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Joe Perry recalls his reaction to the first Van Halen album

Joe Perry

Classic Rock

Joe Perry recalls his reaction to the first Van Halen album

The guitarist Joe Perry helped to form Aerosmith in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970 and during that decade the band released six albums that made them reach the charts many times and become one of the most praised bands from the United States. In 1978, another Hard Rock band appeared on the scene, which was Van Halen.


In an interview with Guitar World, Perry recalled his first reaction to that groundbreaking album, which showed the world Eddie Van Halen’s incredible skills and pushed the boundaries of guitar playing foward. The Aerosmith guitarist also recalled that after that and many other things he told his bandmates that they weren’t ready for the 80s.

Joe Perry recalls his reaction to the first Van Halen album

“We were rolling into the ’80s, and I still remember hearing the first Van Halen record and fucking loving it. I mean… what a great fucking record,” says Perry.

“Eddie’s guitar playing was just so incredible; he turned guitar on its fucking ear and was doing stuff that I’d never heard before. I knew it was time for a break because new ideas were needed.

“But we also needed to re-adjust our sights and learn to get along again. I remember saying, ‘We’re not ready for the ’80s.’ I don’t know why I said that; it was just a vibe or a feeling I had,” Joe Perry said.

The guitarist had already praised the band in an interview with Ultimate Classic Rock in 2021, including the band’s vocalist David Lee Roth.

“Eddie was a leader for a whole new generation of guitar players and changed guitar playing. His style and everything. It was funny, because when I heard some of his stuff, I said: ‘Wow, I’ve heard that effect before and I’ve heard that before,’ but he’s the one that put it all together and it was new.”

He continued:

“I thought that Van Halen was an incredible band. David Lee Roth was like the Jimi Hendrix of the mouth and when they were at their peak, they were the best,” Joe Perry said.

Aerosmith had already started their farewell tour “Peace Out” in 2023 but had to cancel all the upcoming shows after Steven Tyler’s vocal chords were seriously damaged. All the shows are suspended until he gets better.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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