AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry and RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE axeman Tom Morello spoke to CNN about the new four-disc set, “Chimes Of Freedom”, which simultaneously celebrates both 50 years of Bob Dylan and 50 years of the human-rights organization Amnesty International. Perry recorded “Man Of Peace” for the compilation, which features over 80 musicians across the generational and musical spectruym who have donated their time to support Amnesty International. The album is dedicated to people worldwide who are unjustly imprisoned or threatened for the peaceful expression of their beliefs. Check out the video report below.
When asked about how he went about the seemingly daunting task of covering a Dylan song, Perry told The Huffington Post, “I did it in the comfort of my home studio. Jack Douglas, who produced some of the earliest recordings that I’ve ever done, was there. And once you make the decision to try it, you’ve just got to go for it. Dylan‘s style of songwriting comes from such a long history of the traditional folk-blues — the songs are basically simple in their construction, so there’s so much room for interpretation in there, by the performer, that the only thing you’re really up against is Bob‘s performance of the song. Because the way he performs his music, it’s so iconic that his versions become the song. So you kind of have to throw that out of your mind, and just see where it goes.”
On the topic of how he selected the song to cover, Perry said, “I figured that everybody would go for the first electric record — with all those great songs that are on there — and I wanted to do something a little more…in my Dylan catalogue, the ‘Infidels’ record is one of my favorites, and on that record, ‘Man Of Peace’ is the one that comes to mind first. I know that this one’s a little more esoteric, so it was like, ‘This is the one I wanna do.’ I didn’t even ask about ‘Rolling Stone’ or ‘Highway 61’ — which would have been great for me with my slide playing, and that’s right up my alley — and then there was ‘Broke Down Engine’, but that’s really not a Bob Dylan song.”