Joseph Anthony Pereira was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1950 and later adopted the artistic name Joe Perry. He helped to form one of the most successful American bands of all time: Aerosmith in 1970 alongside Steven Tyler, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer. During all the decades he has been part of the music business, the musician had the opportunity to see the evolution of the music.
Being inspired mainly by Rock, Hard Rock and Blues, Perry always focused his ears to artists that were creating that kind of music and one of them was the late legendary guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. He helped to revive the Blues in the 80s, bringing that kind of music to the mainstream again, being played on the radio and on MTV.
Perry always praised the artist who tragically died in 1990 at the age of 35 in a helicopter crash. He even compared a guitarist and singer that first appeared in the 90s with Vaughan and the way he used to compose and present his music.
The guitarist that Joe Perry compared to Stevie Ray Vaughan
The music composed by Aerosmith, especially in the early days of their career had a lot of Blues roots, with a mix of American and British influences. That happened because the musicians, including Perry were big fans of Blues artists from the United States. But also of bands that were mixing Blues and Rock in the United Kingdom in the 60s, like Fleetwood Mac and The Rolling Stones for example.
What those kind of bands did in the 60s were showing the world but especially the U.S.A. that the Blues were an integral part of the birth of Rock. Also that there was a lot that could be done with what that music genre had already presented. In the 70s bands like Aerosmith took that to another level bringing more heaviness and melody to it. However, in the 80s that changed, you couldn’t hear a lot of Blues in many bands that were successful on that decade. But everything changed when artists like Stevie Ray Vaughan appeared briging that style into the mainstream again.
The guitarist mentioned by Perry did the same thing in the late 90s and 00s
Vaughan sadly had a short succesful career since he released his first album “Texas Flood” in 1983 and died 7 years later. But it was enough to leave a mark and make him one of the most influential guitarists that ever existed. Perry agrees with that and even compared what Vaughan did to what the guitarist and singer Jack White does since The White Stripes released their first album in the late 90s.
Perry compared the two artists in an interview with Music Radar back in 2004. It was a time when The White Stripes were one of the hottest bands around. He was talking about how working from a ‘limited palette” made him a better guitarist. “It’s tough to work in such a finite space and do something new and interesting.”
“I guess that’s why there aren’t too many fresh new blues songs. But you can’t be afraid to try it. I think Stevie Ray Vaughan was one of the best guitarists to get something new out that space. He knew his chops, obviously, and he’d paid his dues too. But he also wrote a lot of cool songs that crossed over into rock-land.”
“Stevie played the blues but he also wrote hits, and that’s a cool thing. Jack White from The White Stripes is doing the same thing now. He’ll play songs in concert and I guess a lot of fans won’t know what it is. It’s Son House,” Joe Perry said.
He had said in that same conversation with Music Radar that The White Stripes made “Blues riffing” cool again.
He also compared The White Stripes to Led Zeppelin
Obviously, Perry didn’t compared Jack White or The White Stripes with exactly the kind of music Vaughan was doing. Or the kind of player that he was. He was trying to explain that there were similarities to what they were doing the in music business in general. Also the impact they had at the time.
It was also what he said when he compared the Rock duo to Led Zeppelin. In 2004, Perry talked with Best Life magazine and chose the album “Elephant” as one of his favorites of all time. That record was released by The White Stripes in 2003. The musician explained that the songwriting was so fresh that he felt like he was listening to a Led Zeppelin record.
“This album is like listening to a Led Zeppelin record. You just put it on and listen to it and don’t know any of the names of the songs. But you just listen to it over and over. You’re entertained by the stream of consciousness in how they play. They speed up, they slow down, they know their blues roots. They got chops,” Joe Perry said. It was one of their most famous albums and has tracks like “Seven Nation Army” and “Black Math”.