Call them the epitome of excess , call them dinosaurs or call
them out for managing to weasel their way into pop culture discussions decade
after decade, there is no denying the eternal power of Aerosmith. Critics and
haters can scoff as they aren’t high brow or dark enough, but at any moment
Aerosmith can still whip out a handful of classics or a bluesy new number and
sound as huge as they ever did. No one gave Judas Priest half as much shit for
being on American Idol as Steven Tyler gets for many of his, admittedly,
ridiculous more “pop” targeted choices of late but check out what he did for
this nice Ontario boy with Down’s Syndrome. Plus, he gave us Liv Tyler.
Personally, we are in way worse hands nowadays with pop stars who just don’t
have the talent or the larger than life personas (is Bieber anything compared to
Steven Tyler in his glorious prime, really? No fucking way. Stop hugging him, Lady Gaga).
Where are the icons who can last another 40 years? You can blame it on
the record industry and album sales or marketing but at some point it is also
on the bands for not being lifers and for being chicken to stick it out.
For this hard rock centered Deep Cuts I picked three tunes that may not be as
fucking perfect as “Last Child” but which still could burn down any barn.
Aerosmith are amazing when they bring the boogie, stomp and no pity/no
apologies street glam to their stadium ready bar fight rock so I choose to
write about that side of the band rather than, say, “Pink” (lmao).
Listen to NYC’s The Compulsions, Krist Novoselic’s low end groove, Royal Trux’ Neil Hagerty’s
extended hazed out mid period soloing ( the cig smoke reeking “…Horror James” comes to mind), the recent Danzig cover of “Lord Of TheThighs” (by far the coolest tune on Skeletons) or any of the early material by
a little comeback band called Guns N Roses, you know that we still aren’t
Let’s hope Steven wraps up the fully unnecessary solo shenanigans soon and gets back in the
Read the 3 song picks below.
. “No Surprize” from Night In The Ruts simply oozes rock n roll and is one of
Tyler’s favorites. It’s as raunchy just in feel alone as anything Kiss ever
did but without trying as hard and needs to make a cameo somewhere on HBO’s
awesome Vinyl (“Then where the fuck’s my royalties” etc.)
The 1979 album (damn, I was fucking one year old then) was originally called
Off Your Rocker and the band was in a rough spot. Joe Perry allegedly owed
like $80,000 in fucking room service. That is…amazing. While this hard rock
record isn’t as heralded as Draw The Line or Rocks, it has a lot of sass
nonetheless. People who complain about that or that Sabbath’s Never Say Die
isn’t Volume 4 are kind of the ultimate loser sweaters of small stuff and are
missing out on some killer cuts. Tell me this doesn’t smoke half the crap out
. “Street Jesus” is from Music From Another Dimension, a fucking often great album that didn’t sell that well. It’s a true shame because it is rock n roll as heck, even for a bunch of sober old limousine alleycats. Joey Kramer’s galloping beat tears the roof off while Perry and company kick out the jams big time and Tyler delivers one of his most on fire and verbose story teller late career romps. You can feel the sweat in this one and it generally has moments where it feels nearly as dangerous as their early material. These guys still know how to bring the swagger when it counts.
. “Monkey Off My Back” opens up with a sexy ass slide and glowing vocal from Tyler that doesn’t exactly feel like the exhaustion of drug addiction, but the tune delivers hard. You can feel the sticky glass rings on the bar, the white knuckle and “wrinkles…about to crack”. They manage to make even their more serious tunes fun as heck and this one has another classic Tyler F-bomb drop. Seriously, Joe Perry is God sometimes. The whole Pump album is a fucking miracle and was inescapable in a GOOD way when it came out. While not as innovative musically as “Janie’s Got A Gun” or the epic goofery of “Love In An Elevator”, the gypsy caravan street fighting man vibes on this one make you want to go back for more and more like an addict.