I Needed You (Tyler)
"I can't ever forget how excited I was about being in an actual
recording band. It was a total dream come true. The other side of it is
that's it's a pretty lame song. I never got a cent. So that was my first
taste of 'shysterism."
Make It (Tyler)
"Our first song from our first album, and for a long time it was
our show opener. Just a great way to get things going."
Movin' Out (Tyler. Perry)
"We wrote that sitting on Mark Lehman's waterbed at 1325
"It's the first song we ever wrote
One Way Street (Tyler)
"I can remember Tom and me drillin' on the 'one way street shuffle'
until we drove the old lady downstairs crazy. Tom on his bass and me on
a kitchen chair and a pedal on a cardboard box."
On the Road Again
"This was one of the first songs we ever learned. We played it at
the clubs and high school dances, and other than that, I have no
recollection of recording it. Needless to say where I was at the
Mama Kin (Tyler)
"This was one that Steven brought with him from before Aerosmith.
Steven obviously loved that one--I mean, he did have it tattooed on his
arm. But when I first heard it I was afraid that the chords were too
simple. But inevitably the best ones are easy ones."
Same Old Song and Dance (Tyler, Perry)
"I remember we were all living together again for a summer, and
that was one of the songs that we came up with. I remember sitting on an
amp in the living room of our place, and coming up with the riff for
that one, and then Steven came up with the bridge."
"Great horns! Just a great groove song.
I'm always on the lookout for a song that grooves out. A real classic
Joe Perry riff--I just filled in the blanks. I hate to spell things out
too much, but that was about one girl who was pulling on my guitar
player's balls. But that's not important."
Train Kept a Rollin' (T. Bradshaw, L. Mann,
"This one was a standard. All of us loved the Yardbirds' version.
This song was part of a common ground. We all knew it and had played it
before we got together. Our version was pretty sterile on the album, but
it was a great song for us to play, more our kind of thing than
something like 'Roll Over Beethoven.'"
Seasons of Wither (Tyler)
"Of all the ballads, this is the one I really like. Steven does
them really well, but I never liked us doing ballads at all. I didn't
want anything wussy on our records. I always figured the only thing
worth playing slow was a slow blues."
"You know what Tuinals and Seconal are?
Well, I was eating those at the time, big time. I was living with Joey
Kramer near a chicken farm. It was Halloween and I was really down. So I
went down to the basement, burned some incense, and picked up this
guitar that Joey had found in a dumpster somewhere. It was fretted
pretty fucked, and it had a special tone to it. And that tuning forced
that song right out. I love that song. The other day I was coming out of
Mann's Theater in Los Angeles after a movie and on the curb there's a
guy playing 'Seasons of Wither' note for note. What a trip."
Write Me a Letter (Tyler)
"We arranged that one in the old Celtics locker room in the Boston
Dream On (Tyler)
"For me this song sums up the shit you put up with when you're in a
new band. Only one out of fifty people who write about you pick up on
the music. Most of the critics panned our first album, and they said we
were ripping off the Stones. And I think 'Dream On' is a great song, but
it was two or three years before people really got a chance to hear it.
That's a good barometer of my anger at the press, which I still have.
'Dream On' came of me playing piano when I was about seventeen or
eighteen, and I didn't know anything about writing a song. It was just
this little . . . sonnet that I started playing one day. I never thought
then it would end up being a real song or anything."
"When we were all living together mine was
the only room with a piano in it. I remember waking up and hearing
Steven playing this song over and over again. It probably pissed me off
then, but now I'm sure glad he kept playing."
Pandora's Box (Tyler, Kramer)
"We were rehearsing up in New Hampshire, and I was living in
Vermont. I had this old piece of shit acoustic guitar that I'd found in
the trash years before, and I came up with the riff on that. I played it
for Steven, and he went to work. This one was a thrill for me because it
was the first one I've ever written."
Rattlesnake Shake (Griffith, Gilmore)
"This is just one of the defining songs in Aerosmith history. That
song, and our version of it, sort of put together the sound that all of
us love to play."
"If there was one song that got me to play
with Joe Perry -this is the song. And the story goes... I had it up to
my earlobes playing with these various bar bands from New York City. It
just didn't make it and I couldn't take it, so I jumped up from behind
the drums, strangled the guitar player and hitchhiked to New Hampshire
where I saw Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton playing in a club I had played so
many times before with bands that just didn't have the groove that the
Jam Band had that night. The club was a b.y.o.b. called the Barn. They
were there--the Jam Band so out of tune, not really very good players,
but the groove was so good that therein laid the magic. You didn't have
to be the greatest player--you just needed to have the groove and the
attitude--they said it all in that one song--the attitude and the
Walkin' the Dog (Rufus Thomas)
"One of the early tunes we played in clubs. It was on a lot of
early set lists, and it still finds its was to one of our set lists now
Lord of the Thighs (Tyler)
"This song was ahead of its time. It sounds as good to me now as it
did then, if not better."
"I remember we needed one more song for
GET YOUR WINGS and we needed it fast. We locked ourselves into Studio C
at the Record Plant for the night. And this is what we came up with. I
remember Steven was really psyched and I think it shows."
"Was I the Lord of the Thighs? Fuck
Toys in the Attic (Tyler, Perry)
"A benchmark rock n' roll song for Aerosmith--that kind of fast
tune that was always a favorite of mine. This was sort of the first one.
There were so many more to follow."
Round and Round (Tyler, Whitford)
"I don't remember a whole lot about this one. I just remember being
in the Record Plant, and I had the main riff of that song. It was one of
those riffs that everybody said, 'We've got to do something with that.'
It turned into quite a production."
You See Me Cryin' (Tyler, Solomon)
"The majority of the song was constructed at the Record Plant in
New York City. Many long hours."
Sweet Emotion (Tyler, Hamilton)
"A lot of stuff I wrote in the old days just came out of anger.
'Sweet Emotion' was about how pissed off I was at Joe's ex-wife, and all
the other frustrations of the time. I could never get through to him. To
this day, he wears a lot of armor, but the music was always the saving
grace. And if that's the way he chooses to let me in, that's fine. I
just need to keep coming up with my own passwords to get in there."
"This one came at the very end of the TOYS
IN THE ATTIC sessions. I had my part, but I was too shy to say, hey,
let's work on it. But somehow we had an extra day at the end, and Jack
said, 'Anyone have anything we can jam on?' And so this one made it at
the last minute. I remember showing Steven this riff a couple of times
during the GYW sessions and he just didn't like it. My immediate
reaction was just to forget it. But one day we started the riff at a
different point, and it shed a whole new light on it. But nothing
happened with it till the next album. The rest is history. It's still a
song I'm very proud of."
No More No More (Tyler, Perry)
"This is one of the songs that I really liked where Steven does his
little storytelling bit about life within the band. It's him talking
honestly about an interesting little slice of the Aerosmith story."
"I still love this song because of
Steven's lyrics. It's not one of those stupid, generic, 'I love rock n'
roll songs' that some bands do. It's a real song about the rock n' roll
lifestyle, or our rock n' roll lifestyle. I don't know if it's the
definitive song about life on the road, and I don't even care. It's like
a page from our diary."
Walk This Way (Tyler, Perry)
"We were rehearsing that riff, and I don't think Steven was even
around that day as we practiced it and arranged it. And that night we
went with Jack Douglas to the movies and saw Young Frankenstein. There's
that part in the movie where Igor says, 'walk this way,' and the other
guy walks the same way with the hump and everything. We thought it was
the funniest thing we'd ever seen in our lives. So we told Steven, the
name of the song has got to be 'Walk This Way,' and he took it from
"I remember reading in a newspaper, like
in 1976, and there's this article in there about how disgusting lyrics
are, and they used 'Walk This Way' as an example of how lyrics should be
nice and wholesome. I couldn't believe it. Obviously, they didn't get
the meaning of 'you ain't seen nothing 'till your down on the
I Wanna Know Why (Tyler, Perry)
"We were going down to Draw The Line and a lot of stuff was coming
down on Steven. I always thought this song was a reaction to all the
shit he was getting into at the time."
Big Ten-Inch Record (F. Weismantel)
"I was listening to a tape of Dr. Demento given to me by an old
friend of ours called Zonk, and I heard this song, which is originally
from like 1936. The big rumor is that I say, 'Suck on my big 10 inch' on
the record. I don't. I'm saying 'cept --as in except--not 'suck.' But no
one in the whole world believes me."
Rats in the Cellar (Tyler, Perry)
"We needed an answer to Toys in the Attic. We were getting lower
and more down and dirty. So the cellar seemed like a good place to
Last Child (Tyler, Whitford)
"I remember putting it together at the Wherehouse. It was a big
room with a high ceiling. We hung up all these drapes. We were basically
like a bunch of kids building forts."
"This is an example of Aerosmith at out
most funky. I remember we were listening to stuff like the Meters."
"I always loved this one. Just a little
ditty that Brad brought in that became a hit."
Soul Saver (Tyler, Whitford)
"The beginnings of 'Nobody's Fault.' When you really listen to each
other, and have perseverance, even a really shitty riff can become a
Nobody's Fault (Tyler, Whitford)
"One long string of Brad Whitford songs in the key of F-sharp"
Lick and a Promise (Tyler, Perry)
"This one is about going out and winning an audience. It's tough
thing to do. It's one of our songs that's just a real moment in
Adam's Apple (Tyler)
"One of the greatest put together songs that Aerosmith ever did.
Those were my thoughts on UFOs, the theory of evolution, the monkey, and
Adam and Eve. How incredibly naive to think that there were just those
two people just buzzing around the woods naked, having a blast."
Draw the Line (Tyler, Perry)
"One of my favorite riffs that I ever wrote. It's a simple thing,
but so are most of the ones that stick to you."
Critical Mass (Tyler, Hamilton, Douglas)
"I remember writing it on the bass like 'Sweet Emotion,' then
writing a guitar part around it. In those days, we'd always record the
basic track without any idea what the song was about. And I thought the
song was bizarre at first, but I really came to like it. It's like a
chant with a great production."
Kings and Queens (Hamilton, Kramer, Tyler,
"I've always had a fancy to do songs about anarchy and the church
and the government. This is not only the one--there's also something
like 'St. John.' The band comes up with the licks, and then the music
talks to me and tells me what it's all about. This one was just about
how many people died from holy wars because of their beliefs, or
non-beliefs. With that one, my brain was back with the knights of the
round table and that shit--I do a lot of fantasizing."
Milk Cow Blues (Arnold)
"This one goes back to when Joe and I were in the Jam Band."
Three Mile Smile (Tyler, Perry)
"Both Jimmy [Crespo] and I recorded solos for this song. Steven
liked Jimmy's solo better and his is the one that you hear on the record
and I'm still pissed about it."
Let it Slide (Tyler, Perry)
"This shows what a song is like in the beginning (in this case
'Cheese Cake'), and what it can become. And that's a big part is being a
band--building something up from a riff."
Cheese Cake (Tyler, Perry)
"The song was done in one take with no overdubs. When I played that
track I went from a regular 6-string to a lapsteel and back, live in the
studio. Even though the band was falling apart in every other way, it
was a testament to how we were playing."
Bone to Bone (Coney Island White Fish Boy)
"A Coney Island White Fish is a scumbag. When you lived by the
Hudson River like I did, you always saw these things floating by on
their way to sea. They were rubbers--guys would tie 'em up and they'd
just keep floating. And that, boys and girls, is a Coney Island White
No Surprize (Tyler, Perry)
"It's ironic that most of the songs that we did that tell the true
story of the band end up on some back burner album so people don't
really hear 'em. This one is where I just spell it all out--and it's
also a pretty damn good song."
"This was one of the real good ones from Night in the Ruts.
If we'd been more together that might have been the album where we took
what we'd done on Rocks, but were too fucked up to really put it all
together, and support it. That's one of the reasons I left around
Come Together (Lennon, McCartney)
"It was really cool the be in the studio with George Martin. You
always wondered what it would be like to be in the studio with one of
the Beatles, and he was sort of the fifth Beatle. It was kind of
intimidating, but we weren't too easily intimidated in those days."
Jailbait (Tyler, Crespo)
"This is a Jimmy Crespo riff. This song really made us feel like we
had one in the pocket. It seems impossible to hear it without getting
"Even though I wasn't around for that song, I think it's
pretty hot. I would have done it a little differently, but if anything
I'm a little jealous that I didn't get to play on it."
Major Barbara (Tyler)
"I always thought this one was velvety smooth."
Chip Away the Stone (Supa)
"It's a Richie Supa song that we always thought was going to be a
single. It's sort of a pet song, but the public never seemed to like it
quite as much as we did."
Back in the Saddle (Tyler, Perry)
"To me this is the kind of riff and instrumentation that falls
outside the normal formula of a rock song. I wrote it on a six string
bass. It was one of those songs that really opened things up for