Aero­smith take wing

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE ’N’ LOUD -

AS Aero­smith pre­pare for their first Aus­tralian tour in 23 years, Joe Perry is mus­ing about the rep­u­ta­tion he and lead singer Steven Tyler once had. The song­writer and gui­tarist is co-writ­ing his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy with mu­sic writer David Ritz, who’s penned bi­ogra­phies of mu­si­cians in­clud­ing Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin and col­lab­o­rated with oth­ers for their au­to­bi­ogra­phies – in­clud­ing BB King.

Perry says he wants to set the record straight, es­pe­cially about the nick­name The Toxic Twins which he and lead singer Tyler earned due to their drug use many years ago.

‘‘We really only had a cou­ple of years . . . when we had that kind of life­style that was killing our mu­sic but it seems to be the big­gest thing that peo­ple want to talk about,’’ he says.

Speak­ing from his US home head of the band’s Aus­tralian tour, which in­cludes a co-head­lin­ing show with Van Halen in Syd­ney on Satur­day as part of the in­au­gu­ral Stone Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, Perry says those who fo­cus on the party life­style should con­sider that he and Tyler are now about to be in­ducted into the Song­writ­ers Hall of Fame.

He says he’s sur­prised and de­lighted to be recog­nised along­side great mu­si­cians – who in­clude the Gibb brothers, Sir An­drew Lloyd Web­ber and Burt Bacharach – by an or­gan­i­sa­tion for which he has a lot of re­spect.

‘‘It’s still for the song­writ­ers, by the song­writ­ers, it hasn’t gone and made the jump into, like a com­mer­cial TV show. Get­ting recog­nised by your peers – there’s an hon­esty to it,’’ Perry says.

The mu­si­cian says de­spite the fa­mil­iar­ity of work­ing with es­sen­tially the same bunch of guys for 40 years, they still man­age to keep it fresh.

Perry says hav­ing Tyler work for US re­al­ity tal­ent se­ries Amer­i­can Idol was great be­cause coming up with one-lin­ers for tele­vi­sion im­proved his on-stage pat­ter.

And Brad Whit­ford’s time with the Ex­pe­ri­ence Hen­drix tour, work­ing along­side gui­tar greats such as Joe Sa­tri­ani, saw him bring ‘‘a pock­et­ful of new licks’’ to the band.

‘‘It’s great when peo­ple go off and do other stuff, be­cause when they come back to the band there is that lit­tle bit there where you have to kind of sec­ond guess what’s go­ing to come up next,’’ he says.

Perry is en­thu­si­as­tic about Aero­smith’s lat­est al­bum, Mu­sic From An­other Di­men­sion! which he says is more rem­i­nis­cent of the band’s early work. He’s most fond of his song Free­dom Fighter, a hard-rock­ing anti-war tirade he says is some­thing ‘‘I had to get off my chest’’.

While fans will hear songs from the new al­bum, Perry as­sures them they will be in for some ‘‘clas­sic rock’n’roll’’.

He says cover bands should take note – they may have the same equip­ment and sing the same songs but see­ing the peo­ple who wrote the songs is quite dif­fer­ent.

‘‘You can’t buy 40 years of ex­pe­ri­ence with­out liv­ing it and breath­ing it and that’s what we bring to the stage,’’ he says.

Perry feels the the same way when he sees fel­low rock veter­ans such as The Rolling Stones, ZZ Top or Cheap Trick per­form live.

‘‘It’s like a ma­chine . . . the guys play and if you’re lucky enough to get songs the au­di­ence recog­nises, it’s golden.’’

– TONI MA­SON

Aero­smith and The Dead Daisies play the Bris­bane En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre on May 1.

US rock­ers Aero­smith: Brad Whit­ford, Joey Kramer, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and Tom Hamil­ton.

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