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Joe Perry Dishes on Groupies, Steven Tyler and the Guitar Slash Wouldn’t Give Back in His New Memoir

Joe Perry, 2014.
Neil Lupin/WireImage

 Joe Perry of Aerosmith performs on Day 3 of the Download Festival at Donington Park on June 15, 2014 in Castle Donington, England.

In his memoir 'Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith' (out Oct. 7), the guitarist, 64, reveals the behind-the-scenes story of his hard-rock life.

1. Joe Perry considers Steven Tyler family, despite the fights.
He's the brother I never had, which is a lot of the basis for our dynamics. [The other band members] play an important part in mediating. Though when push comes to shove, when the two of us are in a room and it gets down to the real nitty-gritty, we have to deal with it ourselves. That's what makes it exciting.

Richard E. Aaron/Redferns
Joe Perry and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith in 1984.

 

2. Groupies? No thanks.
I was always kind of a one-girl guy, and I was always looking for the right girl. I finally found her [wife Billie Perry]. We have a 30-year marriage, and we're still going strong. I have a guitar with my wife's picture on it -- most people don't know who it is. A lot of times I'd be standing onstage and a group of girls [would] point to the guitar. I'd point to my wedding ring and then they would all scream, because I think most people want a relationship that lasts.

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3. Slash wouldn't give him his guitar back (at first).
When I formed The Joe Perry Project [in 1979], I basically funded the whole thing myself. I needed cash, so I sold a sought-after 1959 Les Paul guitar. When Aerosmith got back together [in 1984] and we started to make money, I started tracking down my old guitars. It turns out Slash had that guitar, so I called him up and said, "I'd like to get that back. I'll pay you whatever you want." He said, "Let me think about it." He's talked about how much of an influence Aerosmith was on his playing. This was when Guns N' Roses was riding high. I sat him down and said, "I'm not going to ask you again about it. I understand where you're coming from; at least I know it's in good hands.” So, [in 2000] I had my 50th birthday. We had a big party and Cheap Trick came to play. I was onstage jamming with them and my guitar tech walked up with the Les Paul guitar and said, "Slash gave it to you." He can use it anytime he wants.

4. He won't let any of his Aerosmith bandmates read the book before it comes out.
I don't want the band to see it until it's completely done. I know every one of them is wondering what's in it -- especially Steven. When he gets on my nerves and we're going head to head, I'll go, "Hey, you know, I'm going through the book again, let's talk about this some more."

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5. Aerosmith has no plans to record another album.
Not right now. Our managers are tentatively looking at some tour options for next year, [so] we really don’t know what we're going to do. But that's how Aerosmith is.

This article first appeared in the Sept. 27th issue of Billboard.