Aerosmith Stole From Jeff Beck Before Death

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Can you believe it? A manager (roadie) stealing from another performer. According to a recent account this happens within the music industry – and those who were perhaps involved or privy to being that proverbial fly-on-the-wall are now telling all. Jeff Beck sadly passed away a few months ago. Since then stories are circulating concerning ins-and-outs of his life. Here is another. Joe Perry says Aerosmith’s manager stole one of his pedals.

As per Ultimate Guitar, Joe Perry said he was “really pissed off” when Aerosmith’s manager once stole a pedal from Jeff Beck to give to the band, and recalled how he eventually got to compensate the late guitar hero for his stolen gear.

As the guitarist explains in a new interview with Total Guitar, the incident occurred very early in Aerosmith’s career when the band still wasn’t exactly swimming in money.

Unlike the Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones who stole a vanload of David Bowie’s gear in his pre-fame days without as much as blinking, Joe Perry didn’t approve of his manager’s action, even though he admits that the manager in question was a “great guy” and probably thought he was doing something good for the team.

And while Aerosmith and Jeff Beck actually toured together on a few occasions, the incident happened during one of Beck’s shows where Joe Perry & Co. had a backstage pass:

“When we were just starting to make it in Aerosmith, our manager had been one of the big promoters in Boston and so we were able to get tickets and backstage passes to a Jeff Beck show. We had a road manager who was a great guy, but he just looked at the world a little different.

“Backstage, I didn’t talk to Jeff then but he was using an orange Colorsound [fuzz pedal]. We’re driving home and our road manager pulls this orange Colorsound out of his jacket. He said, ‘Well, he had six of them so I just picked it up for you!’

“I got really pissed off. I said, ‘No, we don’t do that! That is not us.’ But we were still pretty hand to mouth, and back then getting equipment going back and forth across the pond was a big deal. What was I gonna do – ship it to him?”

Eventually, the pedal suffered the same fate in Joe Perry’s hands as it did in Jeff Beck’s:

“I had it for about three weeks and then it got stolen from me. I was actually kind of happy to see it go. I always felt bad about it.”

Many years later, the whole thing was still gnawing at the back of Joe Perry’s mind, who then decided to gift one of his very first Klon Centaur pedals to Jeff Beck as compensation:

“Later on, me and Brad [Whitford, Aerosmith’s rhythm guitarist] were some of the first guys to get some Klon Centaur pedals. We each had three or four of them. They’re pretty amazing, and still today they’re kind of the ’59 Les Paul of pedals.

“I took one of my original ones and after the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame soundcheck [for Beck’s all-star induction performance in 2009] I told Jeff the story and said, ‘I just want to adjust the karma here, so I want you to have this.’ I think he was pretty surprised to get it and I was really happy to give it to him. I’ve given him a few presents over the years, just to let him know I’m listening.”

Joe Perry was among the many rock legends who paid homage to Jeff Beck after the guitar hero’s passing in January. The Aerosmith guitarist wrote on his Instagram:

“Jeff Beck was the Salvador Dali of guitar, to see him play was to hear the ultimate 6-string alchemist create magic in a world of its own. With his passing, the world is a poorer place.”
Thievery is never a good thing – and those who already have money. Come on. Keep your hands to yourselves.