During Joe Perry's early years he formed a band
with Tom Hamilton called The Jam Band. After meeting with Steven
Tyler, Joe, Tom, Brad Whitford and Joey Kramer eventually joined
and the band became Aerosmith. While initially dismissed as
Rolling Stones knock-offs, the band came into its own during the
mid-1970s with a string of hit records. Chief among these
successes were Toys in the Attic (1975) and Rocks
(1976), thanks largely to the prevalence of free-form,
album-oriented FM radio. The group also managed hit singles on
the AM dial with songs like "Dream On," "Same Old Song and
Dance," "Sweet Emotion" and "Walk This Way."
During this time, Perry and vocalist Steven
Tyler became known as the "Toxic Twins" for their notorious
hard-partying and drug use. Hard core drug dealers made a cash
grab following Aerosmith around the country knowing there would
be an unlimited supply of customers. Aerosmith's crowd in these
days earned the nickname "The Blue Army", so called by the band
after the seemingly endless amount of teenagers in the audience
wearing blue denim jackets and blue jeans. The audience was
abundantly male with extremely long hair.
Following Rocks, the group began to
stumble - drug use escalated and the creative process became
hampered by strained relationships within the band. They managed
another hit record in 1977 with Draw the Line, on which
Perry sang lead vocals on the track "Bright Light Fright,"
considered by some to be one of the album's highlights. A fall
of '77 tour was scheduled, but as the crowds got more dangerous,
violence followed. A cherry bomb was thrown onstage in
Philadelphia at The Spectrum in October 1977, injuring both
Perry and Tyler.
Summer of 1979 saw the band headline over Van
Halen, Ted Nugent, AC/DC and Foreigner during the world music
festival concerts. An argument backstage in Cleveland resulted
in Joe Perry's wife throwing a glass of milk at Tom Hamilton's
wife. This would prove to be the turning point that saw Perry
quit Aerosmith, taking a collection of unrecorded material with
him, which would later become the basis of his Let the Music
Do the Talking album.