Aerosmith. Drugs. Video. Dream On.
May 6, 2015 6:44 AM   Subscribe

"What we have here are Steven Tyler and Joe Perry at the height of their 'Toxic Twins' indulgence, zonked completely out of their minds, barely able to stumble through their signature tune. Perry delivers so many clams he could open a seafood shack, sounding like a fumbling teenager’s first visit to a Guitar Center President’s Day sale. Tyler fades in and out, struggling to keep it together. At times the other band members look on with some confusion. The band starts to gel by the crescendo, and then allows the fizzle-fart ending to put a cap on how much of a shit they don’t give about being onstage."
posted by josher71 (55 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
The only song more turgid than "Dream On" samples it.
posted by Zerowensboring at 6:50 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Dream On" is very strange to me because Tyler's voice sounds so very different than it does in any other Aerosmith song that's gotten radio play for the last thirty years.
posted by infinitewindow at 6:51 AM on May 6, 2015 [10 favorites]


Their uptempo numbers were always better anyway. Although after a breakup I listened to "Angel," endlessly for awhile.
posted by jonmc at 6:58 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


That was nowhere near as bad as advertised.
posted by inthe80s at 7:00 AM on May 6, 2015 [15 favorites]


His "Worst of" list of Aerosmith's songs tracks almost exactly with my "Best of" list.

You List of Songs You Hate Sucks.
posted by KGMoney at 7:04 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


In 2010, someone commandeered the PA system at a California Home Depot and launched into drunken a cappella renditions of "Dude Looks Like a Lady" and "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." When employees went to investigate, they found it was Steven Tyler.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:09 AM on May 6, 2015 [32 favorites]


The zenith of Aerosmith begins with Get Your Wings and ends with Rocks. There may have been sparks of the old magic here and there but nothing matches Rocks. Nothing.
posted by Ber at 7:10 AM on May 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


The first time I ever saw Steve Tyler's face was in the video for Run-DMC's version of 'Walk This Way'.

True story -- I assumed that the group who breaks into the space was an over-the-top parody, in the video as humour. Much later I learned it was the actual Aerosmith.
posted by Mogur at 7:13 AM on May 6, 2015 [15 favorites]


That's not a great gig, but it's no trainwreck. I suspect this person has only been to shows.
posted by hawthorne at 7:14 AM on May 6, 2015


I pretty much feel the same way that he does about Aerosmith. They put out some pretty classic tunes back in the 1970s but I really can't listen to anything they've done since.

But that's just, like, my opinion, man.

That was nowhere near as bad as advertised.

The first minute or so of guitar is just awful but they seem to pull it together after that.
posted by bondcliff at 7:15 AM on May 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


Fortunately, that 1977 audience was likely in the same shape.
posted by fairmettle at 7:15 AM on May 6, 2015 [27 favorites]


Starts off like a 3am game of Rock Band, ends like an 11pm game of Rock Band. So ... improvement?
posted by uncleozzy at 7:17 AM on May 6, 2015 [9 favorites]


infinitewindow: ""Dream On" is very strange to me because Tyler's voice sounds so very different than it does in any other Aerosmith song that's gotten radio play for the last thirty years."

For years I didn't realize it was Aerosmith. I was only familiar with it from a mixtape someone had made for me, and she had mis-attributed the song in her hand-written liner notes. (I can't remember who to, now. Maybe Led Zep or Pink Floyd?) It took some serious convincing to make me accept that it was indeed Aerosmith.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:32 AM on May 6, 2015


I really can't listen to anything they've done since

I agree. Although, I have always really liked Hangman Jury.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:33 AM on May 6, 2015


In 2010, someone commandeered the PA system at a California Home Depot and launched into drunken a cappella renditions of "Dude Looks Like a Lady" and "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." When employees went to investigate, they found it was Steven Tyler.

I hadn't heard about that before so I had to check it out; written up in Rolling Stone and People, among others. I don't think he was drunk, since he was in rehab at the time. At least I hope he wasn't drunk.
posted by TedW at 7:54 AM on May 6, 2015


I will never forgive Run DMC for yanking Aerosmith back from their well deserved career oblivion.
posted by Naberius at 7:58 AM on May 6, 2015 [9 favorites]


THAT is considered a trainwreck?
posted by ReeMonster at 8:04 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Has Joe Perry ever taken a photo where he doesn't look like Dermot Mulroney mid-fart?
posted by Navelgazer at 8:09 AM on May 6, 2015 [11 favorites]


The shred video linked in the post is funny for a bit, though.
posted by msbrauer at 8:14 AM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


I hate Aerosmith and I found this tolerable. I'm sure it sounded better if you were there, as well. And that's the last nice thing I'll say about these Led Zeppelin wannabes.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:31 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mogur: Your experience was exactly mine.
posted by sourwookie at 8:52 AM on May 6, 2015


I used to work at a Boston-area crafts store where Steven Tyler would occasionally buy scarves to wear. Even at the time (the mid-90s), in person he'd look like a lovely, crazy, elderly auntie.
posted by xingcat at 8:55 AM on May 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


Infinitewindow took my comment. I used to assume someone else used to be the lead singer of Aerosmith, and then Steven Tyler took over sometime post Dream On.
posted by wittgenstein at 9:20 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think it was on metafilter where someone pointed out something I never noticed before and now can't not notice, which is that at some point in the 80s Aerosmith decided every song needed to include a loud horn section.
posted by Hoopo at 9:21 AM on May 6, 2015


Atom Eyes - I always thought of them as Stones wannabes, myself.

/Aerosmith fan
posted by jonmc at 9:32 AM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Perry delivers so many clams he could open a seafood shack

golf clap
posted by thelonius at 9:32 AM on May 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


I would totally eat at Joe Perry's Clam Shack.
posted by bondcliff at 9:42 AM on May 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


It was at an Aerosmith show in 1990 that I learned this was their song.
I mentioned to my uncle that I really liked the "cover" they played and thus 20 minutes of Abbot and Costello misunderstanding ensued.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:43 AM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Atom Eyes - I always thought of them as Stones wannabes, myself.

You're probably right, but this particular song is definitely a Plant/Page pastiche.

posted by Atom Eyes at 9:51 AM on May 6, 2015


Band plays very slightly rough live version of song! Internet hysteria at 11!

(I've never listened to Areosmith by choice in my life, but OMG is that a ridiculously over the top description of that video).
posted by yoink at 9:58 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


OK, my favorite band can suck.

Aerosmith was my gateway drug. I was 11 when I heard "Dream On" playing from a car stereo and I went all in. I saw them half a dozen times in the late 70s and early 80s, including several times in (their adopted hometown of) Boston, and once in a small venue. By then I had moved on to other musical passions. But every time I saw them live they absolutely kicked the living shit out of it, even when they were sloppy. Sloppy was part of the charm, but they could also be tighter than hell. I was a budding guitarist, and Joe Perry was my hero when I was 12 to 14, however.

Any musician can have a bad night. I have. It happens. I lost interest in their work after Draw the Line, until much later in life when I systematically went through it all again (in recent years, in fact Pandora's Box is cued up on my phone right now and I listened to "South Station Blues" -- from the Joe Perry Project solo record -- on the subway ride into work).

And for those who don't have it, Pandora's Box has half a dozen or more live and raw cuts, in several cases of songs they never released in studio versions, that should disabuse anyone who thinks that band couldn't sizzle at its best.

Gateway drug, as I said. I came to understand how much minstrelsy there was in the tradition they extended later on, and of course the emotional palate came to seem excessive and turgid as I matured. But they were awesome for what they were, a big shaggy, not-taking-ourselves-too-seriously, gender-muddling mess of riffs and grooves and screams and snarls and postures and pouts for teenage boys on a journey to Otis Redding, Hank Williams, James Brown, and Aretha. It's still a sentimental favorite.
posted by spitbull at 9:59 AM on May 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


This picture of Steven Tyler and Michael Jackson partying at Studio 54 answered the question of "What happened to Michael Jackson that made him so bat shit insane?" for me. Doing drugs with Steven Tyler seems like it was a very very bad idea just on the off chance that hallucinations would make him look even more bizarre. "Steven, your face is melting!" "No man, I just look like this."
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 10:01 AM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


I saw them 3 times during that era. It sounded pretty much what I should have expected from a totally stoned band playing in a hockey arena.
posted by davebush at 10:05 AM on May 6, 2015


This is a link to the complete concert, by the way. And if that one song has become a magnet for people to LOL in the comments about how dreadful the performance is, the comments in the video for the complete concert are all about how wonderful the performance is. So....meh. You see what you want to see and you hear what you want to hear, ya dig?
posted by yoink at 10:27 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've heard plenty of live recordings of, for instance, Led Zeppelin and The Who in which they sound embarrassingly bad. If you play live with any frequency you're eventually going to brick it in front of a recording device, and anybody with an axe to grind can draw whatever conclusions they want from that.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 10:28 AM on May 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


^ I think it was on metafilter where someone pointed out something I never noticed before and now can't not notice, which is that at some point in the 80s Aerosmith decided every song needed to include a loud horn section.

So many 1970s bands completely lost their shit around 1986. Heart. Genesis. Rush. Yes. I think we reached Peak 80s with this little number, (not the one you're thinking of, I promise) where Steve Winwood mixed in almost everything:
☒ noise-gated drums
☒ stabby brass synth
☒ DX-7 electric piano
☒ gospel backing vocals
No sax, though. Wonder what happened to the sax.
posted by kurumi at 10:54 AM on May 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


Aerosmith was the first rock concert I went to. It was their 1987 tour when they were making their post-Run DMC comeback, so they played better than in this video. But still, it wasn't good enough that I've ever had any desire to see them live again. As a young guitarist, I remember being a lot more impressed with Brad Whitford's playing than with Joe Perry's. Still am.
posted by The World Famous at 11:03 AM on May 6, 2015


Wonder what happened to the sax.

I prefer to think that everyone simply gave up trying to have sax solos on rock songs after hearing Sonny Rollins here; that's the last word, in my world.

It's a dreamy place, where "Who Can It Be Now?" doesn't exist
posted by thelonius at 11:16 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


the brief latter-day resurgence of Sexy Sax Solo (I'm thinking of M83's Midnight City, which is an excuse to share my favorite dumb youtube video) made me really happy
posted by dismas at 11:57 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


There may have been sparks of the old magic here and there but nothing matches Rocks.

Yeah, man. Aero's not really my thing, but Rocks is cool.
posted by ovvl at 12:09 PM on May 6, 2015


it's a lousy performance
posted by pyramid termite at 12:28 PM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think we reached Peak 80s with this little number, (not the one you're thinking of, I promise) where Steve Winwood Trevor Rabin mixed in almost everything...

FTFYes
posted by hal9k at 12:30 PM on May 6, 2015


So many 1970s bands completely lost their shit around 1986. Heart. Genesis. Rush. Yes.

Lost their shit, or metamorphosed into mid-80s ultra-garbage magnificence? YMMV.
posted by blucevalo at 12:50 PM on May 6, 2015


Rush didn't start going downhill until the NEVER.
posted by Cookiebastard at 2:24 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Rush didn't start going downhill until the NEVER.

I wonder if Aimee Mann omits this video from her resume.
posted by The World Famous at 3:11 PM on May 6, 2015


They put out some pretty classic tunes back in the 1970s but I really can't listen to anything they've done since.

They're the exception that proves the rule -- the one band that really started sucking after they sobered up.

Sick as a Dog is still my fave.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:32 PM on May 6, 2015


It looked and sounded to me like Perry needed to see the fretboard during the opening and couldn't because it was pitch black. I've probably played “Willin’” more than a thousand times in my life, just like Perry and ”Dream On” in 1977, and if I'm too lit or out of practice I still sometimes need to look down during the slides. The rest of it sounded like a pretty credible live performance.

thelonius: “It's a dreamy place, where "Who Can It Be Now?" doesn't exist”
Look, man. Sonny got me through 2002, but I'll fight you if you say something bad about Greg Ham.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:16 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I never heard of Shreds before. How is this possible?
posted by Chuffy at 6:18 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


For my money, Warrior In Woolworths' sax solo is best sax solo.
posted by ostranenie at 8:29 PM on May 6, 2015


I unironically love the Aerosmith song (and video!) that's in Armageddon. They are both so completely over the top that I always find myself singing it when it comes on somewhere and I can visualize the video perfectly in my head. I also unironically love Armageddon as a movie too.

dismas: the brief latter-day resurgence of Sexy Sax Solo (I'm thinking of M83's Midnight City, which is an excuse to share my favorite dumb youtube video yt ) made me really happy

I love that song and the album it is on. If you enjoy that you should check out the album "Kaputt" by Destroyer, there's a lot of great sax on it. I went through a phase of finding good indie bands using sax after hearing that album but didn't turn up much unfortunately. Such a great instrument.
posted by gucci mane at 8:43 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wonder if Aimee Mann omits this video from her resume.

I know people who only consider her to be worthy of notice because of that. They're good folks; just keep them away from the stereo.
posted by thelonius at 4:05 AM on May 7, 2015


I've probably played “Willin’” more than a thousand times in my life,

I hope you have played it through every kind of rig that's ever been made!
posted by thelonius at 4:06 AM on May 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh yes. Live performances should be ideal and perfect. Because lord knows the audience is always so receptive and not zonked out themselves.

Plates of beans, no matter how much we love them, are full of mistakes, gaffes, and are embarrassingly out of date the moment they are served.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:06 AM on May 7, 2015


I've probably played “Willin’” more than a thousand times in my life

I'm just a tired old fool at this stage, but this sort of musical production line work used to really wear me down when I was a touring musician. It's a hard trick to achieve an equilibrium between familiar enough (for the audience) and different enough (for the players) to keep interested in the work. Playing with great improvisers was what kept me going, but I'm not everybody.
posted by Wolof at 7:54 AM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I never heard of Shreds before. How is this possible?

I hadn't either and a friend made fun of me for it. :(
posted by josher71 at 8:08 AM on May 7, 2015


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