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


Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry joined a recent interview with Ultimate Classic Rock and reflected on the period he left the band. The guitarist stated that the record companies didn’t want to promote his solo album since they preferred him to be back in Aerosmith.

Following their breakthrough records, ‘Toys in the Attic’ of 1975 and 1976’s ‘Rock,’ Aerosmith entered the mainstream and toured extensively throughout the 1970s. They were at the height of their fame and popularity by the end of the decade, but the group’s drug use began taking them over. It also started to lead to internal conflicts and tensions among the band members.

The group began recording the album ‘Night in the Ruts’ in the spring of 1979, yet they took a break to perform at the World Series of Rock in July 1979. Following a performance, Joe Perry’s wife and the bassist Tom Hamilton’s wife got into a little fight, which led to a heated argument between Perry and Steven Tyler. It resulted in the guitarist’s departure from Aerosmith without completing the album recording.

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.”

You can listen to the Joe Perry Project’s debut album below.