Guitar Hero Joe Perry Turns 70 today

Looking back at the career of Aerosmith’s legendary founder, guitarist, Rock legend and “Toxic Twin” Joe Perry

Guitar Hero Joe Perry Turns 70 today

Joe Perry, born Anthony Joseph Pereira on September 10th, 1950 in Lawrence, Massachusetts it’s considered one of the greatest Rock guitarists ever. Joe is of Portuguese-Italian ancestry, his last name, the Portuguese Pereira,  was shortened to Perry. Joe’s earliest influence was The Beatles, he stated: “The night The Beatles first played The Ed Sullivan Show, boy, that was something. Seeing them on TV was akin to a national holiday. Talk about an event. I never saw guys looking so cool. I had already heard some of their songs on the radio, but I wasn’t prepared by how powerful and totally mesmerizing they were to watch. It changed me completely. I knew something was different in the world that night.” During his early years Joe formed and played in several bands and by 1970 he was in the Jam Band, together in the same playing circuit was Chain Reaction, soon both bands blended and became Aerosmith, already featuring Steven Tyler on vocals. During the 1970’s Aerosmith ruled as one of Rock’s biggest forces, with Perry and Tyler often composing the songs, they released their first album, the self titled “Aerosmith” in 1973 that included their first big hit “Dream On”, after, they had a string of hit albums, “1974 “Get Your Wings”, 1975 “Toys In The Attic” and 1976 “Rocks”. Towards the late 70’s the band’s dynamic was affected by the drug abuse within their members, especially Joe Perry and Steven Tyler that became known as The Toxic Twins due to their Rock N’ Roll life star excess. In 1979 Joe Perry left Aerosmith and formed The Joe Perry Project. The band didn’t sparkle the same success as Aerosmith, Perry was replaced by another guitarist during his time away from Aerosmith.

The Second Coming of Aerosmith

In 1984 The original band members get together again after going into rehab, most notably Joe and Tyler who were the most excessive ones. They signed a new contract with Geffen Records and after a warm reboot, in 1986 Aerosmith got back in the charts when for the first time in music history they blend Rock and Rap with their 70’s hit “Walk This Way”. The band joined Rap group Run D.M.C and re-recorded the innovative version of it splitting it between Rap and Rock, it became a worldwide success and one of the 80’s most memorable songs. After it Aerosmith quickly regained their popularity that had been lost since the 70’s with a string of hits such as “Dude Looks Like A Lady”, “Rag Doll”, “Love in an Elevator” and “Janie’s Got a Gun”. The band reached a new peak in the 90’s with the release of “Get A Grip” in 1993, in a music industry then dominated by Alternative Rock, Aerosmith was able to successfully project themselves as one of the biggest Rock bands, some o the reasons for it was the well known influence the band had on the new Rock bands such as Soundgarden, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and also others like Guns N’ Roses and the use of original music videos to promote the album that all linked together featuring young Hollywood stars such as Alicia Silverstone, Edward Furlong and even Steven Tyler’s daughter Liv Tyler. “Livin’ on the Edge”, “Cryin'”, “Amazing”, and “Crazy” were some of the biggest hit songs in the band’s career, all released between 1993 and 1994. The band won several awards throughout the 1990’s including four Grammy Awards and ten MTV Video Music Awards. Perry and Tyler resumed their friendship, again co-writing songs and performing very close together on stage. Throughout the decade they scored other major hits and got their first No. 1 with the power ballad in 1998 with “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” included on the soundtrack of the blockbuster movie “Armageddon”. During the 2000’s Perry and Aerosmith continued their very successful career and in the 2010’s he joined Alice Cooper on the supergroup Hollywood Vampires where he remains active together with Aerosmith. Joe Perry is one of Rock’s most influential guitar players, his unique technique has crossed generations of fans, despite some obstacles in the way. He was inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall Of Fame with Aerosmith in 2001. Unlike some fellow Rock guitarists, Perry doesn’t stick to a particular guitar brand or model, he has a collection of about 600 guitars.

Look back at Joe Perry’s life in pictures

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Watch Aerosmith’s video of “Dream On”

Listen to some of Aerosmith’s best songs compiled by Pop Expresso on Spotify

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