Joe Perry, if you’re out there, please get ahold of Steven Tyler. He’s worried about you.
The Aerosmith frontman — who’s touring to promote his first solo album, We’re All Somebody From Somewhere, which comes out Friday — tells Billboard that he’s placed calls to check on his bandmate and songwriting partner without any reply. “It’s starting to scare me a little bit,” Tyler says about Perry, who collapsed onstage and was hospitalized Sunday during a show with the all-star Hollywood Vampires in Brooklyn. Perry is currently off the tour, though a statement earlier this week promised that he’ll “rejoin his fellow Vampires on stage again soon.”
Tyler, however, is “really concerned. I know they’re putting out nothing, but he’s recovering, he’s really good, he fainted, exhaustion. But I know my brother. He’s just about the only other guy that’s as passionate about his art as I am. He’s always asking me to do three, four [Aerosmith] shows in a row, and I can’t. I’ll blow my voice out. I know how to maintain my career, my health, and Joe’s passionate. I don’t think he knows how to. I think he’s out there and someone’s overbooking him. They’re doing like eight or nine shows in a row, or five in a row. I think they’re all a little burnt. I think they may need to look at that. Not young anymore, y’know?” Initial reports that Perry suffered a cardiac arrest have not been confirmed or denied, and it has generated speculation about the guitarist’s ability to not only rejoin the Hollywood Vampires but also to tour South America with Aerosmith starting Sept. 29. “I don’t give a shit about the band. I want Joe to live,” Tyler says. “I’m really concerned and worried right now that I’m not getting any news. I’m a little bummed out, and that scares me. I don’t know whether it’s heat prostration or whether he’s been working himself too hard or getting off on wrong things passionately. I don’t know what it is, but I know that nobody’s talking to me. I can only tell you that Joe’s my brother and I love him so much.” While he’s waiting for word about Perry, Tyler is going about the business of being a solo artist for the first time in his career — and maintaining that alongside whatever Aerosmith does in the future. He’ll be on the road through September 13, and Tyler’s planning to do more touring on his own after Aerosmith finishes in South America. “I would love to go, ‘No, my heart is in Aerosmith and that’s all,’ but this is too good,” says Tyler, who wrote and recorded We’re All Somebody From Somewhere in Nashville with producers such as Dann Huff and T Bone Burnett and co-writers like the Warren Brothers, Hillary Lindsey, Eric Paslay, Rhett Atkins and more.
“I was drawn to Nashville like the star over Bethlehem,” Tyler says. “It reminds me of early Greenwich Village or England in the ’60s or San Francisco. The gang vibe was so phenomenal in those places, and that’s what I felt in Nashville. It almost birthed the songs without me. “If this record don’t sell then that means country radio doesn’t ant to know anything about some rock ‘n’ roll guy. But for all the radio and all the folks I’ve met in country, at the CMT [Awards] and going to radio stations, they’re all in love with a good song, and I think I hit on a couple, at least.”
By Gary Graff for Billboard