News From The Road


I can’t believe it. We released the record! Or whatever you want
to call it. People seem to need to know what to call IT. It used to
be “our new album came out yesterday.” Folks seem to want to
call it our new “CD.” It don’t really work. It’s too general. CD’s
could be records, but they could also be blanks. How about usin’
the business word, “product?” I mean it definitely is “product” but
then anything you issue forth could be called “product.” Even
bodily fluids. You know what? Let’s just call it our new record. It’s
been the operative word over decades of format changes. You
know, it’s a record in the sense that it’s a “record” of what we’ve
been thinking about musically for the last year and a half. It
doesn’t matter that it’s on a CD or just floating around in
Cyberspace or even if it was an eight-track. It’s a record. By the
way, I’m proud to say that nobody in this band, to the best of my
knowledge, has ever owned an eight-track. If you’ve never seen
or heard one consider yourself lucky. 

So the record is out. So the record is out. It felt so good I had to
say it twice. After I write this I’m going to go upstairs and say it
to myself until I get sick of it. The weird thing is that I’m totally
used to the date, March 6th, being in the future. Here it is and it
still feels like it should be about six weeks away. 

We were supposed to go to New York and do sort of a stunt in
Times Square. We were going to pile into an armored car,
follow an army of scantily clad robot girls through the streets and
arrive at The Virgin Megastore where hopefully numerous
journalists and camera crews would be waiting…for the new
record or the robot girls, whichever (as long as they took a
picture of it). The idea was that we were “delivering” the new
album. Get it? After fielding questions from the press we were
going to grab our guitars and play “Jaded.” From there we
would go inside to greet the crowd and then whip over to MTV
for a live interview about the new album, I mean record. 

But it snowed. You know that massive snowstorm that was on
TV for three days? If you live in Hawaii you might not have heard
about it but it was there. Two days before it started the people at
the label were gritting their teeth and finally word came down
that the event in Times Square would have to be canceled.
SNOW DAYYYY! was my first reaction. My brain went into
hibernation thinking about getting all comfy, trapped in my house
with the snow falling and the wind blowing with a guitar in one
hand, and the master remote in the other. But nay, ‘twas not to
be true. Actually, on Monday I started thinking about what a drag
it was to lose a day when we could have told the whole world
that our album was out. I started feeling a little guilty. Hmmm. I
have a sense of responsibility after all. Well, of course, the
momentous mind of Steven was cranking the whole time trying
to come up with a thing we could do right here in Boston.
Between he and the label a whole day’s worth of frosty festivities
got dreamed up. Most of the people around us were saying,
“What are you crazy, going out in this?” “What about the fans
you’re going to invite to all this?” Do you think they should be out
driving in a blizzard?” (I still don’t have an answer for that last

Sure enough the phone rang and I got the news that we should
show up and be ready to go dogsledding, delivering albums, I
mean CD’s, I mean records. We were meeting at a place where
we could get a satellite link so we could do a live interview with
TRL on MTV. Luckily for me it was only ten minutes from my
house even in a blizzard. I still managed to be late. 

The first bit was going to be the band delivering the record to a
Strawberries Records store right here in Boston. We got over to
the parking lot and a few of us went into the store to wait and
schmooze as Steven rode up to the front door in front of some
camera crews on a dogsled. A real one. Inside the store the rest
of us were busy signing autographs and digging the energy. We
got a little carried away and forgot to go out and meet ST when
he rode up. Oops. Take 1 down the drain. So they got the dogs
back to the starting point and we did the take again with all of us
hitting our marks. In the dogsled was a big wooden box filled
with CD’s and flashing lights that pulsated through slits that were
cut into the sides. A couple of us ran out to meet Steven and
grab the box filled with CD’s so we could bring it into the store
and hand em’ out to the brave, enthusiastic crowd. We gave out
tons of free CD’s to the clamoring throngs. I felt like Napster. 

After signing autographs with most of the people at
Strawberries we boogied back to the studio with the satellite
up-link, dried off a little bit and then went back out to a big field
to shoot some more dog sledding footage. First Steven and Joe
took a few laps and then Joey and I took a spin. The other day I
was wondering how you stop a dogsled and this made me think
of it again. "Don't worry," was all we heard as we disappeared
into the frantic flakes. We took a couple of laps around the field
and then as we approached the cameras and the dogsled
wranglers we waved our arms to let them know we were ready
to stop. The dogsled people crowded out into the path and after
a bunch of stuff that happened really fast, we hopped out. One of
the guys grabbed the sled and tried to hold it back single -
handed. The last thing I saw as I brushed the snow off my coat
was the dogs running away with the sled, dragging the trainer
through the slush head first. These pups are unbelievable! All
they want to do is run! They must be doing too much Ritalin! 

We headed back to Satellite Land for the TRL thing. We
primped for a few minutes, got wired up with microphones and
ear pieces and then crowded into a tiny elevator to go to a
roped off area where they had a bunch of rabid fans standing in
the snow waiting for our big appearance. We stepped out the
door and sure enough, about thirty feet off-camera was the
dogsled team. We loaded the big, flashing wooden box of CD’s
into the sled and got ready for the “go” signal. The dogs barked
and howled, barely being held back by the guy who swam
through the slush earlier. Someone was yelling, “Wait, wait,” as
another person yelled out a countdown. About ten seconds
before the end of the countdown the dogs took off. All of us were
either on the sled or running alongside, holding the rope handles
of the flashing box. Meanwhile, the snow all around us had been
packed hard by people walking on it all day and was so slippery
I thought we were going to fall all over the place in front of the TV
cameras. Amazingly enough, we all stayed on our feet and did
our bit for MTV. 

We finished the MTV piece and then signed autographs. These
people had been standing out in the middle of this horrendous
weather all day and still had smiles on their faces. If this is any
indication of the enthusiasm level out there, its going to be a fun

Anyway that was the last event of the day. We never made it to
Times Square but we did manage to get a bunch of good stuff
to send out over the satellite. Finally, we headed inside and
ended our day of Aerosmith Outward Bound. Fifteen minutes
later I was in the parking lot signing autographs with one hand
as I tried to brush the snow off my windshield with the other.
Let’s work on our timing, people!