Last Friday, Joe Perry pulled his Ducati motorcycle up to a traffic light, waited until it turned green and then put the bike into gear. "Next thing I know, I'm on tarmac looking up at the sky," the Aerosmith guitarist tells Rolling Stone. "This woman behind me just didn't slow down at the light. She was going 25-30 miles per hour and just rear-ended me. Everything on the bike from the engine back is smashed up, but I don't even have a black and blue mark. I can't believe it. I'm just really lucky."
Within minutes the police and EMT arrived on the scene, and they insisted that Perry go to the hospital. "I definitely felt banged up," he says. "I had whiplash and my lower back was throbbing. I've been in enough accidents to know that you don't know how banged up you are for a while. The doctor went over everything and said that nothing was broken or bleeding. I didn't even need x-rays. I spent the entire weekend pretty sore, tracing ice packs."
The accident was particularly poorly timed, because Aerosmith were just one week away from launching their long-delayed American tour. "I had visions of playing shows in a wheelchair," Perry says (he later released a statement proclaming he is "Cocked, Locked and Ready to Rock"). "I think this accident was a power higher than me saying, 'Don't ride your Ducati a week before the tour,' " Perry says. " 'I'm just going to warn you once.' " The accident was the third time Perry had crashed his bike. "Our old producer Jack Douglas said to me if you survive three motorcycle accidents then you're good — you're gonna survive no matter what," Perry says. "I called him over the weekend and said, 'Hey Jack, I think this makes three, so I'm good to go.' "