By Thomas S. Orwat, Jr.
In late 1979, Aerosmith guitar legend Joe Perry left the arena-headlining, multi-platinum record selling quartet, while the band was in the middle of recording their “Night in the Ruts” record.
During his time away, Perry formed a new band called the Joe Perry Project. The Joe Perry Project released three hard-hitting records during that time period: “Let the Music Do The Talking,”(1980) “I’ve Got the Rock & Rolls Again,”(1981) and “Once a Rocker, Always a Rocker”(1983).
In 1982, after the Joe Perry Project was dropped by their record label (Columbia Records), Perry recruited a new lead singer to re-energize the Project. Former Thundertrain vocalist Cowboy Mach Bell was hired and the Joe Perry Project was ready for another round.
Cowboy Mach Bell ended up performing over 200 shows with the Joe Perry Project. Mach co-wrote and recorded the 1983 Joe Perry Project album entitled, “Once a Rocker, Always a Rocker.” Also recording with the Joe Perry Project during this time was Joe Pet-drums, and Danny Hargrove-bass. This version of the Joe Perry Project remained intact until mid-1984, when Perry then decided to disband the Project and rejoin Aerosmith.
In 2019, Cowboy Mach Bell released a very detailed day-by-day journal called, “Once a Rocker, Always a Rocker,” which chronicled his time in the Joe Perry Project. An audio version of this brilliant and entertaining book is also available. For more information, please visit www.oncearocker.com
What follows is an exclusive video interview with Cowboy Mach Bell.