Musician Joe Perry, left, Dave Berryman, President of Gibson Guitar, center, and Peter Leinheiser, Senior Director of GIbson Entertainment Relations. (Matt Sayles/AP Images for Gibson Brands)
Imagine you start a little mom and pop business that grows into a billion-dollar business. That is, of course, the dream. Anything we undertake we want to be successful. But there are sacrifices that come with that success; among them, being much more heavily scrutinized and it’s much harder to be spontaneous as you have more people to answer to.
So of course you are thankful for the success, but every once in a while you dream of what it would be like to start over with a new venture, give yourself a new challenge, one with more freedom. That is kind of the position Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry nicely finds himself in as he explained when I met with him at the NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show in Anaheim, California.
Aerosmith, which started as a garage band in Boston in the early ‘70s. has gone on to be the bestselling American rock band of all time, with over 150 million albums sold worldwide and over 70 million just in the U.S. So as he understandably says, “Without a doubt, Aerosmith is a big machine.”
Last month, AEROSMITH announced what was being billed as the band’s “farewell” tour of Europe — with an opening stop in Israel thrown in for good measure. The group announced the 2017 “Aero-Vederci Baby!” European tour on November 14, posting on its Aerosmith.com site: “AEROSMITH will return across the Atlantic with one of the greatest rock shows ever seen and will undoubtedly be the ultimate must see event of 2017 as the band embark upon this, their ‘farewell’ tour, saying ‘Aero-Vederci Baby!'”
Continue reading AEROSMITH Explains ‘Aero-Vederci Baby!’ Tour Name
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’
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.
Continue reading Joe Perry talks riffs, guitars, and Hollywood Vampires
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’