Joe Perry Says The Record Companies Tried To ’Starve Him Back To Aerosmith’

Joe Perry, the guitarist for Aerosmith, participated in a recent interview with Ultimate Classic Rock and discussed his time away from the group. The guitarist said that the record companies desired him to be back in Aerosmith and did not want to promote his solo album.

Aerosmith gained popularity with their seminal albums, “Toys in the Attic” from 1975 and “Rock” from 1976, and they went on a lot of tours in the 1970s. By the end of the decade, they had reached the pinnacle of their notoriety and appeal, but drug abuse started to dominate them. Additionally, it started to cause disputes and difficulties inside the band.

In the spring of 1979, the band started work on the album “Night in the Ruts,” but they took a pause to play the World Series of Rock in July of the same year. Following a concert, a little quarrel between bassist Tom Hamilton’s wife and Joe Perry’s wife resulted in Perry and Steven Tyler getting into an altercation. As a result, the guitarist left Aerosmith before the album was fully recorded.

Perry, who had a collection of unrecorded material, put together the Joe Perry Project and used these songs as a basis for his debut solo record, ‘Let the Music Do the Talking,’ released in 1980. While talking about this solo album, the guitarist explained that as the record labels and managers held all the power in their hands back then, he went through some difficulties during that period. The record company didn’t want to promote his album since they wanted him to starve back to Aerosmith. However, these plans didn’t change anything because the record was a commercial success and received mostly positive reviews from critics.

Joe Perry’s statements on the period he left Aerosmith:

“Well, you know, I had a lot on my mind and a lot of songs that just never made it to the A list for Aerosmith, but that’s how we write. I would write a bunch of riffs and also just jam with Steven, and he would pull out what worked for him. When I put out the solo record, I think ‘Let the Music Do the Talking‘ got a lot of play.

But back then, record companies and managers really held all of the cards. I wrote about this in my book, but my record was out on Columbia. They said, ‘Listen, don’t push this record; we’ll starve him back to Aerosmith.’ I heard those words years later when I was talking with those guys. Who knows, but I just put out what I felt like putting out. I wasn’t writing singles; I just wanted to put out music that I loved to play. It worked out.”


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