Joe Perry becomes our latest rock guitar great to headline in the series, as he turns 67 today. While he has done some recording as a solo artist and with the Joe Perry Project, he is best known for his work as a member of Aerosmith; except for a hiatus of about 5 years, he has been their lead guitarist, and Steven Tyler’s frequent songwriting partner, since the band’s founding. Aerosmith are one of the best-selling hard rock bands of all time, possibly the top sellers of all, depending on where you draw the line between “hard rock” and “not hard rock.”
Aerosmith came into existence in 1970 when Steven Tyler and his band at the time played at the same venue as Jam Band, which included Perry, drummer Joey Kramer, and bassist Tom Hamilton. The four decided to merge into a new band, and after about a year were joined by rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford in Aerosmith’s classic, and current, lineup. They had great commercial success in the seventies, went through some tough times during which Perry and Whitford temporarily left the band, and then reunited in 1984 to enjoy more success, receiving their first Grammy nomination in 1990 for a song written by Perry and Tyler.
Colin Firth turns 56 today. In the late 1980s he was identified as part of a loosely-defined “Brit Pack” of young British actors starting to become known; others included Daniel Day-Lewis, Gary Oldman, and Tim Roth. His first big role didn’t come until 1995, when he played Mr. Darcy in a BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Supporting roles in a pair of Best Picture winning films, The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love, raised his profile, but he really emerged in 2001, playing another character with the last name Darcy: