Joe Perry collapsed during a performance in Coney Island on Sunday night, and the Aerosmith guitarist was reportedly rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
The situation appeared dire at first, but a new update from bandmate Alice Cooper has given the news a more positive spin, with Perry reportedly improving to stable condition.
The 65-year-old guitarist was performing with the group Hollywood Vampires, a side project that includes actor Johnny Depp and legendary rocker Alice Cooper, when he reportedly collapsed on stage. A video posted to Instagram (and shared on Pix 11) showed Perry stumbling off the stage and several staff members rushing to his aid.
The Hollywood Reporter noted that a firefighter performed CPR on Perry backstage, helping to stabilize the guitarist. From there he was taken to a nearby hospital and admitted to the emergency room.
The report added that Alice Cooper explained to fans that Perry had been feeling ill.
“If you notice one of our brothers is not onstage with us, he was very sick before the show,” Cooper told the audience after Perry left the stage.
Though Joe Perry is best known for his work with Aerosmith, his new gig had been gaining plenty of attention. Hollywood Vampires released its debut album last fall and is known for playing songs from dead rock stars.
Alice Cooper said he had a kinship with many of the musicians the band now covers, telling WBUR that Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin “were our big brothers and sisters that basically taught us how to drink.” But Cooper added that he eventually had to take a step back from the hard-partying lifestyle when a doctor warned that he would only have a few months left at the rate he was going.
Joe Perry has also been reflecting on his time in rock and roll, including writing a 2014 memoir called Rocks: My Life in and out of Aerosmith. Perry has talked about his own rise to fame and the changing nature of both rock and roll and the music industry itself, telling Bam Magazine, via AXS, the following.
“When we started, being in a rock band was one step away from being an outlaw. No one ever said, ‘Oh good, you’re playing in a rock band. How wonderful!’ But music was so important to the fans, that was our marching music to the revolution. Then to see it growing from that to being the industry that it was in ‘the golden years,’ as I call them — the ’80s and ’90s. And then it started to slow down a little. But I think that that era of rock bands playing to sold-out arenas and selling millions of records in a pop — yeah, that part of it is dead. I think there are still rock and roll fans. And every time we do a tour, there’s a brand-new batch of kids interested in seeing a band that plays all those songs that they grew up listening to.”
The Aerosmith guitarist’s latest group, Hollywood Vampires, is seen as a testament to the staying power both Cooper and Perry himself, who has kept a full slate of performing even into his mid-60s.
News of Joe Perry’s collapse sent many fans to the internet in an attempt to find updates on his health. Many shared thoughts and prayers on Twitter.
Many also shared relief at the news that Joe Perry didn’t appear to be in any immediate danger, as the initial reports had suggested.
Joe Perry remains in Coney Island Hospital on Sunday evening. Though some initial reports suggest that he suffered cardiac arrest, there is not yet word on exactly what caused him to collapse.
[Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP]