Aerosmith Rocks the Blues

Perry ponders Johnnie’s impact

Today, I took another major step in the production of “Johnnie Be Good.” In an earlier blog, I told you about being in Georgia to interview Chuck Leavell of the Rolling Stones and getting the email that Aerosmith’s Joe Perry had agreed to an interview. Tonight, Aerosmith was in St. Louis to perform and Joe Perry spared about 25 minutes between his sound check and the concert.

The dude definitely looks like a rock star: the hair, the clothes, the cool attitude; how cool do you think it would be to be Joe Perry for a day? Way cool.Perry talked about Aerosmith and Johnnie being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on the same night in 2001. The other inductees included Michael Jackson, Steely Dan, Ritchie Valens, doo-wop group The Flamingoes, r&b legend Solomon Burke, Paul Simon, and Elvis sideman James Burton. Perry told me about how he and the band had already made plans to do a blues/rock album in 2003. He read the newspaper and saw that Johnnie was in town performing and on the spur of the moment called his manager to invite Johnnie to his home recording studio. Not long afterward he got the call that Johnnie was on his way over in a limo to hang out. They did some tracks and you can hear Johnnie perform on the excellent “Honkin’ On Bobo” cd which reached number one on the Billboard Top Blues Albums list in 2004. Johnnie’s rockin’ piano can be heard on “Shame, Shame, Shame, and “Temperature.” Check it out. Here’s what Joe Perry had to say about Johnnie:”I’m just a fan. And I just want to say how much I care and how much of an honor it was to have Johnnie down at my house, and I still look back at it and I go, when I was 17 years old, listening to these records, playing this music that I never thought I’d have a career in. God, to be able to 25 years later, 30 years later, to say that I actually met him, hung out with him, be at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on the same stage, it’s incredible.”Shout out to Aerosmith road manager John Bionelli who was a pleasure to work with. Thanks, John! And thanks to Joe Perry for making time on a concert day and for making some great observations.I’ll have a new blog this weekend. I’m talking to another rock band, Ratdog. Art HollidayDirector, JOHNNIE BE GOOD

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