Joe Perry Shares Steven Tyler’s Ultimatum Before Joining Aerosmith

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During a recent interview with Classic Rock, Joe Perry from Aerosmith discussed the early days of the band. He talked about how he first met Steven Tyler and the vocalist’s demand to join the group.

Perry and Tyler crossed paths when Joe’s previous band, which included bassist Tom Hamilton, was performing at a local bar. Perry remembered that Tyler was in the audience watching them. He said:

“That’s when I first met Steven. He had heard that the Jeff Beck Group was searching for a new singer. One of our friends asked if we could be his backup band while he made a demo.”

According to Joe Perry, Tyler, who was a “singing drummer” at the time, later worked with him and Hamilton to record a cover of The Beatles’ song “I’m Down.” During this recording session, Tyler came up with an idea and presented the band with an ultimatum. Perry recalled:

“I think that’s when he saw something in us, and I saw something in him. He said, ‘Yeah, I’ll come to Boston. But I don’t want to play drums anymore; I want to be just the singer.’ And I said, ‘That’s great because we have this guy from New York named Joey Kramer who is interested in joining the band…'”

Over the years, Perry and Tyler had some conflicts. A dispute arose between them when Perry publicly announced that the band was looking for a new vocalist after Tyler expressed his focus on his personal brand in 2008.

Reflecting on the public disagreement in another interview with Classic Rock, Perry shared his thoughts:

“I’m not sure how I feel about that public feud. They say any publicity is good publicity, but I’m not sure I agree with that. Maybe we felt compelled to say something to our fans. Damn, I couldn’t really tell you. We were so distant from each other, I don’t know. Maybe we were trying to set the record straight and be more honest, letting people know what was going on. I don’t know.”

Fortunately, things seem to have improved between the two over the years, as they are now preparing for their final farewell tour with Aerosmith. Their last tour, called ‘Peace Out,’ will start in September and run until late January.

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