Born Steven Victor Tallarico in March 1948, to parents Sue and Victor, this most prodigious bad boy of rock began his life long passion for music by sitting beneath the piano as a little boy while his classical pianist father honed his craft. He then went on to singing in a Presbyterian church choir in the Bronx. Flash forward to the 1964 formation of his first “serious” band Thee Strangeurs,later renamed Chain Reaction, which enjoyed occasional moments in the spotlight as the opening act for The Beach Boys and the Yardbirds.
In the summer of 1970, the fortuitous blend of Jam Band members Tom Hamilton on bass and guitarist Joe Perry with Steven’s vocals spawned Aerosmith, which debuted to “rave reviews” at their first public appearance at Nipmuc Regional High School in Mendon, MA thatfall. Competing with other local bands such as the Modern Lovers and J. Geils, Aerosmith struggled to forge ahead while living in a cramped Boston apartment, dodging eviction notices and stealing food from supermarkets to survive. “There were five of us in the group, some of us living in the kitchen, eating brown rice and Campbell’s soup. Those days a quart of beer was heaven. It was hard times andit was really good,” Steven recalls.
The song “No Surprize” chronicles Aerosmith’s first deal with Columbia in the summer of 1972, when Clive Davis saw the band play at New York’s legendary Max’s Kansas City. Their classic self-titled debut album was recorded in an astonishing two weeks and, released in January 1973, provided the blueprint for what was to become Hard Rock and Heavy Metal in the70's and 80's. It was electrified blues, blasted through the amps of five young, raucous and hungry guys. “We weren’t too ambitious when we started out. We just wanted to be the biggest thing that ever walked the planet, the greatest rock band that ever was. We just wanted everything. We just wanted it all.”
Over the next five years, Tyler and the boys continued their fervent ascent bycontinually touring and releasing Get Your Wings, followed by Toys in the Attic, their first platinum record and a milestone, a precursor of the success that was to come. The band was at a peak, and little did they know, it was still the beginning. "I remember reading in a newspaper, in like 1976,” says Steven, “and there’s this article in there about how disgusting rock lyrics are, and they used ‘WalkThis 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 aint’ seen nothin’ till you’re down on a muffin’." The band’s fourth offering, Rocks, was hailed by critics as a classic American rock album and their most sophisticated work to date; simultaneously, “Dream On” from the debut album and “Walk This Way” from Toysbecame their first national top ten hits. By 1977, the band was one of the top concert attractions in the country and had released their next platinum album, Draw The Line.
After a long period of well-publicized estrangement between Steven and Joe Perry, the ice between the two began to thaw on Valentines Day 1984, when Joe Perry and Brad Whitford visited their old bandmates after an Aerosmithshow at the Orpheum Theater in Boston. Later that year the announcement was made that the original Aerosmith line-up would reunite. Tyler remembers, “It was like five years had never passed. We knew we’d made the right move.”
In 1986, the release of Run DMC’s rendition of “Walk This Way,” garnered Aerosmith a new generation of fans. Steven Tyler and Joe Perry’s landmark collaboration with thegroup on the music video sparked an international hit, that not only rekindled interest in Aerosmith's career but also forever changed the face of music by uniting hip hop and rock ‘n’ roll.
The release of Permanent Vacation in 1987 sealed the band’s triumphant return to the helm of rock, selling albums in the millions. In 1989, Aerosmith released Pump, which was accompanied by the video...
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