Vancouver doesn't need no stinkin' Olympics to be one of the greatest cities in the world. At least that's what Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry told me today, in so many words.
"It’s probably one of my favourite cities in the world to go to and to play," said Perry, on the line from his home in Vermont. "I mean we loved it up there, and we still love it up there. And every chance I get, if there’s even six extra hours I can spend there, I do."
Perry was calling to promote his upcoming gig with Motley Crue at GM Place on January 24. His regular band has been on hiatus since singer Steven Tyler injured himself onstage a few months back, so he's put together the latest version of the Joe Perry Project, which will join AC/DC-obsessed boogiemeisters Airbourne in opening for the L.A. sleaze-metal kings.
Perry's love affair with Lotusland started when the group set up shop here to record its comeback album of 1987, Permanent Vacation, which spawned such radio hits as "Rag Doll," "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)", and "Angel". Back then he was pleasantly surprised to find that Vancouver wasn't a barren wasteland of ice and snow.
“The weather is actually a lot milder up there than you would think—a lot milder than we thought, certainly. And we've been everywhere there. I love Granville Island, where they have the shopping and the open market. We rented a boat and went up in the lakes there. And we almost had one of our sons [born] there. I added it up, and we’ve lived there over seven months altogether. I mean it's like home there.
“And it was funny," he added. "My road manager was drivin' me around the last time we were there and I kept tellin’ him 'Turn here, go left there.' He said, 'You know this town better than you know Boston!' "