Joe Perry: How a rock star stays married 32 years

Legendary guitarist on life in and out of Aerosmith


In “Rocks: My Life In And Out Of Aerosmith” guitarist Joe Perry offers unusual candor about the two longest relationships in his life: with the band Aerosmith, and with his wife.

FOX411: So is Aerosmith still together?

Joe Perry: Aside from the time I left the band in 1979 and then Brad leaving months later, we put it back together in ’84. So besides that the band has always been together. We’ve toured together almost every year since the band got together.

FOX411: It seems like you have a very complicated relationship with Steven Tyler.

Perry: Yeah I guess you could say it’s complicated, as any family can be or two brothers can be. Just imagine some brothers that started a business together and grew up rubbing elbows and have two different ways they want to live their lives but they still have this business that’s a little more creative than selling shoes. 

What we do is definitely kind of a unique product of teamwork -- the five of us. Steven and I are the lightening rods for the press but it’s really the five of us. The main thing is we stayed together to entertain our fans. When you get down to it we are joined at the hip.

FOX411: You’ve been married to your wife Billie for 32 years.

Perry: There were a few years before I met Billie where I went home with a waitress or two but it was not one of my favorite things to do. It wasn’t what drove me to do what I do. There are guys out there that claim they slept with this many fans but that’s the extreme. I think in any kind of high-profile profession, where there’s a lot of money and a lot of perceived glamor, that part of it comes with it.

FOX411: Still it’s pretty unusual.

Perry: I was always looking for the right girl and I found her finally.

FOX411: You admit you wrote a lot of great songs on drugs.

Perry: I think if you look at the history of human beings and the way they use substances as I have - there’s a point where it definitely can help free you up to be more creative but the problem is it also makes you feel really good and it’s easy to let it get out of hand. So in the beginning I think it can be useful. Yeah I wrote some great stuff when I was high or after I’d had a couple of beers but it certainly turns around and it can bite you on your ass and all of a sudden you care more about having that feeling than you do about writing songs.

FOX411: You had a very passionate affair with “Laugh-In’s” Judy Carne.

Perry: She definitely made a man out of me. Looking back at it, it almost sounds like I made this s--t up but it all happened.

Fox411: You’re good friends with Johnny Depp.

Perry: Our connection started with music. We’re both very private people and we’d just assume to avoid the crowds. I mean we do what we have to do in our prospective fields of the entertainment world but we kind of put up with it more than thrive on it.