The ‘Bad Company’ of Joe Perry

by Vicente Mateu

The Aerosmith guitarist is back to take his Les Paul to the limit with the Hollywood Vampires.  

It's not very clear if the bad company are his buddies from the afterlife, Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp, or Perry himself. The guitarist of Aerosmith by day and Hollywood Vampires by night turned into headline fodder with his "fainting" in plain sight and mid-concert in New York on July 10th of a 2016 where people have already suffered too much and simply don’t want to deal with any more. Prince's death is still fresh in our minds, we continue to mourn Lemmy, and are alarmed for Clapton and the rumours in the U.S., so when the media comes out saying that Joe Perry suffered a heart attack and not just a simple fainting spell it plants the seeds of concern for one of the legends with their own space reserved in the jukebox of Guitar Exchange.
When the time comes.  

At 65 years old, the veteran, incorrigible rocker still boasts many guitars in his vast collection -some 600 according to Gibson's latest count- that he has still yet to play, along with adventures like the one with his vampire friends to enhance his legend. Alice Cooper quickly took charge of calming the people via Twitter: “Thanks to everyone asking about our brother Joe Perry. He is stable right now, he is with his family and is under the best care possible". However, the rumour mill is again throwing more wood on the fire by talking about his 'unhealthy appearance' and symptoms of being sick. In this case the culprit enhancing the chatter appears to be the New York Times.

Hollywood Vampires
began as a tribute to the "peers" whose premature death in the crazed decade of the '70s created the black legend of rock. That was precisely the name of a band that was laying waste to the night clubs of Los Angeles: it was formed by Alice Cooper, Harry Nilsson, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Keith Moon and Micky Dolenz. It would be stupidly ironic and cruel if their successors followed the 'tradition'. Last February they put the sound track to Lemmy's posthumous Grammy... Who will be next? Way too morbid.

Anthony Joseph Pereira
, better known as Joe Perry, and his Les Paul are the only real saving grace -apart from some collaborations with their numerous guests- of the one album (2015) he recorded with his new bandmates and with Aerosmith, who knows if they're permanently on hold now. It's time -health permitting- to change course and, for example, continue with a solo career that he's neglected for some time now (2009).

But Perry embarked on a tour with Cooper and Depp instead and, in fact, his fainting spell happened on the eve of a television appearance by the group to promote their concerts. His bandmates, apparently, were carrying on without Perry while he recovered.

And without his guitar, then convalescing. The great actor also knows how to play, but the best of the Hollywood Vampires isn't on an album filled with decent versions of great classics such as "My Generation" and "Whole Lotta Love", but is live in concert with an "unchained" Perry cutting loose in a show that included Bowie, the Who, Motörhead, the Velvets, Mott the Hoople in the set list on that July 10th.

A rock party to the max. For Perry, who always lived his life to the limit together with Steven Tyler, another magnificent company with whom he was on the point of sending Aerosmith to the history of the damned, they saw him enjoying himself onstage with his guitar. The least important thing is whose songs they were. He just wanted to have a good time. And, if possible, with his old lady, the '59, despite the rumours -more rumours- that he was playing around with a 'younger' model. They say it's a '65 Telecaster... Let them go ask his B.C. Rich 10-string.