When 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 (Commonwealth
"It's the first song we ever wrote together."
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 (Willie Nelson)
"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 time."
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, H. Kay)
"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 humor."
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 sometimes."
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
"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
"Was I the Lord of the Thighs? Fuck yeah."
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
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 frusterations 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
"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 there."
"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 go."
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
"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
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 great song."
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 time."
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, Whitford, Douglas)
"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
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
Bone to Bone (Coney Island White Fish Boy) (Tyler, Perry)
"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 Fish."
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 then."
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 blown away."
"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
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
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 us."