Saturday, March 24, 2012

They are all in their mid sixties and are still being able to attract large audiences to their shows. They just started a 20Million dollar payday tour. Not bad for a handfull of senior citizens from America. They are Aerosmith. After 40 wacky years together this group of guys represent one of the last great rock groups left standing. They all should have been dead by now as individuals from their drug abuse and their band should have folded by now because they are always at war with each other.
The lead singer, Steven Tyler’s personality is probably the source and reason for the bands longevity. He recently became a judge on American Idol and managed to increase his popularity as an individual and also increased exposure of his band to a new audience, non rockers but music lovers.
They travel in a private jet with their kids and wives , future wives and even ex-wives. People of all ages get off that plane. They are traveling lately to South America to perform 10 shows for a $20 Million dollar paycheck and a paycheck like that would bring me back together with someone I hate now too.
Each show is sold out to about 80,000 in attendance. Are there even that many people in South America? It must be their cloths, the rock star posing or energy that attracts audiences. Can’t be the guys that are the drawing force. Singer Steven Tyler is 63 years old. Lead Guitarist Joe Perry is 61 and boasts a splash of totally white hair in front of his face.
Because they are frankly old they have to do preventative rituals before going out on stage for a performance. 61 year old drummer Joey Kramer tapes his fingers and hands to prevent blisters . 60 year old guitarist Brad Whitford gets a masseuse to rub a tightening shoulder. 60 year old bassist Tom Hamilton puts in custom made ear plugs in to protect his hearing. Standing next to that drummer throughout the years has given him hearing problems despite surviving throat cancer as well. Kramer survived a nervous breakdown. All 5 of them survived severe drug and alcohol abuse.
They claim to be all clean now but Steven Tyler’s health remains an ongoing threat to the band’s existence. He has battled Hepatitis C , torn his ACL and has had surgery on his vocal cords and both his feet. At a concert in Sturgis, South Dakota in 2009, Tyler was high on prescription pain killers his doctors gave him for his feet. He fell of the stage and nearly broke his neck. The tour was then cancelled and triggered off a series of events that caused the future of the band to spiral out of control.
The other band members were angry that he screwed up the entire tour for them. Tyler knew he took too much meds that night. Tyler got a broken shoulder and 20 stitches in his head after that fall. Brad admits that he and the other band members purposely did not contact Tyler for weeks. Everyone’s lives changed in an instant because Steve was irresponsible. Steven realizes they had a right to be angry with him but not to the extent of not contacting him for 27 weeks. Yes perscription drugs and performers proove that yet again it is a bad mix.
Ironically, Steven was asked to be a Judge on American Idol the same time the band decided to look for a new lead singer. None of these guys consulted each other about the changes. Tyler became a success on the judging show and record sales soared. People had regained interest in the band because of Tyler’s decision. Now there was a new generation of fans to add to the old generation of fans.
Tension and drama have always been a part of Aerosmith that formed in 1970. They started by playing in the Boston area. Then within 5 years they were selling every ticket they could print. They peaked in 1978 when they headlined to sold out performances in footbal stadiums across America. By that time they were all drinking heavily and using hard drugs. Tyler and Perry were so hooked on heroin and cocaine they were called “The Toxic Twins.”
Years ago drugs and rock and roll was accepted. Not in this generation. Kids have grown up with the bad memories of their parents barely surviving being high . We see Ozzie Osborn who can barely talk from the effects of drugs. And then the memory of so many talented musicians that have died from drugs. They are just a memory and we can never be part of their new creativity. They are gone. So, give the guys of Aerosmith another tour and hope they survive it.

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