“Here I am, having my f**king work compared to Jeff Beck, and they’re crediting Joe Perry”: Brad Whitford says being labelled Aerosmith’s rhythm guitarist used to “bother” him

“I fucking went nuclear.”

Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford has opened up about feeling “so pissed off” with the way people would credit Joe Perry for his work early on in their career.

In a new interview with Guitar World, Whitford speaks about how the parts he’d written would be wrongly attributed to fellow bandmate Joe Perry during the band’s heyday, something he says used to get him “so upset”.

“After Rocks came out [in 1976] , Aerosmith was touring England, and I was sitting in a bar in London reading a review of the album in Melody Maker,” the guitarist recalls.

“And when they got to talking about Last Child, they started talking about how it sounded like Jeff Beck, which was very flattering. But then I kept reading, and they gave Joe credit for the guitar solo and kept comparing it to Jeff Beck. I read that, and I fucking went nuclear.”

“I was just so pissed off. It’s like, here I am, having my fucking work being compared to Jeff Beck, and they’re crediting Joe Perry. It was bullshit, and I was so upset. But I realised stuff like that wasn’t worth worrying about because the people who actually listen – and know what they’re talking about – can tell the difference.”

Whitford also says that those who continue to incorrectly label him the rhythm guitarist and Perry the lead just aren’t listening, though it isn’t certainly something he gets worked up over anymore.

“It bothered me for many years, but then I realised, ‘Okay, anyone that thinks that is someone who simply does not listen,’ he says. “We don’t have defined roles; we’re both just guitar players in this band. If someone specifically labels us as one or the other, they’re not listening. That’s their problem. It’s not my problem that they can’t hear the difference.”

“Sure, there have been times over the decades when Joe and I can imitate each other, but that’s only because we’re huge fans of each other’s styles. But I’ll tell you what – I cannot play like Joe Perry. I can’t do it.”


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