“I remember saying, ‘We’re not ready for the ‘80s’”: Joe Perry on how the arrival of Eddie Van Halen made him question the viability of continuing Aerosmith 

“We also needed to re-adjust our sights and learn to get along again.”

Aerosmith’s Joe Perry has reflected on how the music of Van Halen made him realise it was “time for a break” from the band, as he felt they were “not ready for the ‘80s.”

The guitarist left Aerosmith amid recording sessions for 1979 album Night In The Ruts amid inner feuds and fears the band were stagnating.

In an interview with Guitar World surrounding Aerosmith’s 50th anniversary, Perry is asked about his reasons for stepping away. The rocker confirms that at the time, his personal life was not “all that great,” but also shared that he felt the band needed to adapt to be able to thrive.

“We were rolling into the ‘80s, and I still remember hearing the first Van Halen record and fucking loving it. I mean… what a great fucking record,” he says.

“Eddie’s guitar playing was just so incredible; he turned guitar on its fucking ear and was doing stuff that I’d never heard before. I knew it was time for a break because new ideas were needed.

“But we also needed to re-adjust our sights and learn to get along again. I remember saying, ‘We’re not ready for the ‘80s.’ I don’t know why I said that; it was just a vibe or a feeling I had.”

Perry later added that despite the band’s inner struggles, and the fact he left halfway through its recording, that Night In The Ruts ended up being a brilliant record: “That record was a nightmare. But I have to say, it features some of the best playing Aerosmith has ever done in the studio.

“I remember checking it out after I left, and I was very surprised they left me on it since I left in the middle of it,” he admits.

Perry re-joined the band in 1984, when they also signed a new record deal with Geffen Records. He also bought over manager Tim Collins.

View the latest announcements from Aerosmith on their website.

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