Aerosmith Icon Mourns Tragic News ‘Way Too Soon’

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Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, and Johnny Depp recently played a Hollywood Vampires show in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Perry honored his late friend Johnny Thunders, who died mysteriously in 1991. AZCentral wrote in a review:

A number of the friends they showed on screen while singing “Dead Drunk Friends” (John Lennon chief among them) died of causes wholly unrelated to their drinking habits while Ringo Starr still walks among us despite all the drinking he did in his days as a Hollywood Vampire.

But the tributes were frequently touching. Perry’s heartfelt salute to “a really good friend of mine who died a long time ago, way too soon,” New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders, on a song we learned was one of Perry’s all-time favorites, “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory,” was a highlight.

So was a really nice version of “Heroes,” sung by Depp, while David Bowie’s image filled the screen.

When it comes to covering a wide array of legendary acts, it helps that the principal Vampires have assembled a stellar assortment of players to round out the lineup – two members of Cooper’s touring band (guitarist Tommy Henriksen, drummer Glenn Sobel), Aerosmith keyboardist Buck Johnson (who sounded awesome on those Doors song) and Ace Frehley bassist Chris Wyse.

Wikipedia report, “Rumors surround Thunders’ death at the St. Peter House in New Orleans, Louisiana on April 23, 1991. He apparently died of drug-related causes, but it has been speculated that it was the result of foul play. According to his autobiography Lobotomy: Surviving The Ramones, Dee Dee Ramone took a call in New York City the next day from Stevie Klasson, Johnny’s rhythm guitar player. Ramone said, ‘They told me that Johnny had gotten mixed up with some bastards… who ripped him off for his methadone supply. They had given him LSD and then murdered him. He had gotten a pretty large supply of methadone in England, so he could travel and stay away from those creeps – the drug dealers, Thunders imitators, and losers like that.'”

Setlist:
“I Want My Now”
“Raise the Dead”
“As Bad As I Am”
“Five to One” / “Break On Through (to the Other Side)” (The Doors cover)
“The Jack” (AC/DC cover)
“Who’s Laughing Now”
“The Boogieman Surprise”
“You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory” (Johnny Thunders cover)
“My Dead Drunk Friends”
“Baba O’Riley” (The Who cover)
“Sweet Emotion” (Aerosmith cover)
“Heroes” (David Bowie cover)
“Git From Round Me”
“I’m Eighteen” (Alice Cooper cover)
“People Who Died” (The Jim Carroll Band cover)
“The Train Kept A-Rollin'” (Tiny Bradshaw cover)

Encore:
“We Gotta Rise”
“School’s Out” (Alice Cooper cover with snippet of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall”)