PEPPY CASTRO talks about his friendship with JOEY KRAMER, writing “TRAMP”, AEROSMITH, BALANCE and upcoming musical

Joey Kramer’s long time friend/songwriter/producer Peppy Castro talked to us, the Aerosmith BackBurner, on 24/09/2020. Peppy talked about his band Balance, his friendship with Joey, how and where the demo for “Tramp” was written, his involvement in an upcoming London musical, and many Aerosmith-related stories. We reached out and interviewed Peppy after Joey mentioned writing with him during his first MasterClass.

Interesting facts shared by Peppy during our conversation included:

  • Peppy has a full version of Tramp where he sings.
  • He singed a version of Tramp during Joey’s 40th birthday changing the lyrics to amuse Joey.
  • In the early 80’s he had a band called “Balance” and had 2 records done with Portrait Records.
  • One of their songs “Breaking Away” got to top 20.
  • “Balance” was Joey’s favourite band at the time, and these were Aerosmith dark times of heavy drug use with not much being done and decline in popularity.
  • “Balance” was managed by Krebs and Leber, whom also managed Aerosmith, so that’s how they meet.
  • When the second “Balance” record came out Joey called Peppy and said “this is the best record I’ve ever heard, I love it and your voice, I wanna be your drummer”.
  • Peppy loved the idea, after a week he agreed but warned that Joey would need to get back together with Aerosmith and he would end up leaving Peppy without a drummer. And that’s what happened after John Kalodner and Tim Collins got them on rehab.
  • Joey and Peppy became good friends, and every time Aerosmith had to do another record, Steven and Joe would leave to write with Desmond Child and Diane Warren, and Tom, Brad and Joey would jam with Peppy at Joey’s house.
  • He ended up getting different song ideas including a big 80’s rocker called “Love Kills a Lonely Heart” (with a Bon Jovi “You give love a bad name” vibe).
  • Joey loved the idea after playing through the track with Peppy. Peppy was glad but told Joey that Steven, Joe, label and management would most likely not allow a Kramer written song into the record.
  • Regardless, Joey took the song to the band in 1988 during the recoding of Pump, Steven loved it and went to write one word for it: “Tramp“.
  • Peppy think it fitted the song perfectly making it an iconic Aerosmith song.
  • The basic track for “Tramp” was first recorded by Peppy and Joey only at Joey’s house in MA.
  • Then Eric Troyer completed the lyrics. Years later Peppy re-wrote the lyrics to be a spoof on Joey during his 40th birthday including lines like “gas is his favourite smell, he loves cars more than anything”.
  • He never did anything with the song.
  • He wrote a few songs with Gene Simmons.
  • He stayed friends with Joey throughout the years and share a love for funk music.
  • He wrote a new song “High Class Funk” for Joey, and he is hoping to get Joey to play on it.
  • Joey gave Peppy a drum set for his jungle recording business. While his studio was being build Joey and Peppy went to a studio called “Hip Poquet” in Manhattan and re-recorded the basic track for “Tramp”.
  • His friend Steve Bondy played guitar on the track and may have a few songwriting credits too.
  • Joey played the demo to Eric Troyer, who offered to write lyrics for.
  • The word “Tramp” is what make the song work according to Peppy.
  • Joey plays in tracks “Who You Gonna Love” and “I’m Never Gonna Know” from his most recent solo album “Only Beginning“. Brad also played an incredible one-take-only solo on “I’m Never Gonna Know”.
  • He’s worked on musicals and won an award for “Rocking the Planet” in Texas 2019.
  • Steve Leber still works with him, and he got him involved as a composer for an upcoming London musical.
  • He likes an Australian cover band called “HSCC”.
“Tramp” as listed on the “B list” in 1988 during the making of Pump

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