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Ten Things You May Not Know About Aerosmith
Over their long, mythologized career, Aerosmith have endured.
Hit albums, singles, commercial disappointments, and substance abuse – they’ve battled them all. Rather than fizzle out at the first sign of hardship, though, they all individually went into rehab – and emerged rejuvenated, a testament to their resilience.
Their career has spanned more than forty years, and they remain a top-selling band to this day. Their new record, Music from Another Dimension, will be released sometime this fall.
To celebrate, we put together Ten Things You May Not Know About Aerosmith – enjoy!
1. ‘Guitar Hero’ has served them well, perhaps even more so than their own album sales.
It can be argued that the success of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith was more lucrative than the band’s own album sales over the years. The game, released in 2008, made more than $25 million in sales in its first week and went on to sell extremely well. Its success sparked a resurgence of popularity for their concerts, merchandise and past studio records, which brought in even more money for the band. (source)
2. Aerosmith were the first band to appear on The Simpsons.
The long-running animated series became known for its celebrity cameos, but Aerosmith were the first rock ‘n’ roll band to appear on the program as themselves, in Season 3. The episode, titled Flaming Moe’s, has become one of the most-beloved the series has ever had.
3. The band’s name doesn’t really mean anything specific.
According to legend, drummer Joey Kramer was responsible for coming up with the moniker. It was a word he said he wrote on his notebooks in high school, after thinking of it in relation to Harry Nilsson’s album Aerial Ballet. Despite the word’s mysterious background, the rest of the band liked it enough to name themselves after it.
4. If not for Dream On, they might have been dropped by Columbia Records.
The success of their legendary single presumably saved their career. The band’s 1973 debut was mostly a failure (because Columbia spent more time promoting Bruce Springsteen’s first record), and it wasn’t until Dream On became a radio success that the label decided to stick with them. (source)
5. They’ve only had one #1 hit.
After 28 years as a band, it wasn’t until 1998’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing that Aerosmith had their first #1 hit. The song, penned by Dianne Warren for the soundtrack to the film Armageddon, is to this day Aerosmith’s most successful single, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
6. Walk this Way was a subtle homage to the Yardbirds.
As Steven Tyler told Rolling Stone in 2004, the iconic riff in Walk this Way was a result of Aerosmith “trying to explore the blues in the Yardbirds model”. (source)
7. The subject of Dude Looks Like a Lady is well aware of the song’s inspiration.
The single, from Aerosmith’s post-rehab comeback album Permanent Vacation, was inspired by the visual appearance of Motley Crue vocalist Vince Neil. Apparently, at one point or another he became aware that he was in fact the subject of the song – and he embraced it! (source)
8. An actor from Lost was in one of Aerosmith’s most iconic videos.
In addition to helping launch Alicia Silverstone’s acting career, the music video for Cryin’ (from 1993’s Get a Grip) also featured Josh Holloway, a young actor who would go on to star in the smash-hit ABC series Lost. He portrayed a thief who stole Silverstone’s purse from a restaurant.
9. The band’s first Top 40 hit stemmed from a discarded riff.
Sweet Emotion would go on to become one of Aerosmith’s most notable hits, but its inception was more or less random. An old bass riff that Tom Hamilton had been messing with for years made its way to the Toys in the Attic sessions, where Joe Perry added some guitar licks. Before long, the riff was fleshed out into a song, and eventually hit #36 on the Billboard Hot 100. (source)
10. Steven Tyler’s career path could have gone down a decidedly more outdoorsy path.
When Steven Tyler was young (and known as Steven Tallaricco), he allegedly sought a much different career than the one he ended up with – he wanted to be a park ranger. He changed his mind at some point, and formed his first band at age 16. (source)
There you go, 10 facts about Aerosmith that you may not know. If you have any more – feel free to drop us a line!
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