Aerosmith's Joe Perry Says 'Merry Christmas' with New EP

Just in time for the holidays, Joe Perry has released his recordings of four Christmas classics. Joe Perry’s Merry Christmas features “White Christmas,” “Silent Night,” “Santa Claus Is Back in Town” and “Run Run Rudolph” with Johnny Depp on rhythm guitar.

The EP is available now at Unison and on iTunes.

The release follows on the heels of Perry’s autobiography, Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith, published this past October.

“I have wanted to do a Christmas CD with Aerosmith for years, but it seems we never have the time to record one,” Perry says. “When my Rocks book tour ended, the timing was right—we were in L.A. with access to a studio with some really talented friends, and it all fell together. I was finally able to record some Christmas classics for the fans.”

Two of the songs—”Silent Night” and “White Christmas”—are treated as instrumentals, while the others feature vocals.

“The two instrumentals are among the 10 most popular Christmas songs,” Perry explains. “Almost everyone knows the lyrics to ‘Silent Night’ and ‘White Christmas,’ so we treated them as songs that people could sing along to, while staying close to the classic versions everyone knows. The two vocal songs, ‘Santa’s Back in Town’ and ‘Run Run Rudolph,’ are rockers made famous by Elvis and Chuck Berry. They are probably less well known, so you would have to hear the lyrics to know they are Christmas songs. They are two of my favorite holiday songs.”

Though Aerosmith’s rock and roll adventures tend to make for better press, Perry says one of his favorite times with the band occurred around the 1984 holidays, shortly after the band’s reunion. “There was a time after Aerosmith got back together when we were doing almost yearly New Year’s Eve shows,” he says. “One of my favorite ones was at the Orpheum right before the New Year rang in—we dragged living room furniture onto the stage and brought our wives out and celebrated with our fans.”

This isn’t the first time Perry’s made a foray into holiday tunes. He previously contributed a cover of “Blue Christmas” to the 1996 album Merry Axemas: A Guitar Christmas. Here’s a listen to help you get into the holiday spirit.

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Christopher Scapelliti

Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), 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.