Joe Perry Talks "Rock Stars of Science", "Sons of Guns", and Making "Freedom Fighter"
Anytime you reach a position of notoriety the best thing you can do is give back.
Legendary Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry certainly does so. Life's always been bigger than just music for Perry, and that's what makes him such an iconic artist. Right now, as the Founding Father of the Geoffrey Beene's Rock Stars of Science campaign, he's helping bring together two seemingly disparate entities—rock stars and scientists. Ultimately, he's shedding light on the fact that the men and women curing diseases and furthering humanity are the real rock stars. He'll be featured alongside the Geoffrey Beene Dream Team in a profile of GQ's "Men of the Year" edition this December.
Perry is everywhere these days. On September 19 at 9pm ET, he'll also make an appearance on Discovery Channel's Sons of Guns on the "Three Cannons and a Rock Star". Plus, Aerosmith's next masterpiece Music From Another Dimension! will blast rock music out of this world on November 6.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Joe Perry of Aerosmith opens up about Geoffrey Beene's Rock Stars of Science, Sons of Guns, "Legendary Child", and working with Johnny Depp on "Freedom Fighter".
What makes Rock Stars of Science different from other charities?
It's a really unique idea that started off with a GQ photo shoot bringing scientists and rock stars together. The bottom line is there are rock stars in every field. These research scientists are probably the most important people on the planet. They're helping cure our diseases and everything. A lot of them don't get the credit and recognition they deserve. The fallout is a lot of kids don't get interested in science. Some of them want to be rock stars, performers, or athletes. We're losing a lot of scientists. A lot of people I talked to at the photo shoot were from out of the country. They were from Ireland or Italy, and they're doing research here. We're not training as many scientists. Kids seem to want to go into fields that are more glamorous or make more money. I don't think it's just the money either. Part of it is the excitement. However, there is a lot of excitement in those scientific fields. Being able to talk the scientists, I see a lot of parallels between what they do and I do. The only difference is they don't end up in the gossip columns. It's a whole different thing. They certainly have their awards, but they don't get that press like a movie star does. Maybe they discover something, and you read a little blurb in the paper, but there's no glamor to it. The thinking behind this is to bring the two together. My involvement is personal. One of my best friends just went through a situation. My father died of cancer. I don't think there's anybody out there who isn't touched right now. I'm sure you know somebody, either a friend or relative, who's affected by it. It's very rare to find someone who isn't, and the numbers are growing. The work that these guys are doing is so important. When I was approached to do it, I was like, "You tell me when and where. I'll be there". What's the question? This is too big and important not to do.
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