AEROSMITH Guitarist: ELVIS PRESLEY Brought Black Music To White Ears

January 16, 2006

According to, the January 2006 edition of Goldmine magazine features an interview with AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry. In the interview, Perry is asked about any favorite music artists that he has and below is his reply:

"Jimi Hendrix and Elvis. I love Elvis. It's not just the music, it's what he accomplished and what he did. Probably the most important thing he did was bring black music to white ears. I think that some of what he contributed to our culture and music gets lost in his later years, in the stereotypes. Most of the impersonators are doing the white jumpsuit [look] because he was such a caricature of himself, but he was so important in those early years that it's just a drag that it gets lost. People think about the glasses and the jumpsuit, but if it wasn't for him there is so much music that we wouldn't have heard. He was the right voice at the right time, and it precipitated that whole social change in the '60s, bringing all that music and breaking down that barrier because black music was so taboo. It existed, but to break through that into the white stronghold on music, somebody had to do it, and he did it. He had the voice. There were certainly other rockers, but they sounded white. That's why he scared the sh** out of people when he was coming around. People were expecting to see a black dude singing. Like I said, the right voice at the right time to do that. You can't say enough about what he contributed. He laid the groundwork for breaking out, and the rest is history."

Find more on
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email