Perhaps we can chalk it up to human nature. We’ve likely all done it at one time or another, or perhaps every day of our lives. Stereotypes. It’s so easy to look at someone and come to a conclusion about who they are and what they do. Easy? Yes. Accurate. Probably not.
Take a look a Joe Perry. Best known as the hard-rocking guitarist for the legendary Aerosmith. Sure, some of the typical stereotypes might find their mark if aimed in Perry’s direction. The “Toxic Twins” era, when he an Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler were known as party animals who used their share of drugs.
What may not be apparent to the casual observer is that Perry once aspired to be a marine biologist. He also reads books. Joe Perry the book worm (Crazy Horse: The Life Behind the Legend, in this case, for those that would like to know). Who would have imagined? Seriously, there’s much more to the lives of many rock icons than a typical fan might expect.
On the other hand, one can probably safely assume that a lot of these folks may be just as they appear. Hard-partying addicts or alcoholics who do not care or have not been able to defeat their personal demons. Without watching someone 24/7 Big Brother style, we can never be sure that someone who claims to be clean and sober really is, but Joe Perry sure make for a fine example of someone we can credit with more than the benefit of the doubt. The guy gets stuff done.
When the Aerosmith tour ground to an abrupt and unexpected halt, Perry funneled his energy into his solo project, clearly finding more satisfaction making music than he would get from a bottle or a line of white power. Those days, it seems are far behind him.
The break from working with Aerosmith has given Perry a chance to spread his wings again and that’s something he seems to want to spend more time on. “With our comeback, we were so busy trying to rebuild the band and rebuild our image. We did everything we could to bring it back. We didn’t want to muck around with solo projects. . . . Now, I can have a solo career parallel to Aerosmith,” he says.
Perry has endured his share of ups and downs like so many otherwise normal people who one day find themselves in revealing glare of the celebrity spotlight. It takes its toll, but Perry has no illusions about being in control where the grand scheme of things is concerned.
“I just take stuff as it comes,” he says.
“I’ve been humbled enough times in my life to know I’m not in control. A lot of this stuff just happens. You can make the choice to take advantage of it, or you don’t. I have to make music. That’s what I do.”
For more on Joe Perry, visit Cleveland.com.