The First Five Things That Come To Mind When Someone Mentions Aerosmith!


1. Four words: Toys In The Attic. I have never owned this album. I've never had to. Growing up, I don't think I ever got on a school bus between 75-78 without hearing "Walk This Way" or "Sweet Emotion" on the radio. I came to know every other song backwards and forward because every other kid in school had a copy. Once a month, our music teacher would let us bring music to play for the entire class. Each week, some other kid would bring their copy of Toys In The Attic and we'd all get to listen to Tyler, Perry, Whitford, Hamilton and Kramer tear it up some more. In art class, when given the opportunity to recreate our favorite album cover, over half the room did Toys In The Attic.

Mick impersonates Steven Tyler on SNL.
2. The tag "The American Stones" really does fit. For better and worse, the many similarities between the two bands can be uncanny at times (the Mick/Keef and Steven/Joe thing, fer example). Sadly, both are also largely responsible for the over-commercialization of rock & roll. The Stones did it by being the first to utilize a corporate sponsor for their tour while Aerosmith did it by simply existing for no other reason than to generate income in order to keep the enterprise afloat, pay off past debts, or complete a contractual obligation. 

L to R: Steven Tyler, John Kalodner, David Coverdale
3. "John Kalodner: John Kalodner". Nothing symbolizes the excess of the '80s more than seeing those self-congratulatory words on the back of a Geffen Records album. The label itself was built on risk (John & Yoko, Elton John, and a prog rock supergroup called Asia, for starters) yet flourished wildly for much of the '80s. Kalodner, rightfully believing everything he touched turned to platinum, saw the potential for cash to be made from an Aerosmith reunion. Would the band's comeback album Done With Mirrors return them to the top of the mighty rock heap? Nope, but it did make copies of this effort quite familiar to those browsing the cut-out bins. Perhaps putting the band's name and album title on the album cover BACKWARDS wasn't such a hot idea after all.


4. Run-DMC saved Aerosmith's career. While it has always been a tad embarrassing to watch as Steven Tyler and Joe Perry commit to playing caricatures of themselves in the video, you cannot deny that the song was a gigantic smash that gave both "Walk This Way" and Aerosmith a new lease on life.



5. Is there any one band more responsible for the proliferation of that most loathed leech of all: the song doctor? After "John Kalodner: John Kalodner" had come to the same horrible conclusion as the rest of us that the band's songwriting was WEAK, he immediately began recruiting as many ringers as he could find to "fluff up" the band's ideas a bit. While I knew enough to back away from any album or song with the names Diane Warren, Desmond Child or Holly Knight featured prominently in the songwriting credits, the rest of America didn't stand a chance with all the radio and MTV airplay. My own convictions would be pushed to the limit when the names Diane Warren and Holly Knight appeared on Cheap Trick's Lap of Luxury album a year later.


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