would have known 30 years ago that a band that started out being considered
as just another Rolling Stone or Yardbirds rip-off would span three decades
and still be rocking harder and stronger than they did then? In fact,
Aerosmith knows how to do nothing else. They are in that elite club
of musicians who have stayed intact and remained on their game through
changing musical climates, marriages, divorces, drugs, alcohol and solo
projects. But where did it all begin?
In the summer of
1970, Jam Band members Tom Hamilton on bass and Joe Perry on guitar joined
forces with vocalist Steven Tyler in Sunapee, NH. Joey Kramer was
recruited on drums (Steven actually started as a drummer) and Brad Whitford
rounded out the Aerosmith line-up. Later that year, the band moved
to Boston, MA, where they began to quickly pick up a following and attracted
the attention of local promoter Frank Connelly, who briefly managed them.
By 1973 they had
already recorded their self titled
album and were touring constantly to build a following in clubs and colleges.
But the club circuit didn't hold them long. With continuous productivity
in the studio and opening slots on major concert tours to support their
next album "Get Your Wings," they were well on the road to super stardom.
In 1975 "Toys In
The Attic" was released. This was, and still is their biggest selling
album and made them a top concert attraction, going platinum in months
and staying on the charts for two years. After "Toys" the group had
big expectations to meet. Their answer to the anticipation was perhaps
one of their most
sophisticated efforts in 1976, "Rocks," which was considered a classic
American rock album. At this point, platinum was becoming a familiar
precious metal to the band. In 1977, "Draw The Line" went platinum
faster than any previous Aerosmith record.
Taking a stab at
something new, the band made their movie debut in 1978 in "Sgt. Pepper's
Lonely Hearts Club Band" by appearing as the F.V.B., "Future Villain Band."
They also released their platinum album, "Live! Bootleg," which featured
nightclub cover tunes and stadium renditions of new material.
The year 1979 saw
many changes for the band. They
slowed their touring pace, switched producers and Joe Perry left the band
for a solo career in The Joe Perry Project. This left the band with
a large gap that was filled, temporarily, by Jimmy Crespo. In these
darker times for the band, guitarist Brad Whitford also struck out on his
own in 1981 and was replaced by Rick Dufay. To make matters worse,
Steven Tyler was involved in a serious motorbike accident that kept him
sidelined for a while.
It wasn't until
1984 that the band began to work with renowned A&R man John Kalodner
and things starting looking up again. On Valentines Day of that year,
Joe Perry and Brad Whitford visited their old bandmates after an Aerosmith
show at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston. In April the announcement
was made that the
original Aerosmith line-up would reunite for the "Back In The Saddle Tour."
Through these highs and lows, the excess and the substance abuse, one thing
could not be broken. The undeniable chemistry that is and has always
been present in the band. Note that I said "chemistry," not chemicals,
which was another infamous claim the band could make, with Steven Tyler
and Joe Perry being named the "Toxic Twins" for their ability to ingest
copious amounts of controlled substances.
After becoming clean
and sober, the band went on to accomplish a collaboration with Run DMC
which introduced them to an entirely new generation of fans. They
went on to record eight more studio albums along the way to a 30 year career
that has seen them reach many pinnacles. Did you know that Aerosmith
became the first major-label act to release a song for download on the
Internet? The previously unreleased "Head First" was available through
CompuServe and took an hour to download.
gold/platinum records and the inborn gift to rock built a stairway to the
band's eventual triumphant entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in
2001. When looking back on the 30 years of doing what
they love, they still had a hard time believing they were there.
Their live shows to this day are a rock spectacle that is bigger and better
than in years past. No longer wearing the chains of their past addictions,
they are free to create the type of rock that fills stadiums and makes
your blood rush through your veins. The high energy shows are peppered
with new songs from their latest CD, "Just Push Play," but the biggest
rise from the sold out audiences can be seen when they invite you to "Walk
Tyler - Vocals
- Lead Guitar
In 1986, Steve Tyler and Joe Perry forged
an alliance between heavy metal and hip hop when they joined forces with
Run DMC in the remake of the Aerosmith hit "Walk This Way."
It was featured on Run DMC's "Raising Hell," which went double
platinum and the single was a big hit, thanks to a great video. This
turned a whole new generation on to Aerosmith.
"Anything worth doing
is worth overdoing. Like basic black, wretched excess never goes
out of style."Steve Tyler
more information on the band
Photos by Debbie Seagle Copyright
Quest Productions - All Rights Reserved - Debbie Seagle is the Special
Features Editor for the iconoFAN Network.