Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry released a new memoir titled Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith earlier this month, and he’s wrapping up a book-signing tour in support of the tome tonight in Los Angeles. In Rocks, Perry charts his journey from a guitar-obsessed teenager to becoming a driving force in one of America’s greatest rock bands, while delving into many of the triumphs and low points he experienced along the way.
A large part of the book is dedicated to Joe’s complicated and often contentious relationship with Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler. Perry tells ABC News that while he did include a lot of negative aspects of his dealings with Tyler, he also wanted to give a balanced account of their history together.
“I didn’t want to have this be like a ‘well, he did this and he did that’ [story],” says Joe. “I wanted it to be as equal as possible [and] take responsibility for my end of the down sides of things, but also…let people know that for all the times when they would focus on the ups and downs of Steven’s and my relationship, there was also a lot of good times in there.”
Perry also explains that he decided not to shy away from writing about incidents that might cast himself in a negative light.
“You go…’do I want to put that in the book and have people know that side of me, that I kind of like slipped or…I’m responsible for…the down side of that?” he notes. “And, of course, the answer’s ‘yes,’…because I felt I had to be as open as possible with this and let as much truth out there as possible, to let people know my side of the story.”
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer says he considers Rocks “an up book,” pointing out that it shows that Aerosmith is “still able to work out all those problems” it’s faced through the years.
Meanwhile, Perry maintains that his decision to write a book about the history of Aerosmith now doesn’t mean that’s the end of the band’s story.
“I’m here to say the band is not breaking up,” he declares. “We have plans for touring next year, things like that, so…I just wanted to get a lot of the things out up ’til now.”
That being said, Perry admits that he and his band mates realize as the years pass that there’s a finite amount of time left for Aerosmith.
“We don’t know how much longer it’s gonna go,” he notes. “Like, during this last tour, [drummer] Joey [Kramer] had problems with his heart, and we didn’t know what was gonna happen with that. I mean, we’re all at that age where things like that can happen.” Kramer inevitably was able to return to the group before the end of the tour. As Perry points out, “10 days later, he was back on the throne flailing like he was 10 years younger.”