December 25, 2008
By Clarence Yu
Aerosmith’s Joe Perry pays homage to his idol Chuck Berry with his own recording of “Run Rudolph Run,” and it’s about time.
According to Aerosmith’s official fan website, AeroForceOne, “Joe has always loved Chuck Berry’s and Keith Richards’ version of this song and has wanted to record it for years now. He also wants to share it with all the fans right here at AF1.”
A diverse list of artists who have covered the song include Bryan Adams, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Grateful Dead and Billy Idol, a testament to the long lasting recognition of the song first made popular by Chuck Berry in 1958.
Perry is reputed to be an ardent admirer of Berry, and it shows in his previous guitar work on songs like “My Girl” off Aerosmith’s Pump (1990) and the axeman often employs Berry’s trademark double-stop licks on his own guitar solos.
The recording, available for free download at AeroForceOne, follows the tradition of a swinging, rockabilly beat as previously recorded by Keith Richards. Perry’s voice is ice cool in its lack of emotion, and it is obvious that the recording was engineered to sound like a classic ‘50’s rock and roll song: high on the reverb, with a lot of bar chords, heavy on the crash drum cymbal, with bits of piano flourishes.
Perry adds his own mark on the song with his signature buzz sounding solos throughout the song. An accompanying video recorded for the song can be viewed at YouTube.
While the song may only be of interest to die-hard Perry and Aerosmith fans, much can be said about Perry’s gesture of making the song free for download. The legendary guitarist has nothing more to prove, and in making this his gift to his fans, it shows a tender side of Perry that he rarely reveals in the rock arena. It can be viewed then as a simple gift from a human being using his God-given talent. Which is, in essence, part of the true spirit of Christmas. Download it now.