Slow down? Dream On

By Ken Barnes, USA TODAY

Aerosmith, the 30-year-old institution that saluted The Beatles with a raucous cover of Come Together, understands the dynamics that shape and shatter bands.
   "I've seen the movie," guitarist Joe Perry jokes. "If you take the premise that they patched their differences and pressed the reset button, I think The Beatles would have kept pushing the edge, even with the old style rock they did. Given that they were the some of the most talented musicians to walk the planet in our generation, they could have persevered without fading. They'd be playing stadiums."  
   A decline in output and market share would not have diminished The Beatles stature.
   "They would have played Vegas like Elvis," Perry says. Elvis settled into being a caricature, but he's still revered as The King. Look at the Stones. Without pushing the edge musically, they have made good records; a couple great. I can't imagine The Beatles being anything less. In 200 years, when people read about pop music, The Beatles will top the list."
   Band mate Steven Tyler says an intact Beatles would have "continued on the same track, making diversified music and getting so esoteric they might have spread themselves out to an oblivion. They might not have toured, certainly not for money, because the music was getting so intricate they'd need to bring a 50-piece orchestra on the road. But I could se them setting up under the Eiffel tower for a millennium concert."
   Lennon and McCartney , "crazed by their own demons and muses, would have been forced to continue creating. Whether they did so together would have depended on how pull their wife would have had on them."
   The band would not have lost it's relevance or fan base. "Once you stick it out that long you can almost do no wrong," Tyler says. Every Beatle album was an epiphany that pinpointed a moment in time. People want to reminisce about their youth. If Jimi Hendrix were alive, their would be a lot of 70-year-old bald guys with walkers rocking out at his concerts."
   Bands ripped apart by clashing egos often reconcile for the sake of the music. That incentive eluded The Beatles. "They had done it all, so they didn't care," Tyler says. They did more by their third album than we'll do in our whole career."