had when we made it,” says Perry. “Everything was clicking for us. We had been working hard and were rising through the ranks, and we were really feeling it. I think that shows in those tracks.”

“It doesn’t feel like 40 years since we put it out,” says Whitford. “I think you could put ‘Rocks’ on right now next to just about any current record, and you wouldn’t know there was four decades between them. It’s an honest record. I think that came through then, and it still comes through now.”

‘Rocks’ marked a chart high-water mark for Aerosmith in the ’70s, hitting number three on the Billboard Top 200 and establishing the Boston-based band as the premier American hard rock attraction of the era. Perry and Whitford sat down with Music Aficionado to reflect on the hectic pace that surrounded the making of the iconic disc and its enduring legacy. Continue reading The Real Story Behind Aerosmith’s ‘Rocks’

“Mix Aerosmith members together and we explode”: The confessions of Joe Perry

Joe Perry on how Steven Tyler’s stint on American Idol left him twiddling his thumbs, his love of old swords and how he never impregnated Stevie Nicks

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Joe Perry talks riffs, guitars, and Hollywood Vampires

Feature Interview:  Joe Perry Talks Riffs, Guitars, and the Future of Hollywood Vampires

Hard to believe, but nearly a half-century has passed since Joe Perry partnered with Steven Tyler to form the songwriting core of Aerosmith. The Boston-based rockers have been on a sabbatical of late, but during the downtime, Perry has involved himself in several projects. Most notably, the veteran guitarist recently wrapped up a tour performing with the Hollywood Vampires – a “supergroup” named after Alice Cooper’s notorious group of ‘70s drinking buddies. Comprised of Cooper, Perry, Johnny Depp, Matt Sorum, Tommy Henriksen, Robert DeLeo and Bruce Witkin, the Vampires also recorded an album that mixed three original songs with cover versions of period-specific classics. We spoke with Perry before the tour got underway, and then followed up with him after he came off the road.

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 Listen to my conversation with Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry about his side project with Hollywood Vampires, his feelings about Aerosmith and Steven Tyler and much more.

The good kind of vampires: 3 things to know about Johnny Depp’s band

There’s nothing new about actors taking a stab at music careers. It worked for Tab Hunter in the ’50s and more recently for Jared Leto and his band Thirty Seconds to Mars. You can add Johnny Depp’s name to that list with Hollywood Vampires, performing at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Tuesday, July 12.

Joe Perry of Aerosmith was in Los Angeles recently when he answered some questions about Hollywood Vampires, which features Alice Cooper and Depp, who played in rock bands before his acting career exploded in the early 1990s.

Q: How did you get involved with this group?

A: “We all know each other from different places going way back but this all just happened step by step. Johnny was doing the ‘Dark Shadows’ movie and they put Alice in a part. Johnny and Alice sat down and started plinking on guitars and they wrote a bunch of songs. When they came back and started recording, I was living about 20 yards from the studio so that worked out really well. Doing this wasn’t much of a jump for me and Alice but it was for Johnny and he’s loving it. He’s the first one to tell you acting is his day job but he’s a musician first.”

Continue reading The good kind of vampires: 3 things to know about Johnny Depp’s band

Hollywood Vampires guitarist Joe Perry expresses his ‘Buffalove’

It might seem a bit gruesome at first blush, this idea of paying tribute to the dead rock stars who once populated Hollywood’s dens of iniquity as hardcore denizens of the dark. But when legendary Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, erstwhile actor Johnny Depp, and the progenitor of shock rock Alice Cooper teamed up as Hollywood Vampires last year, the mood became far more celebratory than somber.

The Vampires picked their favorite tunes by deceased rock icons, many of whom had been friends – or at least, drinking buddies – back in the day, called a bunch of friends to round out the rhythm section, pulled in a few superstar cameos – some guy named McCartney was one of them – and tracked a glittering hard rock debut.

Jeff Miers spoke to Perry by phone a few weeks back, just as rehearsals for the tour were commencing. Here’s how it went.

Q: Playing the most recent Grammys last February with Hollywood Vampires felt, from the fan’s-eye view, like a victory for guitar-based rock ’n’ roll. We don’t hear much of that at awards shows these days. It cleared the air. How did it feel from your side of the stage?

A: It felt like you described it. Loud and raunchy and really energetic. How much more fun can you have than playing music you believe in with your friends? Continue reading Hollywood Vampires guitarist Joe Perry expresses his ‘Buffalove’

Joe Perry talks Hollywood Vampires, Aerosmith’s final tour and more

Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry is nowhere near ready to drive a stake into Hollywood Vampires. Far from it.

The rock supergroup, which sees the 65-year-old Perry playing guitar alongside actor-musician Johnny Depp and lead singer Alice Cooper, released an album last year and performed a tribute to Motorhead’s Lemmy at this year’s Grammys.

“We’re all friends and we’ve all paid our dues,” said Perry. “It’s like in some ways, like being a baby band even though we’ve been doing this our whole lives. It’s been a lot of fun I have to say. It’s been really exciting all around. I count myself lucky to be part of this tour, we’ll see what happens.”  Continue reading Joe Perry talks Hollywood Vampires, Aerosmith’s final tour and more

Joe Perry Talks Bandmate Johnny Depp’s Divorce Allegations & Aerosmith’s Final Tour

Johnny Depp, Joe Perry and Alice Cooper of Hollywood Vampires attend The 58th Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Feb. 15, 2016 in Los Angeles.
Aerosmith’s Joe Perry has experienced his share of controversy over the years. So he’s taking a posture of quiet empathy as fellow Hollywood Vampires principal Johnny Depp continues to deny abuse accusations from Amber Heard, with whom he’s in the middle of an acrimonious divorce. Continue reading Joe Perry Talks Bandmate Johnny Depp’s Divorce Allegations & Aerosmith’s Final Tour

Aerosmith Would Record New Album If Steven Tyler Wasn’t Doing Solo Record, Joe Perry Says

Aerosmith Would Record New Album If Steven Tyler Wasn't Doing Solo Record, Joe Perry Says

Think of iconic bands of the ’70s, and alongside British bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, there are the Bad Boys of Boston, Aerosmith, whose blues-soaked glam rock ‘n’ roll blazed a direct path to the hair metal of the ’80s. Fronted by the uncontainable and ever-entertaining frontman Steven Tyler, the band burst on to the scene with its self-titled debut record in 1973, which featured the enduring “Dream On,” by anyone’s measure one of the best rock ballads ever written. Guitarist Joe Perry and Tyler started the band in New England in the middle of the Vietnam War. The ups and downs of the two men’s relationship has continued to define the band. The two partied so hard as to earn the nickname “The Toxic Twins,” and in 1979, Perry quit the band, only to rejoin in the ’80s. The band has some of its biggest commercially successes in the ’90s, including the band’s only number one hit, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” released in ’97, when Perry was 47 years old. In 2009, Perry told the press the band was looking for a singer to replace Tyler. If it was a threat, the band never followed through, as Tyler remains with the band to this day.

Last year, Perry released an autobiography, Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith, with co-writer David Ritz, and also released a Christmas album. New Times spoke with Perry as the band prepared to kick off its tour on Saturday, June 13, with an appearance at Gila River Arena in Glendale. We talked about his relationship with Tyler, the band’s early days, and how the artistic vision he had 40 years ago has played out over his career.

Continue reading Aerosmith Would Record New Album If Steven Tyler Wasn’t Doing Solo Record, Joe Perry Says