Project puts guitarist out front
Special to The Commercial Appeal
For four decades now, Joe Perry has been identified as the lead guitarist for the best-selling, Grammy-winning hard rock quintet Aerosmith. But when the 59-year-old guitar slinger hits the stage of the Gold Strike Casino’s Millennium Theater on Saturday night, he’ll have four different guys behind him.
“It’s nice to step away for a second and do the part of what I do best without me having to answer to anybody,” the guitar slinger says of his moonlighting gig in the Joe Perry Project. “Part of what Aerosmith is is five guys working together. No matter what decision has to be made, it’s going to get run by four other guys. … In the Project it all comes down to me. If it’s good, I get the credit. If it sucks, I get the whipping.”
The Project dates back to 1979, when Perry formed the band following his departure from Aerosmith. The group went through several personnel changes and recorded three modestly received albums before Perry rejoined Aerosmith in 1984.
The Project lay dormant for 25 years while Aerosmith cemented their status as global music superstars. But then last year, Perry, who confesses he’s “constantly in the studio writing,” released his