Joseph Anthony Pereira born September 10, 1950. Otherwise known as Joe ‘Fuckin’ Perry. One half of the Toxic Twins and also regarded as the go to player along with Keith Richards for a whole generation of bands that followed in the footsteps of Aerosmith through the ’80s and beyond.
Perry was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts to an accountant father and school teacher mother. Early on Pereira wanted to be a marine Biologist and it wasn’t until he failed to get the grades needed and his parents moving him into boarding school yet still Young Joseph couldn’t get the grades (due to him having ADHD) which wasn’t diagnosed until much later on in his life. He slipped in School and leaned towards Rock and Roll. Only a short few years ago Perry talked about his condition and how it was both a curse and a blessing when it came to learning the guitar.
It was whilst he was away he discovered music in a big way influencing him from all the different cultures he was now being exposed to. His earliest memory of Rock and Roll was seeing the Beatles on TV and being blown away. He had picked up the guitar at the young age of ten but was left handed learning to play it right handed. It was here that this kid learned to play Hendrix, The Kinks, The Who and the Yardbirds that would go on to shape this kid and the style he would adapt. He went from wanting to work as a biologist to being a Rock and Roller.
It was Tom Hamilton that he met first and jammed with in their band called the Jam Band. It was later when Kramer, Tyler and Whitford joined did they morph into Aerosmith. As a band in the early years were just dismissed locally as a Stones rip off.
The rest as they say is history from that debut album featuring the iconic ballad of ‘Dream On’ and the excellent musicianship and seemingly telepathic chemistry between the band they would go on to become one of the most well known Rock and Roll bands of the 21st century. It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Boston band as the Toxic Twins became just as well known for their hard partying and wild adherence to the well trodden path of Sex, drugs and rock and roll. Things were going so well for the band to begin with it was after ‘Rocks’ was released and all the trappings of success did they begin to stumble and cracks began to appear.
By the time they came to record ‘Draw The Line’ in ’77 regardless of its multi platinum sales the pair of Toxic Twins were fighting and getting high alone and distancing themselves from the band dynamic they did manage to tour amidst a lot of reported chaos and mad nights the band released the iconic ‘Live Bootleg’ record with their excellent cover of the Beatles ‘Come Together’. in the late ’70s the band were headlining a tour that also boasted AC/DC, Van Halen, Ted Nugent and Foreigner but bad habits and taking your wife on tour reached breaking point as Perry and Hailtons respective wives got into a fracas over a glass of spilt milk it seemed to be the straw that broke the camels back and after a fight between Tyler and Perry the later decided that he was going to split even though the band were almost done recording ‘Night In The Ruts album. It was decided that Perrys parts would be finished by somebody else and the band would continue without their iconic guitarist. Perry went his own way with a buch of tunes finished and half finished and recorded his own project that would become his first solo album entitled ‘Let The Music Do The Talking’ who knows what the title was about? He then toured the Joe Perry Project and followed it up with ‘I’ve Got The Rock And Rolls Again’ again who knows whats behind a title?
Seemingly unable to keep the line up together Perry was to see his project dropped from Columbia Records. But it wasn’t for long and he soon had a new band and was signed to MCA who went on to release ‘Once A Rocker, Always A Rocker’ in ’83. Whilst his sales might have been dipping and never selling as well as his old bands releases Pery recruited his old partner in crime Brad Whitford to join his line up in ’83. I guess whilst being creative Perry missed the spark he had writing with someone as creative as Tyler and one needed the other to draw the best out of them. It was a meet up the following year with the other members of Aerosmith that sparked interest in a reunion and with the writing on the wall for his solo project maybe common sense prevailed and pride on all sides was swallowed and Geffen became involved with a new record deal which signaled a fresh start all round.
By the mid ’80s the band were back on the road and had a new album the much underrated ‘Done With Mirrors’ which spawned the Perry track ‘Let The Music Do The Talking’ which was a minor radio hit but whilst it might not have been the huge comeback some were expecting fans of the band were delighted with what they were hearing.
It was undoubtedly the rework of the classic ‘Smiths track ‘Walk This Way’ featuring Run-D.M.C that catapulted the band back into the mainstream front and center. their problems weren’t over yet as certain members of the band underwent rehab the landscape of music was changing and it was decided that some big name writers would be brought in to work with the band and commercially it would pay off as songs like ‘Love In An Elevator’,’Janies Got A Gun’, ‘Rag Doll’ and ‘Dude Looks Like A Lady’ would become MTV staples and with the videos being on heavy rotation the band couldn’t put a foot wrong. Perry and Tyler were indeed back in the saddle. a large focus was on the pair as they became hard rocks version of Jagger / Richards which worked for the pair until their old habits would creep back into the dynamic and the mid ’90s would be a testing time
Whilst personally I don’t think the band had written a great song for many years you couldn’t deny their success and Perry was instrumental (literally) in writing their first number one with ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’ which was used in the movie ‘Armageddon’ which starred Tylers daughter things had certainly moved on and it seemed they might be destined to be remembered for the ballads and their number one hit rather than their output from the ’70s.
Perry now has his name and face on a Disney roller Coaster has written a book and continues to write and play live as well as with Aerosmith he plays alongside his friends in the all star roadshow of Hollywood Vampires alongside legends like Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp. Even if his music doesn’t reach the standards we might expect he has earned his stripes and deserves to sit at the top table for guitar slingers who walk it like they talk it and has been there seen it and done it and we’re glad at RPM that hes still doing it – Happy Birthday Joe Fuckin Perry you rock and roll legend.
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