What happens when rock star meets dock star?
It's 9:30 Saturday morning as Carl Roberge sits in his dining room munching on a bagel. Roberge, honored in August as one of WaterSki's 10 greatest skiers of all time, is expecting a fan of his, Aerosmith's lead guitarist Joe Perry.
A few minutes later, Perry, his wife, Billie, and their two sons, Roman and Tony, arrive at Roberge's home just outside Orlando. Perry, fresh off a concert the night before, pulls out his signature edition Gibson Les Paul guitar. He'll trade it for an autographed KD7000 that Roberge has specially designed in tribute to the recent Aerosmith hit “Pink.”
“I got a letter from Carl that said it'd be really cool if we could hook up,” Perry says. “As soon as I knew we were coming down here with the tour, I got on the phone, and we started to put this thing together.”
Perry, 46, grew up water skiing in New Hampshire. When his involvement with Aerosmith became more intense, the skiing days were put on hold. Then, three years ago, he bought a home on the same New Hampshire lake where he grew up, bought a Supra ski boat and took to the water again.
“My roots are there,” says Perry. “That's where I met Steven (Tyler). And it's where I started skiing again.”
During his lesson with Roberge, Perry shows barely a hint of cobwebs, taking eight passes through the slalom course with his best five at 15-off. Perry says his kids are into wakeboarding, but Dad still prefers to use his toys in the attic on the slalom course.
“I've (wakeboarded) a couple of times,” he says. “It's fun. But if I have some time on the water, it's going to be on a slalom ski.” Most likely a new pink one. – Brett Becker