Rocks (book review)

Is it true? Did Aerosmith’s stoic, aloof lead guitarist, the man once quoted saying, “I don’t need to speak; I play guitar,” really write a tell-all autobiography? Hold onto your hats. It’s true.

“Rocks,” released Nov. 2014, kickstarts with an intro from Perry’s good friend Johnny Depp. From there, Perry weaves a tale of his picturesque, Norman Rockwell-style childhood.

He sports the vocabulary of an SAT workbook, spouting hefty adjectives and stunning imagery that paint a picture of joyous summers spent at Lake Sunapee and frustrating semesters at a Vermont boarding Reviews.rocksCreative Commons
school. Joe dishes it out on his formative years, yet once he hits 1972, when Aerosmith began their trek to the top, he hits the brakes.

Perry’s lengthy memories become brief sound bites. The funny anecdotes that made “Walk This Way,” the band’s ‘97 composite autobiography, a page-turner are few and far between.

I gotta give him props, though – when he does divulge, it’s juicy. Details, like his abusive ex-wife biting entirely through his lip, offer shocking bursts of excitement every few pages.

Eventually, though, the book falls flat. Perry fixates on the mental turmoil of ‘80s manager Tim Collins for what seems like forever. P

air with this the fact that the last two chapters could be titled “A List of Horrible Things Steven Tyler Did,” and you’ve got yourself an autobiography turned stale. But hey – he’s a musician, not a writer.

Perry’s book is alright for diehard fans or even those lukewarmly-interested in Aerosmith. It’s just not the slab of red meat I was hoping for.