In The Style Of Joe Perry

By Miguel Ángel Ariza

Do you recall our article on guitarists who use just one guitar? Well, we didn’t mention Joe Perry there, that’s for sure, and for obvious reasons. There aren’t enough trucks on the planet to load all his guitars and amps that he takes on the road with Aerosmith. He’s definitely not good at choosing; he wants them all, and he has them all.
When talking about an artist who has used so many, we will set our sights on the most representative of his career, so we’re going to start this article with our 6 favourite following words: Gibson Les Paul Standard from 1959. This was his main guitar during the first part of his time with Aerosmith which really defined his great sound and hence this mention of honour. And since we are talking about the ‘burst’ we will tell you more about the personal history of this one. Believe or not, the guitarist of Aerosmith in 1981 was broke and had to let it go. After many years of remorse he tried to find the buyer to get it back without success; meanwhile, the guitar passed through the hands of players and collectors, such as Eric Johnson for instance, and time went by until one day Perry saw, by luck, Slash showing off his guitar collection in a magazine and he spotted his beloved ‘59 Les Paul. A few hundred phone calls and meetings later, Slash ended up not answering the phone and told him to stop insisting because he was never going to sell it, and neither of them wanted a guitar to sully their good friendship.
Years later, at Joe Perry’s 50th birthday, Slash appeared onstage with Cheap Trick and the legendary burst hanging off his shoulder...but this time he gave the Aerosmith wizard the guitar for good. Not a bad birthday gift from Slash and company, right?
But apart from these legendary pieces, Mr. Joe Perry has his own Les Paul model, the Gibson Les Paul Joe Perry Boneyard with a boost of features as the main draw to this classic model. And before finishing up on his Gibsons, we must mention the fact that he has a customised Gibson Lucille with his wife’s face painted on it. A lovely touch of love that we won’t get into aesthetically... just these few words: beautiful guitar, beautiful woman...bad mix.
Among guitars outside the Gibson universe that we can see him with lately, we highlight the 1965 Fender Telecaster and his Dan Armstrong.    
Regarding his amps, we invite you to check the web in search of photos of his real wall of amps of all sizes, makes, and colours that they have with them onstage. Some are for directing the sound to the public, others are monitors, but their techie makes sure they all work well. We’re talking about more than 10 heads and more than 10 different cabinets, among which we can highlight the Marshall Plexi and the JTM 45.  

We often think that guitarists end up using one or two guitars which they feel happy with and are easily comfortable. So it must be that those of us who think this don’t have a guitar collection like Joe Perry, nor the chance to take them to tour...but if we could, maybe we’d all do the same.

Find you own way to the tone of Joe Perry