Watch Joe Perry tackle Beck's Bolero in tribute to Jeff Beck

Joe Perry performs with the Joe Perry Project at Webster Hall in New York City on April 18, 2023
(Image credit: From The Archives/YouTube)

Last month, Aerosmith electric guitar hero Joe Perry embarked on a brief run of American live dates with his solo band, The Joe Perry Project.

The band's setlists for the tour were generally a blend of Aerosmith and Perry solo tunes, with a particularly special cover thrown in, as well.

At each of the dates, Perry – with a custom Telecaster equipped with both a whammy bar and a sweet-lookin' reverse headstock – tackled Beck's Bolero, the pioneering, guitar-heavy instrumental that served as Jeff Beck's first solo recording.

You can see fan-shot footage of Perry running through the formative tune with his band at New York's Webster Hall on April 18 below.

All too aware of the status and power of the original – indeed, Beck's Bolero still stands as one of the most influential guitar instrumentals ever recorded – Perry plays things straight and faithful in his version, following the path Beck laid down in his recording more than 55 years ago. 

Even still, it's a passionate cover – you can hear and see in how the Aerosmith legend attacks the (very physical) piece how much Beck meant to him. 

In an interview with Total Guitar earlier this year, Perry recalled how Beck could make even seasoned, A-list guitar heroes like himself and Jimmy Page feel like awestruck kids with his live performances.

"I remember sitting in the audience [at the Classic Rock Awards in Tokyo] during the soundcheck when Jeff came out. I was sitting there with Jimmy Page, just the two of us, like two kids elbowing each other every time Jeff would play something," Perry said

"I don’t know why he bothers playing his slide because he can duplicate that with his vibrato arm. He’ll test his amp just to make sure it’s working and it’s like, ‘I never heard that before!’ 

"That’s the thing about Jeff," he continued, "he’s on this journey and always has been, discovering new stuff. That’s the genius. That’s why there’s all of us other guitar players and then there’s him. Every time you see him he’s doing something different. That’s the thing that inspires me the most about Jeff."

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.