Aerosmith co-founder and lead guitarist Joe Perry talks guns and hunting in this exclusive Outdoor Life interview.
As co-founder, principal co-songwriter and lead guitarist of Aerosmith, Joe Perry has driven his band to sales of more than 150 million albums and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Outdoor Life recently caught up with Perry to talk about his other passion—the outdoors.
Outdoor Living: What was your first introduction to guns and hunting?
Joe Perry: I had a BB gun when I was 12, and then got a Crosman pellet gun a few years later. Every day after school, I’d walk our 4 or 5 acres with my dog and hunt till it got dark.
OL: Where was that?
JP: Well, my family owned some land near Hopedale, Mass. Where Foxboro Stadium is now.
OL: Do you still hunt and fish today?
JP: Well, when I turned 17 or 18, I pretty much dropped everything for rock and roll. I didn’t get to do much outdoor-wise cause we were always on the road.
OL: So how did you get back into the outdoors?
JP: I just like to be out in the woods. When I met my wife, I got the chance to start over again and I put my family first. Got a place on Lake Sunapee (New Hampshire) and we’re always looking to get up there. I love being in the woods—it does amazing things for my state of mind and helps me get away from the insanity of rock and roll.
OL: Does Steve Tyler(Aerosmith’s lead singer) like to hunt and fish?
JP: Steve is an outdoor guy, too. He’s into flying and we go shooting together.
OL: Tell us about some of your outdoor experiences.
JP: Well, if we get to North Carolina, for example, we’ll get a guide and go for bass or if we’re in Florida, we’ll just charter a boat and go for anything that bites. It’s exciting if you can get a billfish on the end of your line.
OL: Tell us about your gun collection.
JP: I’ve been collecting for quite a while. Whenever I see a gun that I think that I want, I pick it up. Lately, I’ve been getting into flintlocks.
OL: Do you have any airguns?
JP: I’m a collector of airguns from the ’20s and ’30s and it’s really cool when I can find one that works.
OL: What else do you have?
JP: I own about 40 or 50 handguns in my collection. I just picked up a stagecoach gun, an old Indian rifle and was lucky enough to have found a lever-action .410 and a Walther PPK.
OL: Do you hunt deer?
JP: I do—but I don’t shoot anything that I don’t eat. Hunters are conservationists and their heads are in the right place. I’ve hunted with Ted (Nugent) and he’s just amazing, When it comes to walking around in the woods with Ted, you always learn something.
OL: What’s your best buck?
JP: I’ve not really shot anything too big—a 6-point I guess. But it (deer hunting) really gives you a great opportunity to keep in touch with reality. Meat just doesn’t show up at the supermarket in Saran Wrap.