ROCKS - My Life In and Out of Aerosmith

Joe Perry with David Ritz
Joe Perry

So after Walk this Way, and Steven Tyler's book, and Joey Kramer's book, we get a book from Joe Perry.

This book is chronology of Joe's life from childhood to present day.  As such, you read about his childhood upbringing and interests, his early musical pursuits, and as the title suggests, his long, storied history in and out of Aerosmith.

The book covers the details of Joe's many, often rocky relationships with managers, girlfriends, wives, and the very complex, love-hate relationship he has with Steven Tyler -- from Joe's perspective, obviously.  

Joe doesn't shy away from talking about his notorious drug use, but he doesn't do a deep dive on it either (in the way, say Glenn Hughes' bio did).  Joe's approach to this topic was closer to Keith Richards' approach in his bio, Life, in that Joe acknowledges that it took place, but never gives you the sense of how bad it really got.  If you want that, if you want all the dirt, read Walk this Way.  

Not surprisingly, Joe mostly paints himself in a favorable light. As the reasonable one in his dealings with Tyler and the rest of the band; as the one with the greater work ethic; as the one who was first untrusting of the band's first dubious managers.  This could all be true, but like anything, there are usually two sides to such stories, and if you haven't read the other books, know that bandmates and other sources have painted Joe differently.  To be fair, Joe also discusses his many mistakes, such as waiting way too long to fire the band's Machiavellian manager in the 90s. 

All in all, it's a very good, enjoyable read. You come away with a good sense of who Joe is, his motivations, and what is important to him. Neutral topics are covered in more detail, while touchy subjects feel a bit glossed over. 



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