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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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Making The Music

Tyler: Joe Perry is one of the greatest riff masters of all time. Even in the old days when he was gacked to the nines and stoned out of his gourd and nodding out, he would still have some kind of a lick. I would come with my father's melodic sensibility in the sense that something had to go there, we needed a melody line. And he would give me a cassette full of all these riffs and I would listen to them and I'd get so stoned, and I would let the music do the talking to me, to tell me what lyrics to sing. And when you find somebody like that that you can write with it's like, "Oh! Pay dirt."

Perry: The first thing we wrote together was "Movin' Out." That incorporated some of our mutual influences. So it really gave us a kind of sound to build on. That's why it didn't stop after that. I remember sitting on the bed in the apartment and going, "This is new and different." I can remember being there that day, sitting there with a guitar, coming up with the stuff ... it was amazing. And then to play it live to an audience and have them react, it was great. It's what it's all about.

"I wrote all the lyrics out on the wall. ..."
Tyler: We worked on [Toys in the Attic] with Jack Douglas, and I arrive at the studio, everyone's gacked out of their gourd and drinking Jack Daniel's, and it's my night for singing. So I go over to get my stuff and I realize I left all the lyrics to the album in the cab. Gone. And there's a song called "Walk This Way." Track was finished, I freaked out. I had my pencil, paper and my cassette with the song. It was eight o'clock at night, everybody had left so I knew no one would hear me so I wouldn't be embarrassed. I put the headphones on, started singing, came up with these great lyrics, realized I left my notebook downstairs, but I had the pencil. So I wrote all the lyrics out on the wall. Right by the exit sign, right by the stairway, I wrote all the lyrics to "Walk This Way." Comes to pass years later that Run-DMC takes it, when hip-hop is brand new, and it becomes the backbone of all that I ever believed in. And it's the backbone of today's music.

Hamilton: "Sweet Emotion" just started from a bass riff. You know, just (singing) bum bum da da da ... the intro. I actually had that in my head when we did the Get Your Wings album. And I showed it to Steven and he was not relating to it much. And then he got onto whatever he was working on, and I kind of shied away. Just kind of saved it. And then the next time it came up was on the following album, Toys in the Attic, and I'd been doing more on it. I'd come up with another part, and written some guitar parts. I remember when I first played it for Steven he went, "No man, it's backwards. Instead of starting there, the one is there." And that threw me off, but then I tried it that way. I got myself to learn it that way, and started to feel the sense of it.

Tyler: For "Janie's Got a Gun," what does a white boy know about a gun? What does he know about Janie? Who is Janie? So in many instances, I had to rely on another personality that was the me that nobody liked. That was the me that would go down to the basement and take a couple pills. And then start getting this buzz in this fantastic place where I'd boldly never gone before. But in that place finding out who Janie was and why she had a gun.

Hamilton: I always thought Steven and Joe were an awesome collaboration. Those guys would go away for a month and come up with riffs and just jam. Steven would play drums, Joe would stand there and play guitar, and they would come up with riffs. There would be a half hour of jamming, and all of a sudden Steven would say "Stop! Stop! Stop! What did you just play?" "I don't know, just a riff." "No no! What was it?" And most of the time we can remember what it was and develop it. Jam on it, play it over and over, until it threw off another idea.

"We all used to write together. ..."
Whitford: We all used to write together. That's part of what made it feel like a band. We don't write together anymore. I don't know why I don't write with them. You would really have to ask them. That was OK with me because they didn't want me to be there and I didn't want to be there.

Actually I feel very sad about it and I think it's quite selfish. But that's the way they want to do it. Would I like to be a co-writer? Yeah, I wouldn't mind it. But only if it's with open arms.



NEXT: The battle with drugs ...
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Photo: Columbia

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 "Jaded" (live)
Just Push Play
(Columbia)



 "Just Push Play" (live)
Just Push Play
(Columbia)


 "Big Ten Inch Record" (live)
Toys in the Attic
(Columbia)



 "Back in the Saddle" (live)
Rocks
(Columbia)



 "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing"
Armageddon
(Columbia)



 "Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)"
Nine Lives
(Columbia)



 "Cryin' "
Get a Grip
(Geffen)



 "Livin' on the Edge"
Get a Grip
(Geffen)



 "Janie's Got a Gun"
Pump
(Geffen)


 "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)"
Permanent Vacation
(Geffen)


 "Dream On"
Aerosmith
(Columbia)





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