In this riveting inside account of his life in rock-and-roll band Aerosmith, Joe Perry opens up for the first time to tell the story of his wild, unbridled life as the band's lead guitarist. He delves deep into his volatile, profound, and enduring relationship with singer Steve Tyler, and reveals the real people behind the larger-than-life rock-gods on stage. It's an intimate account of nearly five decades of mega highs and heartbreaking lows. The story of Aerosmith is not your average rock-and-roll tale. It's an epic saga, at once a study in brotherhood and solitude that plays out on the killing fields of rock and roll.
With record-making hits and colossal album sales that compete with legends such as U2 and Frank Sinatra, Aerosmith has earned their place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But with a sweeping comeback in the late 80s, one can see there is a bigger story here: to come back that high, you have to have plummeted pretty low. Aerosmith's game with fame is one of success, failure, rebirth, re-destruction, even the post-destructive rebirth, but here they are today, in their 60s and still on top.
ROCKS is ultimately a story of endurance, and it starts almost half a century ago with young Perry, the misanthrope whose loving parents practically begged him to assimilate, but who quits school because he doesn't want to cut his hair. He meets Tyler in a restaurant in Boston, sways him from pop music to the darker side, rock-and-roll, and it doesn't take long for the "Toxic Twins" to skyrocket into a world of fame, drugs, and utter excess. Perry takes fora personal look into the two stars behind Aerosmith, the people who enabled them, the ones who controlled them, and the ones who changed them.
In this rock and roll memoir, Aerosmith's lead guitarist tells the old story of the rise and fall of a guitar hero, although in Perry's case, the star rises again. Born in a Massachusetts suburb in the 1950s, Perry struggled with a learning disability. Chuck Berry gave him a role model; the guitar, an outlet. To the dismay of his professional parents, he dropped out of high school and knocked around in various bands until he formed Aerosmith. The band became a major 1970s hard-rock group before drug abuse, bickering, and bad management tore it apart. Yet after the breakup, a clean and sober Aerosmith rose again, leaving its mark on the MTV generation. Perry provides evocative portraits of his very American youth wandering through the woods with a BB rifle and water-skiing on Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire, and his stint as a factory worker for Draper Industries. The years of rock and roll notoriety are standard issue drugs, partying, bad decisions although the story shines on those rare occasions when Perry details the nuts and bolts of song making. Later chapters covering the manipulations of a Svengali-like producer have their own allure, as do the discussions of the complexity and expense of producing hits. Legal issues and diplomacy might moderate the narrative, but Perry's book will strike gold with every Aerosmith fan.