“CLIMBING THE WALL” and the other early 1985 pre-production ideas Joe Perry recorded

Early in 1985, as the band started to get in the mindset of pre-production for the new album that would end up being “Done with Mirrors”, Joe Perry recorded a few basic riff ideas he had for songs in a simple setup (perhaps not even a studio; this is before the Boneyard existed).

Side A of the tape contained two long versions of the acoustic riff for “She is on Fire“.

The first iteration runs for 5 minutes, and the second for almost 8. They both start with an early digital drum loop to keep the tempo, and Joe joins adding his acoustic guitar slightly too loud for the mix. The riffs follow very much in the same structure as the final song. Clearly a demo that Steven took an wrote lyrics to. If feels good as a simple instrumental.

Side B was very likely recorded on January 11, 1985, and it is 5 minutes of Joe recording additional riff ideas with at the studio with a single microphone as he listens back at the “She is on Fire” track he recorded recently. Its an Ambiental recording and the microphone is picking up the background music and Joe new riffs, resulting in a cacophony of notes, but two song ideas are clearly differentiated.

Climbing the Wall” is an unusual happy sounding riff Joe plays on the D, G and B strings of the guitar, following the F, A# and C chords during the intro. After a few passes Joe can be heard mumbling the words “Climbing the Wall” or “Climbing down the Walls” as he tries on different chord combinations for what could be a chorus to the song between the chords of F, C, G and D. Funnily enough, this riff’s tempo could very be fit to be played along today’s popular reggaeton drum beat.

Another song idea if played 3 minutes into the recording as Joe paused the tape and keeps going. It’s the trial of a descending riff of 5ths going C, A#, A, D, C, A#, F, D#, C, C#, C# over and over as he makes mistakes trying different variations and ways to play the same sequence.

The B side riff were so hard to hear that probably Joe forgot about them and Steven never even considered them. Yet, they were really early ideas, not even fully developed sections for songs.

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