On this date in history, 2/1/1983, I went to my first “age 21 and over” club show. The concert featured The Joe Perry Project and it was at the sensational Vogue nightclub in Broad Ripple. Joe had just recently left Aerosmith and I had his first album with the new band. It was loaded with Joe’s fierce playing and I was stoked to get this opportunity to see him up close and personal. My friends and I stood out in the cold Indiana winter, waiting to go in and get our faces melted. I remember we were all talking with some random people as we waited and someone asked us where we came from. When we replied Kokomo, they wondered aloud why we would travel all that way to see Joe Perry. I thought to myself, “Because he’s Joe Fucking Perry, you idiot!” but kept discrete and simply replied, “Have you ever BEEN to Kokomo?” That got a laugh out of my friends, at least. The show was everything I had hoped for…intimate, loud, energetic and passionate…all the ingredients I crave in my rock ‘n’ roll. This was in the time before moshing came along, but there was a guy who kept kind of slamming into me on the general admission floor. Eventually, a big security guard came along and removed the annoying guy and came back and asked me if I knew him. I had never seen him before and the guard told me the guy had a knife in his hand and was planning to stick me with it! True story! It wasn’t my time to go, because I had to witness Joe Perry do what he does best…deliver attitude drenched rock at a dangerously loud level. Near the end of the set, Joe started playing the unmistakable opening chords to “Dream On.” Of course, the crowd went nuts, but Joe just stood there with that famous Joe Perry sneer and casually asked us, “Do you wanna hear some more?” Thunderous applause was his answer. Instead of performing Aerosmith’s signature song, Joe said something to the effect of, “I don’t play that shit anymore” and launched into a scalding riff of one of his originals, standing defiantly in resistance to his past and facing a future of uncertainty on his own merits. We all know he eventually found his way back to the mothership, but I had to give him credit for walking away and taking that chance. There are many who play better, but I can’t think of anyone who looks more cool with a guitar slung over his back than Joe! Thanks for making my first club show one that would make me want to keep coming back for more…I see no end in sight!
Written By Braddon S.Williams aka “The Concert Critic”