JOE PERRY Biography - Musicians


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Name: Joe Perry                                                                         
Birth name: Anthony Joseph Perry                                                       
Born: 10 September 1950 Lawrence, Massachusetts, U.S.                                   
Genre: Hard rock                                                                       
Occupation(s): Musician, Songwriter                                                     
Instrument: Guitar                                                                     
Anthony Joseph Perry (Born September 10, 1950 in Lawrence, Massachusetts),             
better known as Joe Perry, is the lead guitarist and contributing songwriter for       
the rock band Aerosmith.                                                               
The paternal side of Perry's family are Portuguese, originally from Madeira. His       
grandfather changed the family's name from Pereira to Perry upon arriving in the       
United States of America. His maternal side is Italian, more specifically               
Perry and his younger sister, Ann-Marie, grew up in the small town of Hopedale,         
Massachusetts. There, his father was an accountant and his mother a high school         
gym teacher and later an aerobics instructor. She later retired to Arizona while       
Perry's father died in 1975. Perry also attended the prep school Vermont Academy       
for high school - a boarding school of about 230 students in Saxtons River, VT.         
During Joe Perry's early years he formed a band with Tom Hamilton called The Jam       
Band. After meeting with Steven Tyler, Joe & Tom would go on to form Aerosmith         
with him. While initially dismissed as Rolling Stones knock-offs, the band came         
into its own during the mid-1970s with a string of hit records. Chief among             
these successes were Toys in the Attic (1975) and Rocks (1976), thanks largely         
to the prevalence of free-form, album-oriented FM radio. The group also managed         
hit singles on the AM dial with songs like "Dream On," "Same Old Song and Dance,"       
"Sweet Emotion" and "Walk This Way."                                                   
During this time, Perry and vocalist Steven Tyler became known as the "Toxic           
Twins" for their notorious hard-partying and drug use. Hard core drug dealers           
made a cash grab following Aerosmith around the country knowing there would be         
an unlimited supply of customers. Aerosmith's crowd in these days earned the           
nickname "The Blue Army". So called by the band after the seemingly endless             
amount of teenagers in the audience wearing blue denim jackets and blue jeans.         
The audience was abundantly male with extremely long hair, one of the loudest of       
its day.                                                                               
Following Rocks, the group began to stumble - drug use escalated and the               
creative process became hampered by strained relationships within the band. They       
managed another hit record in 1977 with Draw the Line, on which Perry sang lead         
vocals on the track "Bright Light Fright," considered by some to be one of the         
album's highlights. A fall of '77 tour was scheduled, but as the crowds got more       
dangerous, violence followed. An m-80 was thrown onstage in Philadelphia at The         
Spectrum in October 1977, injuring both Perry and Tyler.                               
Summer of 1979 saw the band headline over Van Halen, Ted Nugent, AC/DC and             
Foreigner during the world music festival concerts. An argument backstage in           
Cleveland resulted in Joe Perry's wife throwing a glass of milk at Tom Hamilton's       
wife. This would prove to be the turning point that saw Perry quit Aerosmith,           
taking a collection of unrecorded material with him, which would later become           
the basis of his Let the Music Do the Talking album.                                   
By the end of the year, Perry had formed his own band - The Joe Perry Project.         
Their debut record, Let the Music Do the Talking, reached #47 on the Billboard         
album charts, selling 250,000 copies domestically. While sales and reviews were         
respectable the group mainly thrived as a live act. It managed to do so even           
after its second album, I've Got the Rock'n'Rolls Again, went largely ignored.         
In the end, the Project never solidified a lineup; all three studio releases           
would feature a different lead vocalist and the entire roster was replaced             
before their final effort (1983's Once a Rocker, Always a Rocker.) Even a brief         
stint with fellow Aerosmith exile, rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford, failed to           
ignite things again and the group found themselves with minimal label support by