The more we hear from Joe Perry, the more I like the guy. The Aerosmith guitarist strikes me as a good old-fashioned stand-up guy. He seems to be the voice within the ranks of the group that stands alone as the one that simply tells it like it is. That’s not to say the other guys in the band are not honest or decent – just that Perry comes across as the kind of guy that says what’s on his mind and doesn’t succumb to the societal pressure that so many of us spend too much time fretting about: What other people think of us.
As half of the legendary “toxic twins,” perhaps Perry’s experiences have just given him a no-nonsense approach to life and at the same time, made him realize just how fortunate he has been. Not only did he survive his “toxic” years as a decadent rock star, he recently emerged virtually unscathed from a motorcycle accident that could have easily ended his life.
With all he’s been through, maybe that’s why it seems so natural for him to say that things are “normal” within the ranks of Aerosmith. The latest development that’s making headlines is the deal that frontman Steven Tyler has reportedly signed with American Idol to join the show’s panel of judges.
Measure that event against the sudden end of last year’s summer tour after Steven Tyler slipped off the stage and was seriously injured. This followed a period of time where Tyler’s behavior was described as bizarre by other members of the group. Tyler finally faced his demons and checked himself into rehab, admitting he was battling an addiction to painkillers.
Let’s not forget about guitarist Brad Whitford’s head injury last summer just before the kick-off of the group’s tour which resulted in surgery to relieve pressure from a bleed in his head.
Tyler’s recent fall from the stage during a gig in Toronto after what appeared to be a retaliatory hip check from Perry probably had audience members thinking they had just witnessed a bizarrely familiar and abrupt end to another Aerosmith tour, but since Tyler’s fall was eased by the open arms of adoring fans, the svelte frontman was soon back on stage and apparently uninjured.
In recent years a litany of health problems have plagued the aging members of group, including bassist Tom Hamilton’s battle with throat cancer, Joe Perry’s knee surgery as well as Steven Tyler’s throat and foot surgery. Perhaps Perry’s recent lucky escape from injury on his motorcycle has sharpened his focus on the most important things in his life.
As a result, perhaps the fact that Perry – or anyone else – is not sure what the future holds for Aerosmith, is a situation that has become his own version of “normal.” Compared to some of the other life-altering and even life-threatening events Aerosmith has had to deal with, maybe “normal” isn’t a bad place for him to be.
Even with all the uncertainty, there is some recent good news for Aerosmith fans. Bassist Tom Hamilton has revealed that Aerosmith may be preparing to tap into their “vast archive” of unreleased material for a new album.
“That’s something we really want to do. I know I’d see something like the Led Zeppelin DVDs and say, ‘Man, we should do that!’ But record contracts can limit what you do. When we fulfill our Columbia contract with a new studio album, we will have the freedom to explore all sorts of options,” according to Hamilton.
After all the drama of recent years, Aerosmith still manages to offer fans hope of something new to look forward to. I see a lot of comments suggesting that the “Bad Boys From Boston” should retire and that they just don’t have it any more. I guess that brings me back to the whole “who cares what other people think” thing, and as long as enough people are still willing to line up and pay to see these guys put on a show, why waste time worrying about the naysayers.
Hearing that kind of stuff is probably pretty “normal” for Aerosmith these days as well.