Joe Perry: On the Move
They let me decorate them; it was mostly about
cosmetics. They’re pretty much standard Les
Pauls. The first one has the black see-through
finish. I wanted the flame top with that nice
ripple effect you get. When light catches it, the
flames come through. I had Gibson make them
lightweight, and it has a Tonex pot on the neck
pickup, which gives you a static wah sound.
That’s a very cool effect for solos. The Boneyard
model is custom shop Gibson. My wife is an
artist who’s had experience working in multime-
dia visual arts, and she had an idea for the finish
to bring out the tiger stripe effect. We were
at the Gibson custom shop and she explained
the idea to the guys there. Their response was,
“That won’t work.” They tried to talk her out of
it. She said, “Can’t you just try it this way?” They
did, and it worked. It really brought out the
wood grain. The top is sort of a greenish-orange
shade, and the flame top is very prominent.
I also saw a recent promo photo of you
playing a black Gretsch. How do you use it?
That guitar is a real squealer. It’s a Black
Falcon. It feeds back too much live. I used a
White Falcon on that cut from the new album,
“Somebody’s Gonna’ Get Their Head Kicked In
Tonight.” Gretsches are good rockabilly guitars.
Fred Gretsch gave me the White Falcon I have.
I read somewhere that you have a lot of
cheap, funky electrics like Teiscos, Supros
and Danelectros. Is that true?
Yeah, those cheap guitars are so much fun to
play and collect. I love the Supro Ozark model.
I have two of them. I think the Ozark is the best
slide guitar ever made. It’s got a flat fretboard,
like the Dan Armstrong see-through, and I think
that factor makes them both great slide guitars.
I have written songs especially for the Ozark.
The pickups on the Ozarks go over and under
the strings, and the sustain is amazing. The old
Rickenbacker horseshoe pickups were similar but
not quite the same. There are so many variations
to those old Supro guitars. No two are ever alike.
I have a red Supro Belmont I bought from
a kid this past summer for $250. I had it
rewired and set up for slide by David Petillo.
It’s a killer. Those old Belmonts are cool too.
Supros are just the best slide guitars.
I’ve always liked something that’s crunchy and
something that’s clean, so it’s usually a combination of Marshall and Fender. I use a ’ 64
50-watt Plexi with an 8x10 Marshall cabinet,
a ’ 69 Marshall Super Bass Plexi head, plus a
couple of Dual Showman amps with two 15s. I
also have a ’ 50 Bandmaster Tweed with original
Jensens that smooths out and melds the sounds
together. There are other amps we use onstage
too. In the studio, I’ll use a Fender Champ or an
old Epiphone amp with an 8" speaker.
What’s on your pedalboard right now?
I’ve got a Fulltone Echoplex reissue, a
Fulltone Ultimate Octave, an Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Reverb, a blue Line 6
Modeler, a green Line 6 Delay, an Ernie Ball
volume pedal, a Digi Tech Whammy pedal,
an original Klon Centaur, a Jimi Hendrix
Signature Cry Baby wah and other stuff. The
pedalboard is pretty extensive. One of the