Joe Perry is finally ready to give his side of the Aerosmith saga. His long-awaited book Rocks: My Life in and Out of Aerosmith is slated to hit shelves on October 7th. "It took about a year longer than I thought it would," says Perry, who co-wrote the book with David Ritz. "But it's finally done. We're just finishing up taking the pictures and going through all the little details that go with it."
The guitarist's book follows Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer's 2009 memoir Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top and Steven Tyler's 2011 effort Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?. "I've wanted to write one for a while," says Perry. "But Joey put his book out and I wanted to leave some room there and then Steven put his book out. I didn't want to make it seem like mine was an answer to his, so I waited a little longer."
Perry did read Tyler's book. "It's definitely Steven's truth, no doubt about it," he says. "He's allowed to perceive things how he perceives things. He can write his book any way he wants. But I didn't agree with a lot of the things he said. I know he worked hard on it, but it's got a totally different tenor and energy than my book. Mine tends to be a little more traditional. It's an autobiography in the real classic sense. I just hope Steven accepts the things I say about how I felt and how I saw things happen. I don't put words in other people's mouths or talk about conversations that I wasn't there for."
Part of Perry's motivation for writing the book was to finally present his version of the band's history. "Not a lot of truth has come out about the last 20 years of the band," he says. "We all know about the 1970s and the VH1 Behind the Music bullshit and getting the band back together, which itself is a small miracle. After that, it kind of drops off."
The band did tell its story in the 1997 book Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith. "That book was really a swan song to our last manager," says Perry. "In fact, he told the writer, Stephen Davis, that unless he got to read the book first, and literally edit it himself before the band saw it, he would not have any access to the band. This was unbeknownst to us, but we found out afterwards. We were all involved and ready to get our stories out there, but we lost sight of the bigger picture."
Aerosmith wrap up their world tour in September, and not long afterwards Perry will launch a promotional book tour. "It's a good thing it comes out after the tour," says Perry. "That kind of guarantees we'll finish up the tour, no matter what anybody thinks about the book."