Aerosmith’s Joe Perry says “no” to ‘rock is dead’ argument, credits fans for keeping it alive

Certainly a debate that KISS bassist Gene Simmons is familiar with.

Joe Perry Aerosmith

Image: Christie Goodwin / Getty Images

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Joe Perry of Aerosmith has called bullshit on the notion that rock is dead.

Like Gene Simmons and a good number of other rock pundits, the Aerosmith guitarist has weighed in on the ongoing argument that rock ‘n’ roll music has run its course.

When asked if he felt that rock is dead in a recent interview with VWMusic, Perry’s answer could not have been clearer: “No, not at all.”

The reason for that? Well, it’s because rock does not have to be mainstream to be considered “alive”, Perry explains.

“There are some great rock ‘n’ roll bands carrying the flag too, and one example is [Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford’s] son Graham, who plays with Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown. I think they’re like kicking ass, and the thing is, there’s a lot of guys who want to get out there and play rock ‘n’ roll guitar and play that kind of music.”

“The issue”, according to Perry, “is that there aren’t enough fans to hear it, so it’s only going to go so far, but there are still people there for them to build a following. These new bands, they still headline places, they open up for other bands, and it’s the same thing.”

“It’s not like they’re at the top of the Billboard charts or like the top of the pop charts, but that’s kind of how it was in the late 60s too,” Perry recalls. “All the rock ‘n’ roll that I liked, they didn’t even have a place at the Grammys for it, and there was nothing overly commercial about it. I mean, I saw The Who in a small club playing Tommy. It was only a club, but the place was packed, and it was still about the fans there who wanted to hear it.”

Attributing rock’s continued success to fans who have kept it going over the decades, Perry added that “It’s the same now, those fans are still there, and that’s what’s really keeping it alive. I mean, if it wasn’t “classic music,” it wouldn’t be “classic rock,” and it wouldn’t be as big as it is.”

“I still see it, people are out there buying artists’ rock catalogs, and paying stupid amounts of money because they know that it’s going to keep getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger. So that tells me rock ’n’ roll is not dead.”

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