Trump team’s pre-debate prep included a ‘party’ with Aerosmith. The hard rockers still threatened to sue later.

Aerosmith's Steven Tyler at the GOP presidential debate in Cleveland in August, 2015.
The Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler in the audience during the first official Republican presidential debate of the 2016 campaigns in Cleveland on August 6, 2015. Brian Snyder/Reuters
  • Donald Trump’s team traded stories with the guitarist Joe Perry in Cleveland before a 2015 debate.
  • Trump was said to have made an offhand quip about womanizing that 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 the 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,” Donald McGahn, who was Trump’s general counsel at the time, 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 his 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 most likely led to Perry pitching the last-minute meet and greet to McGahn, who relayed the offer to Corey Lewandowski, then Trump’s campaign manager, 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.

Here’s the full Trump oral-history story.