Most members of Aerosmith love fast cars and are car racing aficionados; especially Brad seems to have a high interest in NASCAR, as these various publications demonstrate.
For the uninitiated: The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is an American auto racing sanctioning and operating company that is best known for stock-car racing.
AF1 mailing list - June 26, 1998
Mr. Whitford - who decided the best way he could relax last weekend was by driving in a 12 hour go-cart marathon! Twelve hours in a go-cart! And, he insisted on (quite literally) going the extra mile - the drivers were divided up into teams of four with each guy taking a turn for 20-30 minutes, but, when Mr. Whitford got behind the wheel, he drove for an hour!!! It's no wonder that despite their comparative inexperience, his team managed to come in third.
AF1 newsletter Vol. 10. Issue 2 (1998)
Q: What did you do on your summer vacation? Brad: I spent some quality time with my family, which is something that's hard to do with my lifestyle.. I've also been helping out my good friend race car driver Kenny Wallace, who was driving in the Winston Cup Series. I've always been into cars; I've worked on my own for years. I really enjoy getting my team shirt on and working with the pit crew. I do the tire changes. I don't know how Kenny feels about trusting his wheels to a guitar player, but he seems to be okay with it. I haven't let him down yet...
Kenny Wallace drove a 'Aerosmith Car'
Driving on The Edge; CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Oct. 6,1999)
On Nov. 7 at Phoenix International Raceway, Christmas comes early for NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Kenny Wallace. When the green flag waves for the Dura Lube 500, Wallace will be piloting a black and silver Square D Chevrolet in a tribute to his favorite band - Aerosmith.
"Ever since I was a little kid, I loved their music," said the 36-year-old Wallace. "Back in '93 when I was racing at Michigan, I heard they were coming to The Palace in Detroit. So, I went and saw them. They were awesome. When they came to Charlotte later that year, I got backstage passes and met all the guys in the band.
"Brad Whitford, the acoustic player, always liked racing, so we really hit it off. Ever since then, we've been really good friends. He lives in Massachusetts, and whenever he's not off touring somewhere, he comes to the New Hampshire races and parks his motorhome next to mine. He's a lot of fun."
The idea to incorporate Aerosmith onto Wallace's Square D Chevrolet stemmed from NASCAR's summer concert series - NASCAR Rocks. When NASCAR Rocks was originally introduced, the idea to bring Wallace's favorite band together with the popularity of NASCAR was a no-brainer, according to Danielle Randall, president of The Motorsports Decisions Group, Inc., the marketing firm which handles the Square D Racing account.
"This program has generated a lot of excitement with the employees, distributors and customers of Square D," said Randall. "It's a unique concept, and our biggest supporter during this whole effort was Kenny. His love of Aerosmith is genuine. He's a real fan."
Said Wallace, "It's like a dream come true for me to have Aerosmith on my car. I mean, what race car driver wouldn't want to have America's greatest rock band on their car? My favorite Aerosmith song is "Living on the Edge." Well, at Phoenix, I'm going to be driving on the edge."
A full-line of die-casts replicating the Aerosmith car will be manufactured by Mattel and ready for trackside purchase during the Phoenix race weekend. Fans will also be able to purchase die-casts by accessing Mattel's website. Additionally, souvenir apparel will be provided by Wateree, both trackside and on their website.
Tom Hamilton's 'News From The Road' 11/22/99
Brad and I went to Phoenix last weekend to go to the NASCAR races out there.
Kenny Wallace, one of the drivers who happens to be a big fan, decided to put the Aerosmith wings on his race car. Everybody in the band likes cool cars and we were really inspired by the idea. Usually you have to pay big bucks to get your name on one of those things, but Kenny decided to do it just for the fun of it. How often does that happen in these days of mega wheeling and dealing? How often do people do stuff like that just to get their rocks off? Not that often.
The race was to be on Sunday, but we decided to go out there on Thursday so we could take in all the stuff that goes on in order to get the car ready for the race.
We got in late Thursday night and got a ride over to the track with Kenny's manager Danielle. The track was massive and the whole area was packed with RV's and fancy motor homes. It looked like a big luxury refugee camp. It was like a huge city made of metal boxes with people outside grilling and partying. We snaked through these city streets and finally came to the area where we had our very own RV in the driver's area. Brad got the bedroom in back and I slept on the fold out couch in the "living room." Who cared? We had satellite TV with the "good channels." I looked forward to a good night's sleep and being able to sleep late the next morning.
Well it was a nice thought. About 8:30 the next morning I woke up to a distant thunder getting louder and louder until it turned into a screaming roar. "Well I guess practice starts at 8:30," I mumbled to my half-asleep self. Brad (Burnt Rubber Breath) Whitford was already up and dressed and with each car that flew by I came alive and got myself ready for our first day of gasoline saturation.
We went out to the track and watched practice. It was really interesting to see how they made all the adjustments to the car as they figured out what was best for this track and the weather conditions. As a matter of fact I learned enough to get a head start on a computer racing game I decided to get.
We stayed around the track for the whole three days we were there. It's a good thing we like race cars. The place got really quiet at night and off in the distance you could hear the insane tribal parties going on in the spectator camping areas. Kenny had us over for dinner a couple of times in his luxo bus and even cooked. It was great sitting around comparing notes on the race biz and the music biz.
We saw three races and got to hang around in the garage area. Kenny got politely reprimanded for me wearing a sleeveless T-shirt. That's what you get for invitin' one of them sleazy rock people! The car looked unbelievable and got a lot of attention from the other crews and drivers. After qualifying on Saturday, Speedvision did a show and gave the car a lot of coverage. They kept calling it the "Aerosmith" car and every time they did I got a rush. Our logo looks good at 180 miles an hour.
The race on Sunday was an amazing experience. We hung out in the pits and got a close-up view of all the stuff the crew does in those lightning fast pit stops. They gave us headphones so we could hear all the drivers talking to their people over the radio.
Kenny had a solid finish and did a quick getaway after the race. Our flight wasn't until midnight so we waited for the traffic to die down before we left. I'll tell you something, we haven't taken the red eye in a long time and I hope it's another long time before we do it again. You'd think I'd be used to it.
Heritage Motorsports, Aerosmith Team Up At Indy Heritage Motorsports’ No. 35 G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone
Indy Racing League team Heritage Motorsports has formed a unique marketing partnership with the legendary rock band Aerosmith for the 85th running of the Indianapolis 500, it was announced May 24 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
This dynamic alliance brings together leaders of their respective fields and breaks the mold of traditional racing partnerships, creating many marketing and business opportunities for both entities.
“This is a great business decision for Heritage Motorsports to be associated with a high-profile band like Aerosmith,” said Jim Rathmann Jr., co-owner of Heritage Motorsports. “When we learned Steven Tyler would be singing the national anthem and found out they were interested in getting involved with a team, we jumped on the opportunity. There is going to be a tremendous amount of exposure generated by this program, and if things go well at Indy, we’re hoping to make this a season-long deal.”
Heritage Motorsports’ No. 35 G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone will be easy to spot during the Indianapolis 500. Driven by 1997 Indianapolis 500 Bank One Rookie of the Year Jeff Ward, it will have a pink-and-silver paint scheme, a caricature of Steven Tyler called the “Screaming Demon” and their new 2001 “Just Push Play” album cover.
The decision by the band members to get involved in motorsports comes from a passion for the sport and an understanding of the cross-promotional opportunities with a highly brand-loyal audience. Having sold nearly 100 million albums worldwide, Aerosmith is one of the most durable and perpetually exciting forces in popular music. The band’s new release, “Just Push Play,” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard album chart and has already been certified platinum.
Aerosmith remains a potent chart force and boasts the original line-up of Steven Tyler (vocals), Joe Perry (guitar), Brad Whitford (guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass) and Joey Kramer (drums). The bands kicks off a United States tour June 6 in Hartford, Conn.
At the last sporting event in which Aerosmith participated, the Super Bowl XXXV halftime extravaganza, their performance drew an audience of 86.5 million viewers, earning the highest ratings for any halftime show in Super Bowl history.
“The marketing possibilities of the Indy Racing League, coupled with the star-power of Aerosmith, will deliver vast opportunities for all parties involved in this dynamic deal,” said Mark Roesler, chairman of CMG Worldwide and the company that helped create this program for Heritage Motorsports. “Music and motorsports are American passions, so bringing together rock ‘n’ roll fans with racing enthusiasts is a natural fit. CMG Worldwide is excited to be involved in such a complementary partnership.”
Heritage Motorsports, founded just five months ago, has found success in the early stages of the Indy Racing Northern Light Series season. Qualifying third, first and second in the first three races of the season, the team has finished no lower than seventh. Heritage Motorsports has qualified two cars for the Indianapolis 500, with Ward starting eighth and Stephan Gregoire 29th.
“What a year this new team is having,” said John Mecom III, co-owner of Heritage Motorsports. “Each day we get stronger, and I think this team is going to go through the roof with this new partnership with Aerosmith. The deal brings new confidence and energy to the team, and people are going to go nuts over the car.
“We want marketing partnerships that are innovative and creative, and this deal will be attractive to a lot of major companies.”
Indianapolis 500, May 27
TV - ABC,
11 a.m. EDT
Radio - IMS Radio,
11 a.m. EDT
Aerosmith Car To Race In Indy 500After Aerosmith belter Steven Tyler opens this year's Indy 500 by singing the national anthem, veteran driver Jeff Ward will slip behind the wheel of the Heritage Motorsports' Aerosmith "Screaming Demon" car and race against the rest of the field.
While various hard rockers including Incubus, Mudvayne, System of a Down, Crazy Town and Dope have had their logos affixed to numerous NASCAR vehicles over the past two years (see "Mudvayne, Incubus, More ... At 100 MPH"), this marks the first time an Indy 500 race car includes the image of a rock band, a Heritage publicist said.
The Aerosmith vehicle will be decorated with a pink and silver paint scheme, the band's logo, the scantily clad robot vixen that appears on the band's new album, Just Push Play, an open-mouthed caricature of Tyler, and — just in case anyone mistakes the singer for one of the Backstreet Boys — Tyler's own autograph.
Co-owner of Heritage Motorsports, Jim Rathmann Jr., orchestrated the deal with the band 10 days ago after receiving a tip from the Indy Racing League (IRL) that Tyler would sing the national anthem at this year's race (see "Aerosmith's Steven Tyler To Sing At Indy 500"). Aerosmith were more than happy to provide the "Screaming Demon" image. The howling cartoon was originally used on a line of the band's guitar picks, according to Bill O'Neil, senior manager of marketing and promotions for CMG Worldwide, the company that helped Heritage cinch the partnership.
The only hitch was painting and decorating the car in time for its May 24 unveiling. "We were literally still putting decals on the car one-half hour before our press conference," O'Neil said.
Following the Indy 500, Ward and Heritage plan to continue running the "Screaming Demon" at the remaining 10 races of the IRL season. Heritage also hopes to create a showroom version of the vehicle (sans engine) to showcase during Aerosmith's Just Push Play tour.
— Jon Wiederhorn
Aerosmith frontman’s altered anthem hits wall at Indianapolis 500
INDIANAPOLIS, May 27 — In a bizarre mix of style and taste, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler took the stage at the Indianapolis 500 with Florence Henderson.
The lady sang “America The Beautiful” like Mrs. Brady.
The dude sang the national anthem like, well, an aging rock star who doesn’t sing it often.
“I usually worry when I write a song, with hopes that the audience, the Aerosmith fans will know the lyrics,” Tyler said, brushing his hair back with a silver-ringed hand. “This one was a no-brainer. They kind of knew the lyrics to this one.”
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Tyler, who took the stage Sunday in a flowing blue-starred shirt and red-and-white scarf. The longtime rocker got so swept up in the moment that he ended the song by singing “the home of the Indianapolis 500” instead of “home of the brave.”
That didn’t please everyone.
“It would have been nice had it been about us,” said race fan and Vietnam veteran Don Gillingham, rolling up his sleeve to show a faded blue Navy tattoo. “Because it is Memorial Day weekend.”
Tyler said he meant no offense.
“I got in trouble my whole life for having a big mouth,” he said. “I’m very proud to be an American, and live in the home of the brave.”
Tyler and some of his bandmates were also proud of the bright pink car they sponsored in this year’s race, emblazoned with Tyler’s likeness. The car, driven by Jeff Ward, finished 24th.
“The thing that I think a lot of us didn’t realize was that race fans are the same as Aerosmith fans. They’re one in the same,” said Joey Kramer, the band’s drummer. “I don’t think this is going to be the last time you see the Aerosmith logo on a race car.”
But it might be the last time the greatest spectacle at the Indy 500 was the opening ceremony.
There was Henderson, America’s favorite mom on the Brady Bunch. Behind her was Tyler, whose band recorded such hits as “Walk This Way” and “Dude Looks Like a Lady.”
Waiting in the wings? None other than Jim Nabors, aka Gomer Pyle, who followed Tyler and Henderson with a baritone rendition of “Back Home Again in Indiana.”
Coming off a performance in Boston the night before, Tyler could only laugh about his fellow Indy 500 performers.
“I watched Gomer for most of my teen-age years,” Tyler said. “And Florence, well, you know. It’s all good.”
Drive This Way... Aerosmith To Sing Priases Of Dodge
Thirty years ago, "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll" was the Aerosmith credo. Now, with group members reportedly off drugs for some time, Aerosmith will soon live by new rules: "sex, Dodge and rock 'n' roll."
The platinum-selling band has just signed a sponsorship deal with Dodge and will be paid millions annually to plug the auto line in ads, TV and radio commercials, at NASCAR events and in the group's ongoing "Just Push Play" tour.
That means Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and the rest of the band will tool around in new Dodge Vipers and Ram trucks.
Jim Schroer, executive VP of global marketing of Dodge owner DaimlerChrysler, called the alliance between Aerosmith and Dodge "a perfect match. Both represent the rebellious and youthful energy that great rock 'n' roll bands and great car brands have come to represent."
Aerosmith was traveling and could not be reached for comment. But I
understand they're planning to announce the deal here on Monday.
Article from the New York Daily News
Drive This Way With Dodge and Aerosmith Tour Sponsorship Is The First Phase In A Multi-Faceted Partnership
In an exciting move that combines the power and energy of rock and roll with the automobile, Aerosmith and Dodge have entered into a multi-faceted alliance that brings two great American names together for a comprehensive consumer marketing and communications campaign.
The deal was announced today in New York City, where the first details of the program were released.
"Just Push Play," the 48-city U.S. tour launched by Aerosmith in June will be sponsored by Dodge and become a highly visible focus of the alliance with the Dodge brand. "Just Push Play" has already broken all expectations to become a platinum-selling release.
"Dodge and Aerosmith are a perfect match," said Jim Schroer, Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, DaimlerChrysler Corp. "Both represent the rebellious and powerful energy that great rock and roll bands and great car brands have come to represent. Who better to partner with a great American brand like Dodge than the greatest American rock band of all time, Aerosmith?"
"What does 'Ram' stand for?" Steven Tyler says, "Ready, Aim, Meet me in the backseat."
Aerosmith, the multi-platinum selling rock and roll global superstar band, is also known for their members' obsession for cars and racing. This makes the partnership a natural fit, given Dodge's bold product line-up and its recent re-entry to NASCAR Winston Cup racing. This landmark partnership is one of mutual passion and is the reason why Aerosmith chose to make Dodge their first-ever corporate sponsor.
"We've been playing and touring for 30 years and have never had a corporate sponsor," bassist Tom Hamilton said. "But when Dodge asked if we would be interested, we thought it would be a great fit for a touring band like us…cars, trucks and racing. It's all rock and roll."
It was in 1969 that Tyler and his band, Chain Reaction, heard Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton's Jam Band playing. They got together in 1970 and created the steady blast we know today as Aerosmith. As luck and talent would have it, Aerosmith signed with Columbia Records in 1972 following a spectacular show at New York's Max's Kansas City. Their first album, the self-titled Aerosmith was released in 1973. The band began touring, fans followed and the press took notice. Aerosmith took to the road and the airwaves and became one of the biggest stadium acts of the decade.
"We are America's hometown band; the garage band that made it really big out there on the road," said guitarist Joe Perry, "You can always count on Aerosmith to play your town."
"Trust me, this is just the very tip of the iceberg," said Julie Roehm -- Director, Dodge Marketing Communications. "We have plans in the works that will touch every element of the Dodge family - customers, dealers and employees. This alliance will re-define how two great brands can work together to support each other's interests, while delivering what all our fans and customers desire."
Following the press conference, the band put its own unique stamp on the event by autographing a Dodge Ram pickup with spray paint cans. The truck will travel with the band on tour and then be auctioned off for charity.
Dodge is the third-largest automobile brand in America, selling over 2 million vehicles in the 2000 model year. Its 8-product portfolio includes the best-selling minivan in the world - Dodge Caravan, and the all-new 2002 Dodge Ram pickup and the world's fastest production car - the Dodge Viper.
"I've driven a lot of great sports cars," said Perry, "but the Viper is in a class by itself. It's everything your mother warned you about."
Dodge PR Announcement
Aerosmith To Unveil Truck During Visit To Dodge
(7/12/01, 7 a.m. ET) -- Aerosmith has a day off from its Just Push Play tour today (July 12), but the Boston quintet will still be working--paying the piper, as it were. The group will make an afternoon visit to the headquarters of DaimlerChrysler, whose Dodge brand is the tour sponsor.
Aerosmith will first visit the company's offices in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills, meeting and greeting and, presumably, thanking employees, and also holding a brief press conference. The band will then tour the facilities before being whisked to the DaimlerChrysler Tech Plaza Test Track, where they'll test drive a number of Dodge products, including Ram trucks and Viper sports cars.
Lead guitarist Joe Perry tells LAUNCH that the band and Dodge officials will also unveil plans for a special Aerosmith edition truck. "I think it's gonna be a pickup," he said. "We'll have some influence over it, some input."
The group performs Friday (July 13) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in nearby Clarkston, Michigan.
-- Gary Graff, Detroit
Aerosmith's stop at DaimlerChrysler's World Headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan
7/13/01, 3 p.m. ET) -- DaimlerChrysler employees didn't seem all that "jaded" as more than 1,500 turned out to greet Aerosmith Thursday (July 12) when the legendary rock band visited the company's technical center outside of Detroit. The workers stood three- and four-people deep around the railing, lined up on the escalators, and clustered around the closed-circuit television sets as songs from Aerosmith's latest album, Just Push Play, echoed off the ceiling of the gigantic covered plaza in the middle of the sprawling, Pentagon-sized building. The band, just in from a show at the Polaris Amphitheater in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday (July 11), was in Auburn Hills as part of its new partnership with Dodge, which is sponsoring the Just Push Play tour.
Lead singer Steven Tyler obliged the friendly, curious crowd by posing for pictures and saying he was pleased with the band's new ties with Dodge. Aerosmith even came complete with security and roadies dressed in black T-shirts bearing the legend, "July 12, 2001. Live--Aerosmith does Dodge at DCX [the DaimlerChrysler Technical Center]."
After the appearance in Tech Plaza, where they put sprawling signatures on the side and hood of an all-black 2001 Dodge Ram pick-up truck, Aerosmith was whisked off in appropriate rock-star style to the small test track behind the technical center, where the group's members had an opportunity to drive Dodge Vipers. The band also got a look a several concept cars and a peek at the 2003 Dodge Viper RT, which is not yet on sale.
James Schroer, the Chrysler group's executive vice president of global sales and marketing, said the idea of linking Dodge and Aerosmith originated with Fusion One, the Connecticut ad agency DaimlerChrysler recruited last spring. Initially, Fusion One thought Aerosmith might prove too outrageous for DaimlerChrysler's management, said Schroer. As it turned out, everyone in the company actually loved the idea and then Aerosmith, which had been in talks with another car company outside the U.S., signed on with Dodge, according to Schroer. Dodge is now in the process of developing a longer-term relationship with Aerosmith, which will take a variety of forms in the future, DaimlerChrysler officials said.
Aerosmith's Just Push Play world tour hit the Darien Lake Six Flags Performing Arts Center in Darien Center, New York, last night (July 15). After a day off today (July 16), the band plays the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, tomorrow (July 17).