Perry: Rock’s not dead - but it’s end of an era

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Joe Perry has responded to friend Gene Simmons' claim that rock is dead with a two-way answer.

The Aerosmith guitarist, who last night won the Maestro Award at the Classic Rock Roll Of Honour in Los Angeles, doesn’t accept the Kiss star’s claim that the genre is finished – but says there’s a more general point to be made.

Perry tells Larry King: “I think we’re seeing the end of an era, the whole MTV era when the record companies had so much power. It wasn’t unusual for somebody to put out a single, sell a couple of million and sell out arenas. That type of rock’n’roll was king.

“The way people receive music has changed a lot of things,” he continues, saying he discovers more new music via TV than from any other medium. “But I don’t think the excitement of music, and the excitement fans feel at a live performance, has gone away.”

And he suggests that he and many musicians like him may be the wrong people to ask for solutions. “I could never figure it out,” he admits. “There are guys who make a career out of trying to figure out what’s coming next. Just when you think everything’s divas, boy bands, hip-hop or whatever, suddenly someone puts out a rock ’n’ roll hit and rock ’n’ roll’s back.”

He adds: “There’s always a chance for that to happen.”

Perry recently said that, given the opportunity, he’d warn his younger self about retaining more control over his career – and said of bandmate Steven Tyler: “Even when I first met him I knew he was going to be a handful.”

Alter Bridge and Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti earlier this week slammed Simmons’ claim as “selfish” after others including Rob Halford, Dee Snider and Scott Ian had their say.