Aerosmith lead guitarist Joe Perry will soon tell all. His autobiography, “Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith” (Simon & Schuster), with David Ritz is due out on Oct. 7.
“It’s not your usual sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll autobiography by another rocker,” says Perry who performs with Aerosmith and opener Slash 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31, at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.
“There’s a lot of things about this book that anybody could read and identify with, dealing with human nature, dealing with families and dealing with brothers.
“I don’t think people realize how much of an effort it is to keep a band together and keep it going strong, and to try to keep that creativity going.”
For Perry, the book offers him the chance to tell his side of the story behind these Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and one of the genre’s most written about bands.
Despite selling 150 million records worldwide, Aerosmith’s time together has been volatile, amid various members’ battles with substance abuse and questions about lead singer Steven Tyler’s commitment to the band.
The four-time Grammy winners have been covered in numerous books including “Walk This Way” (Avon Books), the band’s 1997 autobiography which was updated in 2003, and “Does The Noise in My Head Bother You?” (Ecco), lead singer Steven Tyler’s 2011 memoir.
“I wanted to put out there what has been missing, the fact that I’ve been able to keep a marriage together for 30 years and raise a normal family and have kids and the whole thing,” Perry says. “We’ve all found our way outside the band, and that was part of the learning process of being together and going from being teenagers all living in one apartment to grown men with responsibilities.”
Perry and bassist Tom Hamilton formed the band in 1970 in Boston with Tyler, drummer Joey Kramer and guitarist Ray Tabano. A year later, Brad Whitford replaced Tabano and is still in the band with the rest of the original lineup.
Aerosmith got signed in 1972 to Columbia Records, scored major hits with “Walk This Way” (later covered memorably by Run-D.M.C.), “Dream On” and “Sweet Emotion,” but they hit a rough patch in the early ’80s, after both
Perry and Whitford took breaks — they eventually bounced back.
In the late ’80s, Aerosmith re-established itself as the top American hard-rock band, scoring a long list of hits that went well into the millennium including “Janie’s Got a Gun,” “What It Takes,” “Cryin’,” “Livin’ on the Edge” and “Jaded.”
Once Perry wraps up the “Let Rock Rule” tour in mid-September, he will hit the road to promote his book. For the most part, he’s kept it under wraps, even from his bandmates.
“I showed them the cover — I didn’t want them to see it until it’s done with the process of editing and getting the facts straight,” Perry says. “I care a lot about what they think about it. I didn’t want to have to explain ‘this part is getting taken out’ and ‘we’re not going to talk about that.’”
Even though Perry was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the ASCAP Hall of Fame last year, legacy doesn’t weigh on his mind.
“We don’t think about it like that, we don’t talk about it. We’re just out there trying to write the best songs we can write and put on the best show we can,” Perry says. “It’s more of a day-to-day thing. Looking at the bigger picture is not really our job.”
So why write a book now?
“It was a very emotional kind of thing. I knew I couldn’t do it just to do it because it was the right time commercially. It really had to feel right,” he says. “That’s the bottom line. It was about my truth and my truth about the band and my truth about my marriage and my truth about my relationship with Steve, and my relationships with the other guys and the rest of the world.
“Laying all that down took a long time. I had to dig down deep. I hope people will find it — if nothing else — entertaining.
“There’s a lot of stuff that hasn’t been put out there.”
Be the first to know
Get local news delivered to your inbox!