Joe Perry (musician)

From Academic Kids

Joe Perry (Born September 10, 1950 in Lawrence, Massachusetts), is the lead guitarist and a contributing songwriter for the longstanding rock and roll band Aerosmith. He also led his own group, The Joe Perry Project, in the early 1980s, and released a solo album in 2005. In his sole work as an actor, Perry had a guest role on an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street, a popular NBC drama, in 1998. He is currently married and has four children.

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In & Out of Aerosmith

Perry joined Aerosmith at it's formation in 1969, teaming up with vocalist (and then drummer) Steven Tyler. Perry and Tyler, due to a close friendship and out-of-control personal lives, would become known as the "toxic twins".

Initially dismissed as Rolling Stones rip-offs, the band came into their own during the mid-1970s. Album-oriented FM radio handed them a string of successful records, most notably Toys in the Attic (1975) and Rocks (1976). They would also score a number of hit singles in songs like "Dream On", "Sweet Emotion" and "Walk This Way".

The success cemented Joe Perry as an icon, but that hardly meant smooth sailing ahead - the band went on to seriously stumble by the end of the decade, both creatively and personally.

Perry left Aerosmith in 1979, after a conflict with Tyler; the group was still recording their sixth album, Night in the Ruts, and Perry would appear on six of it's nine tracks.

The Project

By the end of the year, The Joe Perry Project was formed. Their debut record, Let the Music Do the Talking, reached #47 on the Billboard album charts, selling 250,000 copies domestically.

While sales and reviews were quite respectable, the group mainly thrived as a live act. It managed to do so even after it's sophomore effort, I've Got the Rock'n'Rolls Again, went largely ignored.

In the end, the Project never solidified a line-up; all three studio releases would feature a different lead vocalist, and the entire roster was replaced before their final effort (1983's Once a Rocker, Always a Rocker.)

Even a brief stint with then-former Aerosmith rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford failed to ignite things again, and the group found themselves with minimal label support by 1984.

Return to the Spotlight

In 1984, manager Tim Collins worked to get Perry back in contact with his former bandmates in Aerosmith. He was eventually invited to re-join the group, which he did - along with the also-estranged Brad Whitford. This restored the band's classic line-up, and resulted in a lucrative 'reunion' tour.

Perry and Tyler collaborated with Run-DMC in a remake of their 1975 hit "Walk This Way", which brought their band renewed mainstream attention.

After completing drug rehabilitation, Aerosmith went on to collaborate with various big-name songwriters and producers to launch their true comeback. Another string of successful albums (most notably the triple-platinum Pump in 1989) and many hit singles followed. Perry and Tyler resumed their tight friendship, again co-writing songs and performing very close together on stage.

In 1998, Perry helped conceive the group's first number one single, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing", with pop songwriter Diane Warren. It appeared on the soundtrack to the hit film Armageddon.

The Solo Album

He released his first bona fide solo record, the self-titled Joe Perry, in May 2005. Recorded at his home studio, with every instrument but the drums performed by Perry himself, the album was greeted with enthusiasm by fans who felt that his classic rock "edge" had been stifled on recent Aerosmith releases. Critics also responded favorably: Rolling Stone magazine crowned it with three and a half (out of five) stars, declaring "A Joe Perry solo joint? about time!"


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