Thursday, 27 August 2009

Aerosmith - 'The band keeps coming apart'?

My first piece of rock rhetoric, I decided should be based around a band that everyone knows and likes (or liked at some point in their lives). One of the biggest bands in the world... Aerosmith.

Now, the thing about Aerosmith is that they have had this image since 1987's Permanent Vacation, that they are an invincible rock band. Like a Phoenix, they rose form the ashes of band break-ups, severe drug addiction/alcoholism and psychotic girlfriends to release a few milestones in 80s-90s rock (the aforementioned Permanent Vacation, 1989's Pump and 1993's Get a Grip). Not only that, but they became therapists for the stars, doing their damn well best to help druggie musicians such as Nikki Sixx, Slash and everyone's favourite dick-head... Dave Mustaine. All this, while Joe and Steven maintain figures that would put a 19 year old gymnast to shame!

But it seems today that the 'invincible' image portrayed by these old school rockers is slowly deteriorating. The band recently cancelled their US tour with ZZ Top after Steve Tyler fell off the stage at their stop in Sturgis, South Dakota.

Click here for Aerosmith's entry to 'You've Been Framed'

However, the Screamin' Demon isn't the only one to have had health issues, Brad Whitford and Tom Hamilton sat out some dates for a head injury and throat cancer related surgery respectively. According to Joe Perry, of the dates the band actually did play, none of them featured the full line-up. Not that Joe can bitch, at one point or another he's held up band events with knee surgery.

In an age where artists like The Stones or Paul McCartney are still touring it raises the question should rock-stars quit while they're ahead? They say 60 is the new 40. Well, they can say that til they're blue in the face (which shouldn't take long considering their need for oxygen tanks at the side of the stage), but as the Aerosmith case shows, age'll catch up with you. It's better for bands to quit while they're ahead, with legacy intact. You're only as good as your last release apparently, so stopping while you're at the top seems like a good idea. A few examples of this (with different reasons/circumstances) include The Police, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles. Ignoring Led Zep's and The Police's very successful reunions, these three bands have, since their then perceived premature demises, long enjoyed post career membership to the 'legend' clubhouse. Perks of said membership include deluded middle aged fans buying the indiviual artist's solo work no matter how ludicrous (Sting's 'Lute Music' phase springs to mind).

In my view Aerosmith should have been one of those bands. They were the heaviest 'non-heavy' band around, relying hard hitting grooves and the conviction with which they play their instruments to sound heavy, as opposed to uber-fuzz distortion and cookie monster vocals. A band who most rock fans like at some point in their lives, Aerosmith should have left their fans with the best memory possible of them, but if their determination to do 'an AC/DC' style comeback album is anything to go by, no such thing will happen. Look's like we'll just have to wait for Joey Kramer to get Swine Flu on the next tour.


Welcome to 'Rock That Motherfucker!', a simple blog discussing current affairs in rock music. I'll save you the usual spiel about how this blog is your one-stop for all things rock. It isn't. The purpose of this blog is not to provide news (why compete with Blabbermouth, etc?) but rather to give a subjective view on news provided by such websites, who strive to maintain objectivity.

So feel free to comment, get in touch and generally enjoy reading this guy (who has too much time on his hands in work) talk shit about all our favourite rock artists.

My name's Dave.