Tag Archives: The Joe Perry Project

Rocks In The Attic #317: The Joe Perry Project – ‘I’ve Got The Rock ‘N Rolls Again’ (1981)

RITA#317Like an STD he’s picked up from some filthy groupie, Joe Perry has got the rock ‘n rolls again. It’s unclear whether there’s a cure for this particular disease, but this is the ‘80s after all.

Perry’s second solo album during his brief split from Aerosmith at the end of the ‘70s is probably the best of the three. It really feels like a band effort in comparison to Let The Music Do The Talking, probably as a second guitar has been added into the mix, with vocalist Charlie Farren also providing rhythm guitar. The album also features South Station Blues – the one song from the project that was considered strong enough to feature on Aerosmith’s 1991 career retrospective Pandora’s Box.

Bass duties, like the first album, are taken up by David Hull – Aerosmith’s go-to guy over the past couple of years for filling in when Tom Hamilton has been sick. In a lovely display of word punnery, Hull changed his surname in the mid-‘80s to David Heit, so that he and Charlie Farren could get away with naming their band Farrenheit. At one time their music videos were in heavy rotation on MTV, but alas they didn’t enter the public’s consciousness like the Totos and Foreigners of the world.

I always wonder what those missing Aerosmith would have sounded like in the early ‘80s. I love 1982’s Rock In A Hard Place – it doesn’t get the respect it deserves, just because Perry and Brad Whitford aren’t on it (except for one song that Whitford plays on) – but it says something that Perry can produce three albums of material in the time that it took Tyler to get one out with his band of replacement guitarists. The toxic twins are always spoke of as being as bad as each other in terms of their drug and alcohol dependency back in the day, but it seems that Perry was able to get his shit together much better that Tyler ever did.

Hit: East Coast, West Coast

Hidden Gem: Dirty Little Things

Rocks In The Attic #224: Brad Whitford & Derek St.Holmes – ‘Whitford / St. Holmes’ (1981)

RITA#224Aerosmith-related solo project #2, after Joe Perry’s first outing with The Joe Perry Project, is this little curio from rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford and Ted Nugent vocalist Derek St. Holmes.

It’s a decent little album, and although it suffers from a very 1980s sound, it’s probably a little more ahead of its time than anything else. Although it came out in mid-1981, it sounds like a rock album from much later in that decade.

The most representative song on the album is Sharpshooter, which is probably why the track was chosen for Aerosmith’s 1991 retrospective, Pandora’s Box. That song is a perfect example of the very AOR slant that the album takes, complimented by Brad Whitford’s very measured guitar playing. That’s the big thing that pops out of Whitford / St. Holmes – whereas Aerosmith’s guitar sound is dominated by Joe Perry, you can hear throughout this album the melodic quality that Brad Whitford brings to the table.

It’s not a fantastic record, but it is a strong record. It’s at least as strong as the first Joe Perry Project album; and I wonder how good an album the two Aerosmith guitarists could have made if they’d put their heads together after going solo. In fact, that might have been more of an Aerosmith album than Rock In A Hard Place turned out to be.

Hit: Sharpshooter

Hidden Gem: Action