Trump Hung Out With Aerosmith’s Joe Perry Instead of Prepping for His First GOP Debate

  • Trump's team traded stories with guitarist Joe Perry in Cleveland in 2015 before a debate.
  • Trump's offhand quip about womanizing annoyed Perry.
  • Steven Tyler was Trump's guest at the debate, but later barred him from using Aerosmith music.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Donald Trump insulted Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry an hour before the first GOP presidential debate in 2015, ruining the unconventional love fest with a skeevy remark about casual sex. 

The unexpected meeting ended on a sour note, according to Insider's exhaustive oral history of Trump's takeover of the Republican party, after the self-styled “playboy” glorified groupie culture. 

“On the way out the door, Trump says something about, ‘Rock stars have all the ladies,' which apparently Perry got mad at, because he's been married for decades and takes all that stuff pretty seriously,” Trump's then-general counsel Donald McGahn told Insider about things going sideways minutes before Trump's first rhetorical slugfest with the other Republicans vying for the presidency.

Read more: The definitive oral history of how Trump took over the GOP, as told to us by Cruz, Rubio, and 20 more insiders

The twice-married Perry had been with his second wife Billie Paulette Montgomery for 30 years at that point. They're still together.

Perry could have avoided the aggravation — were it not for the constant one-upmanship with bandmate and “Toxic Twin” Steven Tyler. 

The legendary band was already in town to play the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival in neighboring Canton, Ohio. Tyler, according to reports, had scored tickets to attend the GOP debate as Trump's guest.

Not wanting to be upstaged by his bandmate likely led to Perry pitching the last-minute meet-and-greet to McGahn, who relayed the offer to then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski as the team was touching down in Cleveland. 

“So we sat there with Aerosmith about an hour before the debate, swapping stories of Aerosmith as opposed to doing debate prep,” Lewandowski said of the surreal soirée.  

Aerosmith did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment about the ill-fated hang.

The awkward get-together didn't even benefit Trump's campaign playlist. 

Tyler has repeatedly warned Trump about blasting Aerosmith songs at his political rallies, peppering the campaign with multiple cease and desist letters in 2015 and 2018. 

To read the full Trump oral history story click here.

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