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During a recent visit to The View as guest host to promote his starring role in Chicago on Broadway, Billy Ray Cyrus found himself talking shop with rock royalty: Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry were also guests that day.
As Billy Ray tells Country Weekly, he was lounging in his dressing room, plucking away on his guitar, when guitarist Joe Perry peeked in.
“I was playing my guitar because I was going to sing a song. The door started opening up and it was Joe, and he just came in, pulled the door back like it was, so it was just me and him standing there and he goes, ‘I’m left-handed, too,’” says the southpaw Billy Ray. “I said, ‘But you play right-handed.’ He said, ‘I know, I just kind of started doing that, and every now and then I’d switch over to the left hand, but my brain didn’t work on that side for the guitar. I’m left-handed but I play right-handed.’"
Billy Ray says he once tried to play right-handed, but couldn’t quite develop the knack. “I just couldn’t play, and then I heard a voice telling me to buy a left-hand guitar and I did. Talking [with Joe] was the highlight of my whole experience.”
Especially when the pair found out they shared a love of bluegrass.
Billy Ray relates: “He said, ‘Did you ever listen to any Earl Scruggs or Bill Monroe?’ I said, ‘Dude, are you kidding me? I’ve been to so many festivals up there in them mountains listening to Earl Scruggs. I saw them play in a cave one time down in Tennessee!’ It was a wonderful moment. He’s a nice man. Even Steven popped in there at the end of mine and Joe’s special moment and started saying the funniest stuff. He just killed me.”
The country tradition isn’t all that foreign to Aerosmith: Carrie Underwood duets with Steven on their new album, Music From Another Dimension!
Look for more on Billy Ray and his Broadway debut in the Dec. 3 issue of Country Weekly, on stands Nov. 26.