Joe Perry recalled how he and his bandmate Steven Tyler established their “writing paradigm” in the band’s early days.
He used the example of the 1974 song “S.O.S. (Too bad)” to tell Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show about the couple’s creative process.
“Steven and I shared an apartment for most of a year,” Perry said. “Our basic paradigm for writing is him playing drums and me playing guitar. He’s a really inventive drummer – that’s why his singing is so percussive. It takes him that extra length of time to write lyrics because he likes to use words that sound almost like a percussive kinda thing. He would play the drums and I’d play guitar, and he’d throw some weird backbeat in there, and I’d find a note to go with it, and we’d play back and forth like that.”
Joe Perry continued:
“We’d have a cassette player running and he would start singing along. That’s how that song [“S.O.S”] came together. We were set up in the living room with a little drum kit and a little amp, and definitely the melody and the flow for the song came out of that, that afternoon.”