Joe Perry: On the Move
No, they had broken up by the time I started
going to concerts. I wish I had seen them.
The first time I saw Aerosmith, you guys
were opening for Mott The Hoople.
We toured with them a lot in the beginning.
I can’t say enough nice things about those
guys. They were very good to us. They took
us under their wing, you might say. All they
wanted to do was play rock ‘n’ roll and party.
They’re back together with all the original
members playing shows in England, and I
heard they sound great.
Let’s talk specifically about guitars. What
are you using on tour right now?
I’m using a few Strats right now, including
the first upside-down one I had back in the
early days of The Project. I got that one out
a while and ago and began playing it again.
A left-handed Strat played righty just has a
whole different vibe and sound that a standard
right-handed one doesn’t have. I have a black
Jeff Beck Strat, not a normal color for that
guitar. I have both of my signature Gibson Les
Pauls, my Billie guitar, a reissue Gibson Custom
Shop flametop, a Gretsch White Falcon, a Dan
Armstrong see-through Plexi guitar for slide,
and a Supro Ozark that’s strictly used for slide. I
rotate guitars a lot out of the collection. I really
don’t like changing guitars that much onstage,
but I have so many great ones that I like to play.
I went through a ton of Strats over the years
trying to find the best ones—the same with Les
Pauls. You want to play good guitars all night. I
also have a guitar that was put together for me
by RS Guitarworks that has a Fralin P-90 in the
bridge and Joe Barden pickups in the middle
like The Stones and Yardbirds, I was captured
by rock ‘n’ roll.
end, and I must have seen them thirty times
or more. I saw them on great nights, terrible
nights, nights when they were all drunk. Peter
Green’s style, attitude and sound really got
to me. These guys didn’t care about being
rock stars. It was all about the music for
them. I became a big fan of Fleetwood Mac.
I guess you could say I was most influenced
by the second wave of British bands, like The
Yardbirds, Mac and The Who.
The Joe Perry Project performing at L’Amour, Brooklyn, NY, Sept. 30, 1983. Photo by Frank White
Is that the brown guitar with the studs on
You were influenced by Jeff Beck and Jimi
Hendrix specifically, but how did Peter
Green fit into the equation?
Yes, that’s the one. I call it the Bones and
Bullets guitar. There are pictures of it in the
booklet of the new CD.
What makes a great guitar to you?
A lot of English bands came to Boston
before they hit New York back then. I guess
they wanted to warm up first there. I had
a friend who got a lot of free tickets to the
Boston Tea Party club. Fleetwood Mac took
up residence at the Tea Party for weeks on
Did you ever see The Yardbirds live?
It’s the little things—the nut, the bridge, the
setup. You know how it is: every guitar is
different and some are just special. My Billie
guitar rings like a bell when the volume is
down. When you turn it up, you can get a
great rock ‘n’ roll crunch, and it’s a good