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The Joe Perry Project
|Genres||Hard rock, blues rock|
|Labels||Roman Records, Columbia Records, MCA Records|
|Associated acts||Aerosmith, BUX, Savoy Brown, Angel|
|Past members||Ronnie Stewart|
Cowboy Mach Bell
The Joe Perry Project is an American rock band formed by Aerosmith lead guitarist Joe Perry. Perry formed the band shortly before his departure from Aerosmith in 1979. The Joe Perry Project signed a record deal almost immediately after Perry's exit from the band with Aerosmith's label, Columbia Records, who were disappointed with the chaos in the Aerosmith camp and hoping to maneuver Perry back into Aerosmith. The Project, with its debut album Let the Music Do the Talking played mostly around the Boston area in smaller venues. Aerosmith replaced Perry with guitarist Jimmy Crespo and after, Rick Dufay was brought on to replace Brad Whitford, Aerosmith's other original guitarist, after his departure shortly after Joe Perry's. After several line-up changes over the next few years and two more albums with dismal sales the Joe Perry Project dissolved in 1984 when Perry agreed to reunite with Aerosmith (Brad Whitford also rejoining bringing the band back to its original form) and the band went on to have arguably one of the most successful "comeback" stories in music history. Joe Perry has reformed the JPP several times since as a side project to stay busy during downtime with Aerosmith.
The original band line-up consisted of Joe Perry on guitar and sometimes lead vocal, Ralph Morman, on lead vocals, bassist David Hull, and drummer Ronnie Stewart. This line-up recorded the band's 1980 debut album, Let the Music Do the Talking, which was produced by long-time Aerosmith producer Jack Douglas. The album was well-received and sold 250,000 copies in America within its first six months of release.
In June of 1980, while on tour in support of the album, Ralph Morman was fired from the band due to issues with alcohol and his undependable and unpredictable behavior. He was temporarily replaced by singer Joey Mala, of the New York-based act Revolver, in order for Perry to fulfill concert obligations until a permanent vocalist could be brought in. A permanent replacement was eventually found in singer and rhythm guitarist Charlie Farren. Perry, Farren, Stewart, and Hull recorded one album, I've Got the Rock'n'Rolls Again, which proved to be less successful than the group's debut effort. Columbia Records executives were reluctant to promote the album, which some believe was due solely on the fact that they were much more interested in a reunited Aerosmith, than a Perry solo project. This resistance from the label, combined with Perry's ongoing drug and financial problems, led to the entire band quitting in 1982.
Equipped with a new record label (MCA Records) and three new band members in singer Cowboy Mach Bell, bassist Danny Hargrove and drummer Joe Pet, the band released Once a Rocker, Always a Rocker in 1983. The album met the same fate as its predecessor, selling less than 50,000 copies. Despite the poor sales, The Project went out on a final tour in support of the album, adding then-former Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford to the line-up.
A compilation album, The Music Still Does the Talking: The Best of the Joe Perry Project, was released by an Australian Indie Record label in 1999.
On October 6, 2009, Joe Perry, on his own record label (Roman Records) released a solo album titled Have Guitar, Will Travel. The first single was called "We've Got a Long Way to Go." Although the record was released as a Perry solo album, the touring band included original bassist David Hull and was billed as The Joe Perry Project. Also participating were guitarist/keyboardist Paul Santo (Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Ringo Starr), drummer Marty Richards ( James Montgomery, Norah Jones, The J. Geils Band) and German vocalist Hagen Grohe who was discovered by Billie Perry (Joe Perry's wife) on YouTube. The new Joe Perry Project also backed Joe on his latest album, making it a de facto JPP album.
On September 20, 2009, the new Joe Perry Project played the first public concert of the Have Guitar, Will Travel Tour at Memorial Hall in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The show was announced just days before the event. Fans who attended were the first to hear some of the new songs from the upcoming album, as well as a handful of classic Aerosmith songs including: "Let the Music Do the Talking" (original JPP version), "Walkin' The Dog," "Dream On," "Combination" and "Walk This Way." The final song of the night was a cover of Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World."
- Let the Music Do the Talking (1980)
- I've Got the Rock'n'Rolls Again (1981)
- Once a Rocker, Always a Rocker (1983)
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