Joe Perry's Biggest Fan: Katy Shares How The Aerosmith Legend Helped Save Her In More Ways Than One
Updated: Jan 20
"Joe is the epitome of cool. Not even just as an artist but as a person too. He has always been one to take time for fans and it shows. He is a fan himself so he understands how precious it is to meet someone who may have saved your life or gotten you through a hard time." - Katy
Hi Katy, A very warm welcome to Fan Features! Thank-You so much for reaching out and offering to share your story with our readers…I really look forward to hearing it! To kick things off…would you mind telling us a little about yourself?
Thank you so much for having me on your website!! I’ve always loved the connection between fans and their idols so this is definitely a really cool thing that you do.
Hi!! My name is Katy, I’m 17 years old and I’m from Connecticut. I run a fanpage for the man we will be discussing, Joe Perry, and have been running it since I was 12. I play 5 instruments but my primary instrument is my voice. I’ve been singing since before I could talk and Aerosmith part of the the reason for that!!
So today we’re going to be discussing Joe Perry and your time as a fan of his…can I ask how you became a fan of Joe? What were your first impressions of him as an artist?
I first became a fan of Joe back in 2007. One of my first memories growing up was when I was in the car with my mom and she started playing 'Sweet Emotion'. I had a condition called speech delay at the time and my parents found I would hum along to songs so they would play music often to try to get me to sing the words. It worked, and it’s the reason I’m speaking today. My first impressions were…. woah, this man is talented…. He has the looks, the attitude and the swagger!!!!
Can I ask more about the role Joe Perry has played in your life? What does he mean to you?
Not to get too personal, but my sophomore year of high school I was emotionally abused by someone I deeply care about which left me with PTSD symptoms, anxiety, and eventually suicidal thoughts. It got so bad that on Christmas Day of 2020, I lay in a closet face down on a pillow, with all my body weight on my arms and hands so I wouldn’t self harm, listening to Joe Perry’s song 'Pray for Me'. It’s a moment that I will never forget because had it not been for the companionship of his music I may not be alive.
And how would you describe Joe Perry as a musician/artist?
Joe is the epitome of cool. Not even just as an artist, but as a person too. He has always been one to take time for fans and it shows. He is a fan himself so he understands how precious it is to meet someone who may have saved your life or gotten you through a hard time. I have always admired him so much for that fact. As for his sound, it has changed a little bit over the years mostly due to tech advancements. His sound now is a little bit more gritty and booming in a way than it was on the first few Aerosmith records.
Joe is of course, a vital part of legendary rock band ‘Aerosmith’…why do you think Aerosmith has made such a massive impact on rock music? What is it about them as a band that has stood the test of time and remains just as relevant today?
Aerosmith has influenced such a vast amount of artists. Not just in terms of looks but sound too. They were truly revolutionary. I mean, 'Walk this Way' with Run DMC was one of, if not the first Rap/Singing song if that makes any sense.
Besides Aerosmith, Joe has been apart of other music projects including his solo band ‘The Joe Perry Project’ as well as sharing the stage with Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp as part of The Hollywood Vampires’. It’s fair to say most people will be familiar with Joe’s work in Aerosmith but what can you tell them about his other projects?
Joe’s other projects are SO good. Obviously I’m a bit biased but hear me out. I was turned off by the idea of the 'Project' when I first heard of it due to the stigma surrounding solo projects in general. I was not disappointed. The first album, 'Let the Music Do the Talking', features the late Ralph Morman on vocals. As a singer myself, one of the first things that makes or breaks a song/band for me is the voice. His voice is untouchable. He has got range, and he has a gorgeous vibrato. 'I’ve Got the Rock n Rolls Again' features Charlie Farren and I actually got the chance to meet him over the summer. Very very nice guy… also extremely tall. That album is stellar. 'Once a Rocker Always a Rocker' features Cowboy Mach Bell on vocals and he is a dear friend of mine. However, I wasn’t keen of the record on the first listen but it very quickly grew on me. The Red album is stellar and fun fact, was entirely produced and recorded by Joe and the late Paul Caruso who did drums on the record. 'Have Guitar Will Travel’ is Joe’s 5th solo record with Hagen Grohe on vocals and he has great pipes as well. He did Ralph Morman’s vocals justice live. He has such a distinct voice...I could go on a on. 'Sweetzerland Manifesto' is stellar also and features some talents like David Johansen, Terry Reid, and Robin Zander. As for the Vampires, their album 'Rise' is absolutely amazing. Joe sings 'You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory' and it melts my heart every time I hear it.
When you spoke with me via Instagram…you told me that the music of Aerosmith holds a special meaning to you as it helped you overcome a speech impediment as a child. Would you feel comfortable to talk more about this?
Yeah totally!! I’m a pretty open book so I don’t mind at all. I had a speech condition growing up called Speech Delay and it basically stunts your speech development as a toddler, meaning that people like me didn’t say their first words until 2- 2 1/2 years old. My parents feared I had autism because of my lack of verbiage and they were running out of ideas since speech therapy wasn’t working too well. Theres an old home video of me dancing in only a diaper, humming in perfect key to Jack Johnson’s 'Upside Down'. This made my parents realize that I had a real infatuation for music and utilized it to help me learn to speak.
Elaborating a little on the previous question…it really is pretty powerful to hear how Aerosmith’s music has played such a significant role in your life from a very young age. Why do you think music is such a powerful thing and what do you think your life would be like without it?
Music is so powerful because it’s the one thing you won’t have a screaming fit over with your family at thanksgiving (thanks, politics…). It pretty much only connects people and brings people together. I have met so many of my closest friends through music, music has created such an amazing life for me; music is the reason I’m still alive. As cliche as this is, I would be nothing without it.
You are often referred to as Joe Perry’s biggest fan even by those in his inner circle…how do you think you’ve managed to gain such an awesome title? I mean being referred to as any artist’s biggest fan has gotta be pretty cool, right?
You know, I really don’t have any idea. I don’t think I know that much about Joe until I start riddling off data like Wikipedia on steroids. It makes me feel good to know that I impress people I look up to.
You’ve even had the chance to meet Joe…that is seriously so cool! How did that come to fruition? What are your memories of the meeting? Do you remember your conversation with Joe? Tell us everything!!!
Oh my god… meeting Joe was a life saving day for me. I was going through some stuff at school at the time like bullying and all that juvenile middle school crap but I was definitely pretty down, so when I found out Joe was doing an album signing in Boston for his then new solo album 'Sweetzerland Manifesto', I knew I had to go!! I’ll skip all the boring stuff and get right to when I met Joe. So when I first saw him I kept repeating “I’m going to have a heart attack” under my breath until it was my turn and I unfortunately said this very phrase to Joe in which he laughed and said “awww no you won’t” (very funny of you Joe).
We ended up getting a photo together (I know the attire was awful, I was 13 and was severely peer pressured) and he held me so tight when we took the picture it was the sweetest thing in the world. He asked me for my name and I said Katy to which he proceeded to sign his new solo record for me. Not knowing what to say I said “I love you” to him in the most awkward, shaky, and loving way and he said “aww that’s sweet”, had a big smile on his face and gave me a hug. I will never forget that day and trust me, I still brag about that hug to this day.
You even had the chance to meet some of Joe’s bandmates, can you tell us more about that?
Yeah!! Like I mentioned earlier, I met Cowboy Mach Bell and Charlie Farren over the summer. My CMB story is kinda long so bare with me but it’s worth the longevity of it. As I previously mentioned, Cowboy and I are very good friends. The first time we met in person he made me a Joe Perry pop quiz. I of course got every question right and so he reaches into his bag and grabs a plastic bag that looks to have some sort of fabric in it. To my ABSOLUTE SHOCK, he gave me an original Joe Perry Project shirt… JUST FOR ANSWERING EVERYTHING CORRECTLY!!! I was stunned.
Then I was just talking to someone near Cowboy’s booth (this was at ComicCon and he was one of the exhibitors) and there walks in CHARLIE FARREN?!! I turn to my good friend Crust (their name isnt actually crust, just a nickname) and I’m like “HOLY SHIT CRUST, THATS CHARLIE FARREN.” Cowboy then goes “Charlie, I would like you to meet Joe Perry’s #1 fan.” Like, these guys were in bands with Joe and are now casually referring to me as Some Joe Perry GOD. Wtf?!!! More stuff happened after that but man, it was absolutely surreal.
I believe you have plans to meet Joe again in future? How excited are you for that?!
Yes… because I know so many people I’ve gotten more than one offer to meet him face to face. Because of COVID that hasn't happened yet but you bet your ASS I will have a meltdown!
And what about your experiences seeing Joe Perry, Steven Tyler and Aerosmith live? What was that like?
So my first “Aerosmith” show was when I saw Steven Tyler on the Today Show at the ripe age of 12. It was cool for my first Aero related show, but it was the 'Joe Perry and Friends' show I went to for my 14th birthday that knocks even the Aero shows I’ve been to. They played for 3 hours, did mostly deep cuts from Joe’s solo records and Aerosmith deep cuts too, had a TON of special guests, and Tom Hamilton even wished me a happy birthday because I had a huge sign saying it was my birthday which completely made my night.
And what do you think makes bands like Aerosmith such great performers in a live concert setting?
Their energy and the fact that they have such amazing chemistry. You don’t find that with a lot of bands. You can sense the brotherhood that the 5 of them have onstage and it’s really amazing to see.
Do you have any highlights from any of the concerts?
At the last Aerosmith show I went to, I had commented on Joe’s son, Aaron’s Instagram post regarding the show and I said “I’m coming from Connecticut! I'll be at the show tonight” or something like that and Aaron saw the comment and liked it. I didn’t think much of that interaction until right before Joe did 'Stop Messin Around' and timidly said “I know some of my Connecticut fans are going to be here tonight” and I turn to my then best friend and obliterate her ears with my screaming. I was like… "THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL HE JUST SAID THAT".
It really has been a pleasure speaking with you today Katy! Your story really is such an incredible example of just how profound an impact music can have on people. Thank-You so much for taking the time to share this with us! So before we bring the interview to a close I have two more questions for you. The first is…do you have a message for Joe Perry?
It’s been a pleasure chatting with you as well!! Joe, if you’re reading this, thank you for saving my life and being my reason to smile every single day, but especially on the hard days. You never fail to amaze me with your humbleness and your multitude of talents!
And finally…if you could recommend one of Joe’s songs whether that be as a solo artist or a member of Aerosmith/The Hollywood Vampires to someone who isn’t familiar with his work, what would you suggest?
My favorite Aerosmith song has always been 'Nobody’s Fault' but I always recommend 'Woman of the World' to new listeners. The snarky lyrics and the mix of acoustic and electric guitar could really please any listener.
I've had the chance to speak with some truly awesome music fans since the creation of this site but there's just some stories that really touch you and Katy's is most definitely one of them. Each time I read Katy's answers, I can't help but smile! Katy, your love and passion not only for Joe Perry but music as a whole speaks to me on such a profound level and I'm sure many others will agree. I totally agree...you are 100% Joe Perry's biggest fan and what a lucky guy he is to have such an awesome fan!
Be sure to give Katy a follow over on Instagram: @oasisinthenight