Joe Perry Recalls Helping Rap Break Onto MTV
Joe Perry looked back to Aerosmith's 1986 team-up with Run DMC for their breakthrough pop hit, a remake of the band's 1975 classic "Walk This Way." Perry recalled the experience of blending rap and rock, admitting to Forbes, "When we filmed the video we really didn't have any idea how important it was going to be. We didn't know that the song was even going to be on the record when we recorded it. I'd like to say we thought of it but we didn’t. Looking at it now it was brilliant because it helped break down the wall and get rap on MTV. It opened the door to whole other genre of music, which is really important. And for that I'm really proud to have taken part."
Perry went on to talk about Aerosmith's ongoing "Deuces Are Wild" show, that runs in Las Vegas at the Park MGM resort, and other MGM-owned venues: "It's something very different than we have ever done before. The offer to play in Las Vegas was hovering weight over our shoulders for the last bunch of years. We thought, well, let's give it a try. We had played in Las Vegas many times at 12,000 seat arenas, but it's a one night gig. Another stop on the road. To actually build a show, like a Broadway or Las Vegas show, we wanted it to be something a step above."
Perry went on to talk about what sets the show apart from a standard rock concert: "On the music side, the only thing that comes close is The Beatles’ Love by Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas. We were really inspired by that. In fact, we got, (Giles Martin), the music director for that show who worked with George Harrison to do some of the sound design for our show. We found the best people we could for every aspect of the show. Whether it was the lights, sound, mechanics, all the moving parts. I believe there are around 10,000 pounds of metal hanging above our heads. They first started welding four or five months ago. The people who do the video for the computer graphics for Game Of Thrones designed some of the visuals."
Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton told us the band's collaboration with Run DMC remains one of the most significant moments in their entire year career: "I'm still amazed that this many years later people ask about it. I'm amazed, yet it makes perfect sense. To me, it never felt like. . . It felt completely natural for a couple of white guitar player-singers to go and do a record with a rap band. It just seemed like a logical progression to me, so I didn't think of it as this startling breakthrough, but that's the way a lot of people really look at it. I think the rest of the band really had no idea that it was gonna be that big."