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Rock 'n' roll at home

Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry doesn't have to go far to find inspiration for his latest solo CD.

When Rolling Stone reviewed Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry's new solo CD, they gave it three and a half out of four stars and said, "He's just a guitar freak doing his thing in the basement studio."  “Today” entertainment reporter Jill Rappaport got a chance to visit Perry in that studio at his home, right outside of Boston. At one time he was quite "the wild child," but rock 'n' roll legend Joe Perry leads a very different life offstage.  For more than three decades, Joe Perry has electrified fans as the lead guitarist for Aerosmith, one of the biggest bands in rock 'n' roll history.  But when he's not turning up the heat with scorching hot guitar riffs, you'll find him far from the roller-coaster world of rock 'n' roll.  Hidden in the suburbs of Boston sits this rustic estate Perry shares with his wife Billie, their children, and two beautiful Friesian horses.

But make no mistake about it.  This suburban family man is still a rock 'n' roller at heart.  With Aerosmith on a break, Perry has kept busy working in his home studio, completing his solo CD, simply called, "Joe Perry."

Joe Perry:  This is really the first true solo record that I’ve ever done, where I actually wrote all the music, wrote all the lyrics, played everything on it except the drums. 

Jill Rappaport:  This album really is from the heart, from your soul.  Would you say that this album will really give your fans insight to who you really are?

Perry:  Well, I would have to — it's just like tearing a page from my musical journal.

Rappaport:  And how about singing alone.  I mean, you're used to having Steven right there with you.

Perry:  Yeah, well, it was, again, that was a stretch of faith. I'm more of a stylist than a singer.Rappaport:  The majority of the songs are love songs.  Who would have thought that this hard-nosed rock 'n' roller was really a romantic at heart?

Perry:  I am a romantic at heart.  And I am in love and — it's just a natural path to go on.

Rappaport:  I know it was Billie who really prompted you to get down here and really sing and say what you feel.

Perry:  Yeah, well, she really — she's been my muse ever since I met her.

Rappaport:  Billie, he said you are his muse. You are the inspiration.  And it was really you who prodded him to do this album.

Billie Perry:  Well, I think that he really felt like he needed to express himself, and this is his fourth solo record.

One number close to their heart is 20.  That's how many years they've been married. And for the last 17, the idyllic setting of their home has been their sanctuary.

Joe Perry's passion for music is prominently displayed everywhere on the nine-acre property, right down to the most unusual places.  After all, what’s a rock star’s home without its own bus?  And what a tour bus it is.

Now, 30 years after the journey with Aerosmith began, Joe Perry has definitely found his true voice. And he's hoping fans will appreciate it.

Rappaport:  When it's just you, Joe, with your name, from the heart.  A lot of pressure there, right, buddy?

Perry: On an Aerosmith record, that's one advantage to being with a band like that.  So you can always blame it on somebody else.  You know?

Rappaport:  Who are you going to blame now?

Perry:  That option — I have nothing, nothing like that.

Solo record aside, Joe Perry is now gearing up for a big fall tour with the boys in Aerosmith.