Joe Perry Hadn’t Eaten for Two Days Before His Collapse, Says Alice Cooper

(Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Alice Cooper says Hollywood Vampires guitarist Joe Perry hadn’t eaten for two days prior to his collapse at the band’s July 10 show in Brooklyn.

According to Cooper, Perry was diagnosed as suffering from dehydration and exhaustion. The singer believes the longtime Aerosmith guitarist was unprepared for the hectic pace of the Hollywood Vampire’s tour.

“Aerosmith does two shows a week, but we were on our eighth show in nine days, and I’m used to working like that," Cooper tells Rolling Stone. “I think Joe was not ready for that kind of pace.

“We were doing 25 to 30 songs with no break,” he continues. “You’re in fourth gear, and there’s no 24-hour resting period. I think it just caught up with him. He finally got up there onstage, dehydrated. And I think he was exhausted. He told me the night before he hadn’t eaten in two days.”

Cooper doesn’t explain why Perry stopped eating but says he believes the pace “just finally got to him.”

Following Perry’s collapse, rumors swirled that the guitarist had suffered a heart attack. But Cooper says doctors “checked his heart and said his heart was actually very strong.”

Perry was out of commission for nearly two weeks before rejoining the group on July 22.

In the days following Perry’s collapse, his Aerosmith bandmate Steven Tyler had publicly speculated that the guitarist was suffering from exhaustion. “I think he’s out there and someone’s overbooking him,” Tyler said. “They’re doing like eight or nine shows in a row, or five in a row. I think they’re all a little burnt. I think they may need to look at that. Not young anymore, y’know?”

Perry and Aerosmith are scheduled to begin a South American tour on September 29. The group are also scheduled to play the KAABOO Festival on September 17.

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Christopher Scapelliti

Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World, a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.