Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry compares COVID-19 to a world war

News 11/05/2020

When addressing COVID-19's impact on society, Aerosmith guitarist made comparisons to a world war during a recent interview:

"I would say this is as close to a world war as you could get, in a lot of ways. If you tick off the boxes, it is a world war. Basically, it has shut down the touring business for an indefinite period of time," Joe Perry said. 

The band originally scheduled to resume their Deuces Are Wild Las Vegas residency on May 20 before the COVID-19 pandemic halted live events worldwide. Perry is disappointed that the band had to cancel their shows, but is happy to be spending more time with his family.

... it was almost like I felt like I was on vacation for the first time in 30 years

"As soon as I realized we weren't gonna be playing for at least months, if not a year, it was almost like I felt like I was on vacation for the first time in 30 years. I didn't have to think [when I got home], 'Well, I don't need to unpack my bags because I'm leaving in a week.'"

While Perry is looking forward to being able to get back on stage, he's concerned for the health and safety of his fans:

"If they somehow wanted to open the shows — and I doubt they would do it — we wouldn't push our luck. We also feel like we don't want to be the ones responsible, the ones to say to people, 'It's okay to come in. Take your chances. Wear masks. Come in and rock out!'

"I don't see 5,000 people in an arena or theatre. It's too contagious. It doesn't take much to pass it from one place to another. It would take a lot to get me on a plane to Vegas at this point."

Watch their recent November 2019 show below.

The guitarist is also aware he needs to be concerned for his own health, as well as that of his bandmates:

"We're pretty healthy as far as 70-year-olds go. Whatever we do onstage, with Steven [Tyler], as physical as he is, that stuff doesn't bother us, but it definitely puts more pressure on your immune system, and we're in that [danger] zone."

Aerosmith's members don't have any serious underlying health issues, but Perry noted they've "definitely lived hard lives", which will make them more vulnerable to illness: "The things that you've done 20 or 30 years ago, like smoking - you smoke for ten years and still they can see signs in your arteries and lungs."

Aerosmith still has summer tour dates scheduled in Europe from mid-June, as well as a homecoming performance at Fenway Park in Boston on Sept. 18. Determining whether these shows go ahead will be in the hands of "the powers that be." "If they say we can't do the shows, that's when they'd be canned," Perry said.