After dismaying some fans by performing with pop princess Britney Spears last year, veteran rock band Aerosmith is hitting the road this week with some more appropriate musical stars in tow.
The Boston-based combo, famed for a 30-year string of hits including “Dream On” and “Love in an Elevator,” will begin a three-month tour on Tuesday in New Jersey.
Its support acts include rap trio Run-D.M.C., whose 1986 cover version of “Walk This Way” reinvigorated Aerosmith’s career, and Kid Rock, who inducted the band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year.
Aerosmith lead guitarist Joe Perry said he hoped to include the acts in his band’s own set, which might help erase fans’ memories of Aerosmith performing a family-friendly version of “Walk This Way” at last year’s Super Bowl along with Spears, boy-band ‘N Sync, rapper Nelly and R&B singer Mary J. Blige.
Perry, 51, told Reuters that the widely televised show was “another event in a long line of amazing events… But it’s not like we’re out doing records with her (Spears), or I’m playing guitar on (‘N Sync star) Justin Timberlake’s record or anything like that.”
He recalled that his most recent collaboration was with Mick Jagger on the Rolling Stones frontman’s last solo album. “That was an honor that I rank right up there with being able to call (ex-Led Zeppelin guitarist) Jimmy Page by his first name.”
Aerosmith wrapped its last North American tour earlier this year, and has since released a 2-CD hits package, “O, Yeah!” (Columbia), which has sold more than 350,000 copies in the United States after five weeks.
After the tour wraps in northern California, Perry said Aerosmith would spend the winter recording a blues album, a concept that has been dear to his heart for years. He hoped to follow that with a tour of intimate U.S. venues and a trek through Europe. The band’s lineup is rounded out by singer Steven Tyler, guitarist Brad Whitford, bass player Tom Hamilton and drummer Joey Kramer.
Perry has just launched a line of condiments called Joe Perry’s Rock Your World Boneyard Brew Hot Sauce. He is also starting his own record label, tentatively called Boneyard Records. Its first signing will be the Porch Ghouls, a Memphis-based group he described as “a cross between early Led Zeppelin and the (country-themed) ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ record on steroids.”