Aerosmith’s Joe Perry: The Joe Perry Project

by Matt McKay

An often overlooked blip in Aerosmith’s 40-year reign occurred in 1979, with the departure of the band’s guitarist Joe Perry. Joe formed the Joe Perry Project, and released three solo albums between 1980 and 1983. Despite the well received first album on Columbia, “Let the Music Do the Talking,” the two subsequent recordings, 1981’s “I’ve Got the Rock N’ Rolls Again” also on Columbia, and “Once a Rocker, Always a Rocker” in 1983 on MCA, did poorly due to meager label support.  Joe’s increased substance abuse problems and almost constant turnovers in the band’s line-up didn’t help matters.

The first band line-up included drummer Ronnie Stuart, bass player David Hull and singer Ralph Morman. During the first tour, Morman was replaced by Joey Mala, who was replaced by guitarist/singer Charlie Farren at the end of the tour. Perry, Hull, Farren and Stuart recorded the second album, and Perry fired the entire band at the end of 1982.

In 1983, after signing a new record deal with MCA, Joe recorded the final album with drummer Joe Pet, singer Mach Bell, bass player Danny Hargrove. Guitarist Brad Whitford,   who had recently left Aerosmith, joined Joe and crew for the final tour.

The Joe Perry Project was disbanded after the tour, with Joe and Brad rejoining Aerosmith in 1984. In 1999, Raven, an Australian independent label released “The Music Still Does the Talking: The Best of the Joe Perry Project.”

Written by Matt McKay