When Aerosmith Had to Prove Themselves All Over Again
Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry recalled how the band had to prove itself all over again when it staged a comeback in the mid ‘80s.
Perry quit the group in 1979, followed by fellow guitarist Brad Whitford in 1981. Both returned in 1984, but the reunion would prove to be hard work.
“When we got back together again, we actually had to buy our way out of our contract with Columbia Records ‘cause we owed them money – for what I don’t know,” Perry told Kerrang! in a new interview. “So, we paid that out of the money we were making from touring. And then we went out on the road on a tour called the Back in the Saddle Tour, without an album to promote, without a record company pushing our music on the radio or anything like that. And this was before we really had any videos on MTV. So, we really went out there by the seat of our pants just to see if we liked playing together again, and to see if our fans remembered us.”
Perry noted that, "as it turned out, we were able to tour all around America pretty easily. We weren’t playing huge places, but everywhere we played was full of rock-solid fans. By the end of that summer Geffen [Records] had seen that we were back at it and signed us. And that was the start of what happened with that next wave of success. But for that to happen, we had to prove ourselves to the fans and to the industry, and we did that.”
The guitarist argued that Aerosmith always had to do things the hard way, even their original climb to success. “It’s not like we had a hit record and all of a sudden we were big in the States," he said. "We went to New York, and then we went to Detroit, and on and on. We played every club and theater and town hall and college that we could find. It was just a matter of doing things city by city. We weren’t getting any love from the radio, that’s for sure. But we weren’t going to give it up, no matter what. We were well endowed with fighting spirit, and that’s what keeps the band going today. We still go out there thinking we have to prove something.”