AEROSMITH's JOE PERRY On His 2016 Health Scare: 'It Woke Me Up To The Fact That I'm Not Bulletproof'

April 1, 2022

In a new interview with SPIN, AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry reflected on his 2016 health scare when he collapsed onstage with his other band the HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES, later citing dehydration and exhaustion. Asked if he was worried he wouldn't be able to perform after that, Perry said: "It was really a bummer. I let the guys down. And also my family was there, which is even more important. It woke me up to the fact that I'm not bulletproof. I discovered some physical things that I had to adjust. My mother had cholesterol problems early on. You know, just certain medications I take, and others can't. I mean, it was definitely a scare. But in my heart — and I'm saying that figuratively [laughs] — I knew I'll be back on my feet playing."

In November 2018, Perry was hospitalized following a performance with Billy Joel on stage at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Only minutes after guesting with Joel, Perry experienced shortness of breath and was treated by paramedics.

In 2019, Perry said his 2016 collapse was caused by "over-the-top fatigue," while his hospitalization after the Billy Joel concert happened because he "couldn't get my breath and I had to sit down. The next thing I know I'm getting oxygen. They call it COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease]. It's caused from smoking for years.

"I quit smoking," he added. "I haven't had a drink since that night. I'll be around for a while."

Perry's VAMPIRES bandmate Alice Cooper told Rolling Stone that Joe was exhausted when he fell ill at the 2016 gig at Brooklyn, New York's Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk, and had not eaten in two days.

"I didn't realize AEROSMITH only did two shows a week," Alice said at the time. "Honestly, I just figured everybody was like me. I do five shows a week, and very physical shows. We were on our eighth show in 10 days. It was pretty brutal. I think [Joe] was dehydrated and basically exhausted. I talked to him before the show and he said, 'I don't think I've eaten anything in three days.' I went, 'Well, that's not smart.'"

As previously reported, AEROSMITH will bring its residency back to Las Vegas this summer. "Aerosmith: Deuces Are Wild" heads to Dolby Live at Park MGM for 24 dates beginning Friday, June 17. According to a press release, the show will be the first live concert experience presented in Dolby Atmos at Dolby Live. Dolby Live is one of the world's most technologically advanced performance venues for enjoying live music in Dolby Atmos.

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