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 News Archive: Aerosmith




In The Beginning ...


The band remembers the early days, when Joe Perry worked the deep fryer and the parties never stopped ...


Making The Music


The guys talk about the songwriting process, and share memories of writing "Walk This Way," "Janie's Got a Gun" and other classic tracks ...


The Drug Years


The group battles drug addiction and alcoholism ...


Brotherly Love


How the days of furniture-throwing and awkward moments between Joe and Tom's wives have turned into one big lovefest ...


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In The Beginning ...

Steven Tyler: When I met Joe Perry I was in this band called the Chain Reaction. We were a cover band, we had "Wooly Bully" down, we were playing at a place called the Barn. We went and ate at this restaurant, the Anchorage, and I'd order my French fries with my cheeseburger and I'd smoke a nice Marlboro along with that. And the French fries were brilliant, they were great. They were crispy, delicious, thick. I asked, "Who made these?" Well, this guy in the back. I said, "Can I meet him? Bring him out." They didn't. So I went back. And there he was. Joe Perry. Short hair — well, kind of long for the time, but not like I liked it — black horn-rimmed glasses with tape (mouths "with tape" again).

"Horn-rimmed glasses with tape..."
Three years later, I was mowing the lawn, I get down toward the bottom, and this MG pulls up. And it's Joe Perry. That same guy, with hair down to here. (motions to his waist). Like the Pretty Things. Horn-rimmed glasses, just hair waving in the car. "Yo dude!" I said. "Hey man, what are you doing?" "Oh, I'm in this band, I'm playing over at the club," he said. I said, "Wow, great, maybe I'll come see you tonight." He goes, "Yeah, come."

[Later at the show] I thought, if I can get my melodic sensibility in with this f--- all, this music that is just pure feeling, we'll have something. Thirty years later we got Aerosmith.


Joe Perry: Steven Tyler was kind of the local hero because he had the song on the jukebox at the hamburger place where I worked. And Tom [Hamilton] and I heard about him and he'd come up every summer with his band and play.

I remember them coming into the place where we worked ... it was kind of a soda fountain hamburger place, a summer kind of place. I used to do everything from sweep the floor to scrub the grill to make the fried clams and French fries. So I was working out back and they came in one day, him and his band. I guess that's how you were supposed to act when you had a rock band — dress like you came from Greenwich Village and be kind of loud. He's three years older than me, and when you're 16 or 17, that's a big difference, especially when he'd been in the recording studio and his band sounded great. His reputation preceded him. So when he came in he was clowning around, I remember they were sitting at a table down at the other end of the place and throwing food. I had to clean it up when they left.

Tom Hamilton: We used to play at the Barn. And the Barn was the Holy Grail. If you were in a band then, you wanted to play the Barn. It was the place where supposedly a lot of really bad things went on that your mother wouldn't want you to do. So of course we wanted to be there. And Joe and I had a band with a friend of ours named Pudge. Steven was a summer kid. He was from New York. He was in bands that were unbelievable. We used to sneak in to see them play at places that would just be so sold out, there wasn't a chance of getting a ticket. And they did their own songs, they did cover songs ... they covered Beatles and Stones songs and Yardbirds songs, and did them probably better than the original band. So here was this guy that everyone just assumed was going to be a monster someday. And in the meantime, Joe and I were listening to the Who, Ten Years After, Beatles, Stones, Yardbirds, Cream, Hendrix — just our total guitar heroes. And we would get up onstage and try to be that. As far as harmonic theory, and whether the notes were right, we weren't that worried about it. We were just worried about playing loud and fast.


NEXT: Tyler's mom says his big lips are 'all the better to kiss the girls with'; the young band parties 24-7 ...
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Photo: Chris Smith

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