Anthony "Joe" Perry, 1969
Anthony Perry, known to millions as guitarist Joe Perry of the band Aerosmith, is an uncompromising musician who played his way to the heights rock ‘n’ roll. In 1991, Aerosmith signed one of the most lucrative recording contracts in the history of the industry, joining the likes of Michael Jackson and Madonna.
For his creative success, Vermont Academy honors Perry, a 1969 graduate, with the Florence Sabin Distinguished Alumni Award. At school, Perry played guitar in a band called The Surfing Aarjarks, and later he played with The Jam Band from Sunapee, NH.
In 1972, Perry’s mother sent a postcard to Vermont Academy that said, "Joe is a member of a rock group Aerosmith which has been signed by Columbia Records. An album will be released around January 1973 Aerosmith's first single, "Dream On" quickly reached number one on Boston charts and before long, took its place beside the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, etc. After a decade of making records and touring, Aerosmith lost strength.
Perry left the band and formed a group called The Joe Perry Project. However, after only a few years apart, Aerosmith reunited, publicly renouncing drugs and alcohol. They staged one of the most extraordinary comebacks in pop music, and have continued to make music that tops the charts.