After saving his money from a variety of odd jobs, Joe bought, with a little help from his parents, his first electric guitar a few years later – a Guild Starfire IV – and eventually formed the bluesy The Jam Band with bassist Tom Hamilton. Along the way, they recruited Steven Tyler, Brad Whitford and Joey Kramer and released Aerosmith’s self-titled debut in 1973, featuring Dream On and Mama Kin, with Joe inspiring a new generation of guitarists, including James Hetfield, Slash and pretty much anyone who moved to LA in the ‘80s to pursue their rock dreams.
Aerosmith’s incredible success over the past five decades hasn’t dulled his thirst for further fret education and he looks to a variety of music to rouse him to this day.
“I still listen to any kind of music,” he explains. “Jack White is a really inventive guitar player, and there’s electronic music that’s popular now and I’m influenced by a lot of the sounds they make and try to emulate some of those; it’s inspiring.”
So how many guitars does a rock icon have in his possession then? It turns out that his passion for collecting has, at the last count, amassed around 300-400 different models. Although he doesn’t actually know…
“It’s hard to say how many I have,” he ponders. “I’m in the process of unloading some of them because they’re just sitting there; if I can get rid of them, they’ll find their way into somebody’s hands who’ll actually play them. I don’t have the time to get through them all!”