News Segment


May 16, 2005

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Joe Perry swears he is not after Steven Tyler’s job.

With Aerosmith on vacation, the band’s guitarist has released his first solo album in more than 20 years, singing on every track and playing every instrument but drums.

A collection of bluesy guitar rock songs, the self-titled Columbia Records release sold a modest 10,000 copies during its first week, with hardly any promotion or radio play.

“I don’t have any delusions of it being anything other than my own personal journal of what I like about rock ‘n’ roll,” Perry, 54, told Reuters in a recent interview.

Perry released his previous three solo records in more tumultuous times, having temporarily quit Aerosmith in the early 1980’s when its members were mired in a drug haze. He hired singers then, but not now.

“I started getting comfortable and more interested in writing lyrics,” he said. “I had such an emotional attachment to the lyrics that I felt like I wanted to take a shot at interpreting them myself.”

The album features a cover of The Doors’ song “Crystal Ship,” which prompted some critics to compare Perry’s baritone to Jim Morrison’s voice.

“I admire that style, guys who sing low, like Johnny Cash, Jim Morrison, Nick Cave. I’ll take that (comparison) any day,” he said.

Perry’s lyrics show a more vulnerable side of the hard rock guitarist, evident in songs such as “Ten Years,” written for his wife Billie on their 10th anniversary.

“I’m in love with my wife. I’m really lucky to have that. This is a sensitive side of me that doesn’t show itself as much in Aerosmith,” he said.

He has sung occasionally on Aerosmith albums, including the track “Walk on Down’ on 1993’s “Get a Grip.”

Perry will play a few live shows to support the release, but he won’t take too much time off from his day job. Aerosmith will tour in the fall before starting work on a new album.

“We have another studio album to create and I don’t know what direction it’s going to take,” he said. “I’d like to see the (rock-oriented album) ‘Just Push Play’ mode and the (blues-flavored) ‘Honkin’ On Bobo’ mode put in a blender together.”

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