“JOE’S FUNKY” from riff idea to a full-band rocking demo from Joe’s mind! Unveiling the Origins: The Lost 1987 Sessions

“Joe’s Funky” is a track based on riffs contributed by Joe Perry during the 1987 sessions for Permanent Vacation. The demo initially leaked in the mid-1990s via the Permanent Outtakes and Love Me Like a Birddog bootlegs. These releases featured two versions: “Funky Thing,” an early full band rehearsal of the track arrangement with Brad providing a guitar solo, and “Joe’s Funky,” a more polished version with bolder and more dynamic vocal melodies. The minimal lyrics present in the song include scattered phrases about being on your knees, what you get is what you please, sex jokes (tities, ass, surprise, lies), and other provocative lines including: “I don’t care who’s on your door, I can’t tell you fuck you now; looking into your eyes”.

In 2003, a “new” tape surfaced as a bootleg in Japan. The tape appeared to contain leftover material from the two previous bootlegs that had leaked in the mid-1990s. However, the majority of this recording was an early pre-production session, allegedly recorded on March 1, 1987, in which the tape was simply left rolling. The recording captures the very first attempt to develop the riff into a cohesive idea during an initial pre-production session with Steven on the keyboard and Joe on guitar jamming together. Steven uses his keyboard to simulate drums while Joe experiments with various versions of the riff.

As the session progresses, Steven switches to a different keyboard sound and attempts to incorporate alternative chords as an intro to the song, along with a potential vocal melody. Toward the end of this recording, an intriguing dialogue can be heard in which a frustrated Tyler expresses his desire to continue working on the track.

Steven: if, what ever you’re running of for Tim, why can’t you be running of in fast speed, and do it in 10 minutes?
Joe: It’s not like that
Steven: what is what, what does he want?
Joe: he wants everything.
Steven: he’s got a tape of everything.
Joe: well…

March 1, 1987

Later in the recording, Joe can be heard conversing, possibly with a sound engineer, about a recent policy change as he plays riffs that would eventually be used in “Hangman Jury” and “Dulcimer Stomp.” The chords that Steven experiments with can be referred to as “Steven’s Song,” as he clearly attempts to connect his chord ideas to Joe’s riff. The KORG keyboard produces sounds typical of that era, and Steven can be heard scatting random sounds and snippets of lyrics.

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