In a brand new interview with Michael Christopher of Vanyaland, AEROSMITH's Joe Perry spoke about the story in the guitarist's new memoir, "Rocks: My Life In And Out Of Aerosmith", when he had to teach METALLICA how to play the blues classic "Train Kept A-Rollin'" at the 2009 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame jam because they didn't know it.
Asked why he thinks it's so important for musicians to know the history of music and why so many artists seem ignorant of it or simply not interested in learning about it, Perry replied: "I think from just being fascinated by the thrill of music and especially pop music, I mean we're not talking about classical music — that's another whole world — but as far as pop music and the music we are talking about I think at least from the point of view from understanding what it is about music that makes you feel that way. And 99 percent of people who listen to music don't know and don't care, and frankly, it's not their job to care. Their job is to enjoy it and have fun with it or listen to it to give you a lift or to mellow you out or whatever you want that's what it's for. 'Any old way you use it,' like Chuck Berry said.
"I don't think it's a prerequisite that you have to go back and study the way popular music evolved from the interior of Africa to the coast of Africa through England and the islands down in the Caribbean and then to the Delta. I don't think that parts important unless you're just interested in it. I think the elements that make up that feeling that you get that's important.
"METALLICA has made great music and a great name for themselves. Their sound is original they deserve to be in the Hall Of Fame. The story wasn't meant to be a put down and I hope it doesn't come across that way, it's not how I meant it. It's more of an observation that every generation seems to get away from the original stuff and it's also that each generation is going to have to find their inspirations. They're going to hear something and they're going to go, 'I like that or I don't like that.' It may be the type of thing where you're not hearing something and you know you can do it better. I know that is part of what I was feeling. I was thinking, 'Well I can do that. I can get on stage and do that or I'm missing something when I see this band or that band. We can put another twist on it or we can try this or try that and then add a little bit of our own originality to it.'
"I don't think you have to read Delta Blues 101 to make good music, but I think we're seeing the end of an era where we're seeing so many of the originals pass away over the last 10 to 15 years; we've lost so many originals. Thankfully a lot of it has been preserved. I wish they would've had iPhones and video recorders back in Robert Johnson's day. At least they got those recordings."