Joe began as a young boy with the YTT Tiny tots and then after a guest appearance on the much-loved show with host Johnny Young, he became a regular and made his national television debut in the early 80s. Joe became a heartthrob to many and skyrocketed to national fame, gracing our screens every Saturday night, on the iconic Australian variety show, starring alongside the likes of Danni Minogue and Tina Arena.
Through the first half of the Eighties, Joe captured our hearts with his superb singing, dancing, and acting talents, making him one of the most popular names to have appeared on the show and in turn cementing himself as a household name across the nation.
After completing his priceless ‘apprenticeship’, Joe embarked on an exciting solo career which included recording his first solo album at the age of 16 with EMI records.
Joe toured Australia extensively appearing on all major television shows, national events, and Royal Command performances, touring the land with American greats such as Phyllis Diller, Neil Sedaka and English Comedian Ronnie Corbet, just to mention a few. Joe’s guest role on Neighbours, landed him a Logie Nomination for best new talent and in 1988 Joe was also bestowed with the honour of Ambassador for Expo alongside John Farnham and Greg Norman.
Joe’s success took him to America where he performed on Television shows, appeared in a movie, recorded music and learnt the precious art of songwriting and producing together with some of America’s finest songwriters and producers.
Always coming back home to his faithful audience in Oz, the Nineties saw Joe play an unforgettable role, portraying Ritchie Valens in the stage show ‘The Buddy Holly Story’, as well as touring Australia starring alongside Nick Giannopolous in the hilarious stage show, ‘Wogarama’. All along Joe consistently maintained his passion for music, writing songs and performing with his band.
In the late Nineties, Joe concentrated on writing and recording music with some of Australia’s best talent. This launched Joe in yet another phase of his life landing him a recording contract with Universal Music in Berlin, Germany where he spent the better part of 10 years learning how to fluently speak several languages, writing, producing, performing, and releasing music, achieving consecutive chart success in Europe.
After several European tours, Joe returned to Australia with his talent, life-changing experiences, stories, youthful effervescence, and enthusiasm ready to give back a little of what he has been so privileged to receive.
What Joe Perrone has been up to since his YTT days?
I have travelled the world performing live, recording, and writing every genre of music with some of the best writers and performers in the industry, appearing on television shows and even appearing in an American movie back in 1985.
A satirical, rock opera version of Phantom of the Opera, called ‘Phantom of the Ritz’ where I played a beloved, young Rock n Roll singer called Johnny, that played regularly at the theatre haunted by the Phantom.
Living in both the USA, Europe and of course my beloved Australia, my life-long experiences have made me who I am today.
These days, I run 2 of my own businesses all under the banner and umbrella name of ‘Owners Choice’.
One deals with Nationwide procurement of all internal finishes for the construction of Multi-Residential Towers, Commercial buildings and Hotels, the other is an Asset manager that Tenders and Negotiates contracts for Owners Corporations/Body Corporates.
What did YTT mean to your life long-term, and do you stay in touch with any of the cast members from that time?
YTT was an incredible learning ground for an entertainer, filled with countless amazing experiences that I will never forget. It carved my craft and paved my way.
Although all of us past team members and crew have gone our separate ways in life and don’t catch up that often, we still maintain an incredible and unbreakable bond of forever family. Whenever we have that special opportunity that brings us together, it’s like no time has passed!
We hear you have been cast to play the lead in an exciting new movie to begin filming early next year. Please tell us about this.
I’m currently in negotiations with the Producers of an upcoming Crime Drama, feature film, planned to hit the cinemas nationwide sometime in 2023/24, where I am humbled to have been asked to play one of the lead roles.
We originally filmed a short film version around 10 years ago, which I thoroughly enjoyed preparing for, transforming into character, and delivering one of my most enjoyable and powerful acting roles to date.
It’s now time for me to take it to another level, which I’m extremely excited about and to hopefully have the chance to reveal to Australian and International audiences, another side of Joe Perrone.
What made you decide to get into acting and is this your first major role?
It has not been a conscious decision to get into acting, it has been the case on my journey through life as an entertainer, when real opportunities present themselves, I evaluate each of them and if they touch a special place within me…I throw myself at them wholeheartedly and always give them 120% of Joe!
What do you enjoy most about acting/performing?
The preparation and evolving into someone I’m not. The challenge of making something memorable and timeless for audiences to enjoy and for me to be able to look back on proudly.
Are you still singing?
I’m currently not singing or performing but just like the opportunity to act in a feature film, I’ve always said…if the right opportunity presents itself…I would love to seriously consider it.
As it stands, I have been teetering with the idea over the past few years, of putting together some very special, ‘up close and personal’ shows with some of my favourite musicians I’m fortunate enough to be able to call, my close friends.
Why has it taken so long for Joe Perrone to return to the screen?
I have been enjoying life from a different perspective. Learning, experiencing, and living!
Every day is like being on screen for me. Whether I’m on stage, in front of the camera, in the studio, running my businesses and dealing with clients and suppliers, I’m always on stage and I’m always mindful of being the truest, most authentic me!
Life is one big screen.
So, with that said…I haven’t really been away from the screen.
How excited are you to play this role? Can you tell us anything about the character you will play yet?
I’m very excited about the role but as with everything I do, it must be right before it goes to print.
Unfortunately, I can’t reveal much about the role yet, but I can tell you that it’s a character I’m going to really enjoy playing and one that I hope to make memorable for the audience.
What else do you like to do in your spare time?
I absolutely love spending as much time as possible with my wife Andrea at our home on the Mornington Peninsula, it’s set on the Bass Strait side of the Peninsula and lined with some of Australia’s most beautiful and unadulterated beaches, it’s beautifully picturesque and most importantly, it’s where we find our serenity and recharge our souls.
Oh yeah…I almost forgot to mention spending each and every day with the love and joy of our lives…our 2-year-old, gorgeous Havanese pup…AJ which combines both Andrea’s and my initials.
Interview by Melinda Sullivan, words by Joe Perrone
Photography by Sam Tabone