In 1964, Steven Tyler formed his own band called the Strangeurs—later Chain Reaction—in Yonkers, NY. Meanwhile, Perry and Hamilton formed the Jam Band (commonly known as "Joe Perry's Jam Band"), which was based on free-form and blues. Hamilton and Perry moved to Boston, Massachusetts in September 1969. There they met Joey Kramer, a drummer from Yonkers, New York. Kramer knew Tyler and had always hoped to play in a band with him. Kramer, a Berklee College of Music student, decided to leave the school, and joined Jam Band.
In 1970, Chain Reaction and Jam Band played at the same gig. Tyler immediately loved Jam Band's sound, and wanted to combine the two bands. In October 1970, the bands met up again and considered the proposition. Tyler, who had been a drummer and backup singer in Chain Reaction, adamantly refused to play drums in this new band, insisting that he would take part only if he could be frontman and lead vocalist. The others agreed, and a new band was formed. The band moved into a home together at 1325 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, where they wrote and rehearsed music together and relaxed in between shows.
The members of the band reportedly spent afternoons getting stoned and watching Three Stooges reruns. One day, they had a post-Stooges meeting to try to come up with a name. Kramer said that, when he was in school, he would write the word "aerosmith" all over his notebooks. The name had popped into his head after listening to Harry Nilsson's album Aerial Ballet, which featured jacket art of a circus performer jumping out of a biplane. Initially, Kramer's bandmates were unimpressed; they all thought he was referring to the Sinclair Lewis novel they were required to read in high school English class. "No, not Arrowsmith," Kramer explained. "A-E-R-O...Aerosmith." The band settled upon this name after also considering "the Hookers" and "Spike Jones."
Soon, the band hired Ray Tabano, a childhood friend of Tyler, as rhythm guitarist and began playing local shows. Aerosmith played their first gig in Mendon, Massachusetts at Nipmuc Regional High School (now Miscoe Hill Middle School) on November 6, 1970. In 1971, Tabano was replaced by Brad Whitford, who also attended the Berklee School of Music, and was formerly a member of the band Earth Inc. Whitford, from Reading, Massachusetts, had already played at Reading's AW Coolidge Middle School. Other than a period from July 1979 to April 1984, the line-up of Tyler, Perry, Hamilton, Kramer, and Whitford has stayed the same.
Record deal, Aerosmith, Get Your Wings, and Toys in the Attic (1971–1975)
After forming the band and finalizing the lineup in 1971, the band started to garner some local success doing live shows. Originally booked through the Ed Malhoit Agency, the band signed a promotion deal with Frank Connelly, and eventually secured a management deal with David Krebs and Steve Leber in 1972. Krebs and Leber invited Columbia Records President Clive Davis to see the band at Max's Kansas City in New York City. Aerosmith was not originally scheduled to play that night at the club, but they paid out of their own pockets to secure a place on the bill, reportedly the only band ever to do so at Max's. "No Surprize" from their Night in the Ruts album celebrated the moment their fame rose.
Aerosmith signed with Columbia in mid-1972 for a reported $125,000, and released their debut album, Aerosmith. Released in January 1973, the album peaked at number 166. The album was straightforward rock and roll with well-defined blues influences, laying the groundwork for Aerosmith's signature blues rock sound. Although the highest-charting single from the album was "Dream On" at number 59, several tracks, such as "Mama Kin" and "Walkin' the Dog", would become staples of the band's live shows, and received airplay on rock radio. The album reached gold status initially, eventually went on to sell two million copies, and was certified double platinum after the band reached mainstream success over a decade later. After constant touring, the band released their second album, Get Your Wings in 1974, the first of a string of multi-platinum albums produced by Jack Douglas. This album included the rock radio hits "Same Old Song and Dance" and "Train Kept A-Rollin'", a cover done previously by the Yardbirds. The album also contained several fan favorites, including "Lord of the Thighs", "Seasons of Wither", and "S.O.S. (Too Bad)", darker songs that have become staples in the band's live shows. To date, Get Your Wings has sold three million copies.
In 1975, Aerosmith released their third album, Toys in the Attic, which established Aerosmith as international stars, competing with the likes of Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. Originally derided as Rolling Stones knockoffs in part due to the physical resemblance between lead singers Steven Tyler and Mick Jagger, Toys in the Attic showed that Aerosmith was a unique and talented band in their own right. Toys in the Attic was an immediate success, starting with the single "Sweet Emotion", which became the band's first Top 40 hit. This was followed by a successful re-release of "Dream On" which hit #6, becoming their best charting single of the 1970s. "Walk This Way", re-released in 1976, reached the Top 10 in early 1977.
In addition, "Toys in the Attic" and "Big Ten Inch Record" (a song originally recorded by Bull Moose Jackson) became concert staples. As a result of this success, both of the band's previous albums re-charted. Toys in the Attic has gone on to become the band's bestselling studio album in the United States, with certified U.S. sales of eight million copies. The band toured in support of Toys in the Attic, where they started to get more recognition. Also around this time, the band established their home base as "the Wherehouse" in Waltham, Massachusetts, where they would record and rehearse music, as well as conduct business.
Rocks, Draw the Line, and Live! Bootleg (1976–1978)
Steven Tyler and Joe Perry performing live in concert.
In 1976, Aerosmith's fourth album was Rocks, which "captured Aerosmith at their most raw and rocking". It went platinum swiftly and featured two Top 40 hits, "Last Child" and "Back in the Saddle", as well as the ballad "Home Tonight", which also charted. Rocks would eventually go on to sell over four million copies. Both Toys in the Attic and Rocks are highly regarded, especially in the hard rock genre: they appear on such lists as Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and are cited as influential by members of Guns N' Roses, Metallica, and Mötley Crüe. Kurt Cobain also listed Rocks as one of the albums he thought were most influential to Nirvana’s sound in his journal in 1993.
Soon after Rocks was released, the band continued to tour heavily, this time headlining their own shows, including large stadiums and rock festivals.
In 1977, Aerosmith's released their fifth album, Draw the Line. Its recording was affected by the band's excesses, but the record still had memorable moments. The title track charted just shy of the Top 40 and remains a live staple, and "Kings and Queens" also charted. The album went on to sell two million copies. The band toured extensively in support of the album, but drug abuse and the fast-paced life of touring and recording began affecting their performances. Tyler and Perry became known as "the Toxic Twins" due to their notorious abuse of drugs on and off the stage. Tyler later commented, “I've spent $64 million on drugs”; Perry scoffed later, "There's no fucking way in the world you could spend that much money on drugs and still be alive. It makes a good headline – but, practically speaking, that was probably a very small portion of where we spent our money."
While continuing to tour and record in the late 1970s, Aerosmith appeared in the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band movie. Their cover of The Beatles' "Come Together", from the soundtrack, was the band's last Top 40 hit for nearly 10 years. The double vinyl Live! Bootleg, issued in 1978, captured the band's rawness during the Draw the Line tour. The standalone single "Chip Away the Stone", also released in 1978, charted at number 77.
Departures of Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, Night in the Ruts, and Rock in a Hard Place (1979–1984)
In 1979, the band started work on their next album, Night in the Ruts, but Aerosmith decided to go on tour during a break in the recording schedule. As the decade was about to conclude, the band's drug use began taking its toll, and tensions were slowly coming to a head. The band's touring schedule brought them to Cleveland Stadium on July 28, 1979, where they headlined the World Series of Rock festival. Pandemonium erupted backstage when Joe Perry's wife, Elissa, threw a glass of milk at Tom Hamilton's wife, Terry. Following the show, Tyler and Perry got into a heated argument when Tyler confronted Perry about his wife's antics, and after the course of the argument, Perry left Aerosmith (while Tyler claims in his autobiography that he fired Perry from the band). Upon his departure, Perry took some of the music that he had written with him. Shortly after his departure, Perry formed his own side project known as The Joe Perry Project.
Since there was still work to be done on Night in the Ruts, Aerosmith needed fill-in musicians to take Perry's place on the songs that needed to be recorded to complete the album. Rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford took over some of the lead parts, and Richie Supa, the band's longtime writing partner, filled in where needed until the band was able to hire Jimmy Crespo to take over as the next full-time guitarist. Night in the Ruts was released in November 1979, but only managed to sell enough records to be certified gold at the time, although it would eventually sell enough copies to be certified platinum by 1994. The only single the album spawned, a cover of "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" by the Shangri-Las, peaked at number 67 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The tour for Night in the Ruts commenced shortly thereafter, but the band found themselves playing in smaller and smaller venues than before due to their popularity beginning to wane. Steven Tyler's drug issues were starting to affect his performance and songwriting, and he reached rock bottom in 1980, when he collapsed on stage during a show in Portland, Maine, and did not get up for the remainder of the set. Also in 1980, Aerosmith released their first compilation album, Greatest Hits. While the compilation didn't chart very high initially, it gained popularity later, and went on to become the band's best selling album in the United States, with sales of 11 million copies. In the fall of 1980, Tyler was injured in a serious motorcycle accident, which left him hospitalized for two months, and unable to tour or record well into 1981.
In 1981, Aerosmith began work on their next album, Rock in a Hard Place, and saw them reunite with producer Jack Douglas. However, after the first song for the album, "Lightning Strikes", was recorded, Brad Whitford left the band, and decided to form a duo with Derek St. Holmes, with whom he recorded a self-titled album, which failed to garner much interest. Whitford later joined up with the Joe Perry Project and played with them in 1984.
With Rick Dufay taking Whitford's place, Rock in a Hard Place was released on August 1, 1982. The album reached number 32 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Only one single charted, the aforementioned "Lightning Strikes", which peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. As with the tour for Night in the Ruts, Aerosmith was unable to book larger venues, and instead had to rely on filling clubs and theaters, which they struggled to do. At a homecoming arena show in Worcester, Massachusetts, Tyler and Perry reunited and got high backstage before the show. Tyler was so intoxicated that he collapsed on stage again and, like before, could not get up.
On February 14, 1984, Perry (by then divorced from his first wife Elissa) and Whitford saw Aerosmith perform at Boston's Orpheum Theater. Shortly thereafter, discussions began to reintegrate the two into the band and several months later, the original members of Aerosmith officially reunited. Steven Tyler recalls:
||You should have felt the buzz the moment all five of us got together in the same room for the first time again. We all started laughin'—it was like the five years had never passed. We knew we'd made the right move.
|— Steven Tyler
Back in the Saddle reunion tour, Done with Mirrors, and drug rehab (1984–1986)
In 1984, Aerosmith embarked on a reunion tour called the Back in the Saddle Tour, which led to the live album Classics Live II. While concerts on the tour were well-attended, it was plagued with several incidents, mostly attributed to drug abuse by band members. With their drug problems still not behind them, the group was signed to Geffen Records, and began working on a comeback. Despite the band signing on to a new record company, the band's old label Columbia continued to reap the benefits of Aerosmith's comeback, releasing the live companion albums Classics Live I and II and the collection Gems.
In 1985, the band released the album Done with Mirrors, their first studio album since reuniting. While the album did receive some positive reviews, it only went gold and failed to produce a hit single or generate any widespread interest. The album's most notable track, "Let the Music Do the Talking", was in fact a cover of a song originally recorded by the Joe Perry Project and released on that band's album of the same name. Nevertheless, the band became a popular concert attraction once again, touring in support of Done with Mirrors, well into 1986. In 1986, Tyler and Perry appeared on Run–D.M.C.'s cover of "Walk This Way", a track blending rock and roll with hip hop. In reaching number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, the song and its frequently-aired video resurrected Aerosmith's career by introducing the band's music to a new generation.
Despite their resurrecting performance, the band members' drug problems still stood in their way. In 1986, Tyler completed a successful drug rehabilitation program, after an intervention by his fellow band members, a doctor, and manager Tim Collins, who believed that the band's future would not be bright if Tyler did not get treated in time. The rest of the band members also completed drug rehab programs over the course of the next couple of years. According to the band's tell-all autobiography, Collins pledged in September 1986 that he could make Aerosmith the biggest band in the world by 1990 if they all completed drug rehab. Their next album was crucial because of the commercial disappointment of Done With Mirrors, and as the band members became clean, they worked hard to make their next album a success.
Permanent Vacation and Pump (1987–1991)
Permanent Vacation was released in September 1987, becoming a major hit and the band's bestselling album in over a decade (selling 5 million copies in the U.S.), with all three of its singles ("Dude (Looks Like a Lady)", "Angel", and "Rag Doll") reaching the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. Steven Tyler reveals in his autobiography that the album was "...the first one we ever did sober." Part of Permanent Vacation's commercial success involved producer Bruce Fairbairn whose production touches (such as sound effects and high-quality recording) added interest to the album and the use of outside songwriters such as Desmond Child, Jim Vallance, and Holly Knight who assisted the band with lyrics. While the group was initially hesitant to using outside songwriters, including Tyler being furious for Knight getting songwriting credits for changing one word ("Rag Time" became "Rag Doll"), the method paid off, as Permanent Vacation became the band's most successful album in a decade. The group went on a subsequent tour with labelmates Guns N' Roses (who have cited Aerosmith as a major influence), which was intense at times because of Aerosmith's new struggle to stay clean amidst Guns N' Roses' well-publicized, rampant drug use.
Aerosmith's next album was even more successful. Pump, released in September 1989, featured three Top Ten singles: “Love in an Elevator”, “Janie's Got a Gun”, and What It Takes", as well as the Top 30 "The Other Side", re-establishing the band as a serious musical force. Pump was a critical and commercial success, eventually selling 7 million copies, spawning several music videos that were in regular rotation on MTV, and achieving four-star ratings from major music magazines. Pump ranked as the fourth-bestselling album of 1990. The band also won its first Grammy in the category of Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, for "Janie's Got a Gun". In addition, the video for "Janie's Got a Gun" won two Video Music Awards and was ranked as one of the 100 greatest videos of all time by Rolling Stone, MTV, and VH1. Like Permanent Vacation, Pump was produced by Bruce Fairbairn, who added production touches such as instrumental interludes that provided transitions between songs to give the album a more complete sound, as well as the Margarita Horns, who added horns to tracks such as "Love in an Elevator" and "The Other Side". Rock critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine claimed that Pump "revels in [pop concessions] without ever losing sight of Aerosmith's dirty hard rock core", going on to say that, "such ambition and successful musical eclectism make Pump rank with Toys in the Attic and Rocks." The recording process for Pump was documented in the video The Making of Pump, which has since been re-released as a DVD. The music videos for the album's singles were featured on the release Things That Go Pump in the Night, which quickly went platinum.
In support of Pump, the band embarked on the 12-month Pump Tour, which lasted for most of 1990. On February 21, 1990, the band appeared in a "Wayne's World" sketch on Saturday Night Live, debating the fall of communism and the Soviet Union, and performed their recent hits "Janie's Got a Gun" and "Monkey on My Back". The appearance of the band in the "Wayne's World" sketch was later ranked by E! as the number-one moment in the history of the program. On August 11, 1990, the band's performance on MTV's Unplugged aired. In October 1990, the Pump Tour ended, with the band's first ever performances in Australia. That same year, the band was also inducted to the Hollywood Rock Walk. In November 1991, the band appeared on The Simpsons episode "Flaming Moe's" and released a box set titled Pandora's Box. In coordination with the release of Pandora's Box, the band's 1975 hit "Sweet Emotion" was re-mixed and re-released as a single, and a music video was created to promote the single. Also in 1991, the band performed their 1973 single "Dream On" with Michael Kamen's orchestra for MTV's 10th Anniversary special; this performance was used as the official music video for the song. In 1992, Tyler and Perry appeared live as guests of Guns N' Roses during the latter's 1992 worldwide pay-per-view show in Paris, performing a medley of "Mama Kin" (which GN'R covered in 1986) and "Train Kept-A Rollin".
Get a Grip and Big Ones (1992–1995)
The band took a brief break before recording their follow-up to Pump in 1992. Despite significant shifts in mainstream music at the beginning of the 1990s, 1993's Get a Grip was just as successful commercially, becoming their first album to debut at number 1 and racking up sales of 7 million copies in a two-and-a-half-year timespan. The first singles were the hard rocking "Livin' on the Edge" and "Eat the Rich". Though many critics were unimpressed by the focus on the subsequent interchangeable power-ballads in promoting the album, all three ("Cryin'", "Amazing", and "Crazy") proved to be huge successes on radio and MTV. The music videos featured then up-and-coming actress Alicia Silverstone; her provocative performances earned her the title of "the Aerosmith chick" for the first half of the decade. Steven Tyler's daughter Liv Tyler was also featured in the "Crazy" video. Get a Grip would go on to sell more than 7 million copies in the U.S. alone, and over 20 million copies worldwide. The band won two Grammy Awards for songs from this album in the category of Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: for "Livin' on the Edge" in 1994 and "Crazy" in 1995.
During the making of Get a Grip, the management and record company brought in a variety of professional songwriting collaborators to help give nearly all the songs on the album more commercial appeal, a trend which would continue until the early 2000s. However, this led to accusations of selling out that would continue throughout the 1990s. In addition to Aerosmith's grueling 18-month world tour in support of Get a Grip, the band also did a number of things to help promote themselves and their album and appeal to youth culture, including the appearance of the band in the movie Wayne's World 2 where they performed two songs, the appearance of the band and their music in the video games Revolution X and Quest for Fame, performing at Woodstock '94, using their song "Deuces Are Wild" in The Beavis and Butt-head Experience, and opening their own club, The Mama Kin Music Hall, in Boston, MA in 1994. That same year saw the release of the band's compilation for Geffen Records, entitled Big Ones featuring their biggest hits from Permanent Vacation, Pump, and Get a Grip, "Deuces Are Wild" from the Beavis and Butt-head Experience, as well as two new songs, "Blind Man" and "Walk on Water", both of which experienced great success on the rock charts.
Nine Lives and "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" (1996–2000)
Aerosmith had signed a $30 million contract for four records with Columbia Records/Sony Music in 1991, but had only recorded three of their six contractual albums with Geffen Records at that point (Done with Mirrors, Permanent Vacation, and Pump). Between 1991 and 1996, they released two more albums with Geffen (Get a Grip and Big Ones), which meant they now had five albums with Geffen under their belt (along with a planned live compilation), which meant they could now begin recording for their new contract with Columbia. The band took time off with their families before working on their next album, Nine Lives, which was plagued with personnel problems, including the firing of manager Tim Collins, who, according to band members, had nearly caused the band to break up. The album's producer was also changed from Glen Ballard to Kevin Shirley. Nine Lives was released in March 1997. Reviews were mixed, and Nine Lives initially fell down the charts, although it had a long chart life and sold double platinum in the United States alone, fueled by its singles, "Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)", the ballad "Hole in My Soul", and the crossover-pop smash "Pink" (which won the band their fourth Grammy Award in 1999 in the Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal category). It was followed by the over two-year-long Nine Lives Tour, which was plagued by problems including lead singer Steven Tyler injuring his leg at a concert, and Joey Kramer suffering second degree burns when his car caught fire at a gas station.
In 1998, in the midst of setbacks during the Nine Lives Tour, the band released the single "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing", the love theme, written by Diane Warren for the 1998 film Armageddon, starring Steven Tyler's daughter Liv. The song became Aerosmith's first and only number 1 single when it debuted at the top position on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on top of the charts for four weeks. The song was nominated for an Academy Award in 1999. The song helped open Aerosmith up to a new generation and remains a slow-dance staple. 1998 also saw the release of the double-live album, A Little South of Sanity, which was assembled from performances on the Get a Grip and Nine Lives tours. The album went platinum shortly after its release. The band continued with their seemingly neverending world tours promoting Nine Lives and the "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" single well into 1999.
In 1999, Aerosmith was featured in the Disney Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World (and later in 2001 at Disneyland Paris in the Walt Disney Studios Park) ride, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, providing the ride's soundtrack and theme. On September 9, 1999, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry reunited with Run–D.M.C. and were also joined by Kid Rock for a collaborative live performance of "Walk This Way" at the MTV Video Music Awards, a precursor to the Girls of Summer Tour. The band celebrated the new millennium with a brief tour of Japan, and also contributed the song "Angel's Eye" to the 2000 film Charlie's Angels. In December 2000, they wrapped up work on their next album. In August 2018, Band's van which was used during their funky 1964 International Harvester Metro tours was found in small New England town.
Just Push Play, O, Yeah! and Rocksimus Maximus (2001–2003)
The band entered their next decade by performing at the halftime show for Super Bowl XXXV, in January 2001, along with pop stars 'N Sync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly. All of the stars collaborated with Aerosmith at the end for a performance of "Walk This Way".
In March 2001, the band released their 13th studio album Just Push Play, which quickly went platinum, fueled by the Top 10 single "Jaded" and the appearance of the title track in Dodge commercials. They were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame soon after their album was released, in late March 2001. Aerosmith is the only band to be inducted to the Hall of Fame with a song active in the charts ("Jaded"). Later that year, the band performed as part of the United We Stand: What More Can I Give benefit concert in Washington D.C. for 9/11 victims and their families. The band flew back to Indianapolis for a show the same night, as part of their Just Push Play Tour.
The band started 2002 by ending the Just Push Play tour, and simultaneously recording segments for their Behind the Music special on VH1, which not only chronicled the band's history but also the band's current activities and touring. The special was one of the few Behind the Musics to run two hours in length. In May, Aerosmith covered the "Theme from Spider-Man" for the soundtrack of the 2002 film of the same name. On June 27, the band performed at the official FIFA World Cup concert at Tokyo Stadium which took place during the 2002 FIFA World Cup held in Korea/Japan. In July 2002, Aerosmith released a two-disc career-spanning compilation O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits, which featured the new single "Girls of Summer" and embarked on the Girls of Summer Tour with Kid Rock and Run–D.M.C. opening. O, Yeah! has since been certified double platinum. MTV honored Aerosmith with their mtvICON award in 2002. Performances included Pink covering "Janie's Got a Gun". Shakira performed "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)", Kid Rock played "Mama Kin" and "Last Child", Train performed "Dream On" and Papa Roach covered "Sweet Emotion". In addition, testimonials featured surprise guests Metallica, as well as Janet Jackson, Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst, Alicia Silverstone and Mila Kunis.
In 2003, Aerosmith co-headlined with Kiss on the Rocksimus Maximus Tour, in preparation for release of their blues album. They also performed a song for Rugrats Go Wild, "Lizard Love".
Honkin' on Bobo, Rockin' the Joint and Devil's Got a New Disguise (2004–2006)
Aerosmith's long-promised blues album Honkin' on Bobo was released in 2004. This was a return to the band's roots, including recording the album in live sessions, working with former producer Jack Douglas, and laying down their blues rock grit. It was followed by a live DVD, You Gotta Move, in December 2004, culled from performances on the Honkin' on Bobo Tour. "Dream On" was also featured in an advertising campaign for Buick in 2004, targeting that marque's market which is now composed largely of people who were teenagers when the song first charted.
2005 saw Steven Tyler appear in the film Be Cool. Joe Perry released his self-titled solo album that same year. At the 2006 Grammy Awards, he was nominated for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for the track "Mercy", but lost to Les Paul. In October 2005, Aerosmith released a CD/DVD Rockin' the Joint. The band hit the road for the Rockin' the Joint Tour on October 30 with Lenny Kravitz for a fall/winter tour of arenas in the largest U.S. markets. The band planned to tour with Cheap Trick in the spring, hitting secondary markets in the U.S. Almost all of this leg of the tour was canceled, however. Dates were initially canceled one by one until March 22, 2006, when it was announced that lead singer Steven Tyler needed throat surgery, and the remaining dates on the tour were subsequently canceled.
Aerosmith commenced recording a new album on Armed Forces Day 2006. Tyler and Perry performed with the Boston Pops Orchestra for their annual concert of July 4 on the Esplanade in 2006, a milestone as it was the first major event or performance since Steven Tyler's throat surgery. Around this time, the band also announced that they would embark on the Route of All Evil Tour with Mötley Crüe in late 2006. On August 24, 2006, it was announced that Tom Hamilton was undergoing treatment for throat cancer. In order to make a full recovery, he sat out much of the Route of All Evil Tour until he was well again. Former Joe Perry Project bassist David Hull substituted for Hamilton until his return. On September 5, 2006, Aerosmith kicked off the Route of All Evil Tour with Mötley Crüe in Columbus, Ohio. The co-headlining tour took both bands to amphitheaters across North America through November 24. After that, a select few arena dates were added, some of which were with Mötley Crüe. The tour ended December 17.
On October 17, 2006, the compilation album Devil's Got a New Disguise: The Very Best of Aerosmith was released. The album contained previous hits with the addition of two new songs, "Devil's Got a New Disguise" and "Sedona Sunrise", which were older outtakes re-recorded for the album. "Devil's Got a New Disguise" peaked at number 15 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The album was intended to fulfill Aerosmith's contract with Sony and tide fans over until the band's new studio album was released.
Touring, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and unfinished album (2007–2009)
In early 2007, the band announced a new World Tour, their first for nearly a decade to include dates outside North America or Japan. The band performed at London's Hard Rock Cafe in February 2007 to promote their European tour which included a night in Hyde Park as part of the Hyde Park Calling festival sponsored by Hard Rock Cafe. In the spring, the band toured Latin America to sold-out stadium crowds. In the summer, the band toured Europe, performing at several major rock festivals and visiting some countries they had never played before. Additionally, the band played in Middle East countries such as the United Arab Emirates and India for the first time. The band also played a few select dates in California and Canada in late July. The July 21 concert in Prince Edward Island, was the largest in that province's history. In September, the band performed eight dates in major markets in Northeastern North America. These shows were opened by Joan Jett. The band also played a private gig in Hawaii. A public show in Maui was canceled for logistical reasons, which spurred a class action lawsuit against the band. In April 2009, Aerosmith agreed to compensate all ticket buyers of the canceled show with a free ticket to a rescheduled Maui show to be held on October 20, 2009, along with reimbursements of all out-of-pocket expenses related to the show.
On November 1, 2007, the band entered the studio to work on the final studio album of their current contract with Sony. At the time, it was believed that the album would include both re-recorded tracks left off previous albums as well as brand new material. In an interview, guitarist Joe Perry revealed that in addition to creating a new album, the band was working closely with the makers of the Guitar Hero series to develop Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, a video game dedicated to the band's music. The game was released on June 29, 2008 and contains many of their most popular songs. Steven Tyler announced on VH1 Classic Radio on September 4, 2008 that Aerosmith intends to enter the studio at the end of September 2008 to complete the band's 15th studio album. Tyler also confirmed that the band plans to begin a new U.S. tour in June 2009, in support of the as-yet-untitled album. This tour was supposed to be preceded by a concert in Venezuela on February 1, 2009. However, on January 15, 2009, Tyler said the band would be unable to play the gig because of a second knee injury of guitarist Joe Perry. In mid-February 2009, it was announced that the album would be produced by the famed Brendan O'Brien and that the album would likely be recorded live, like their earlier records. Although the band had hoped to finish the album before the tour started in June 2009, Perry said that the group "realized there wasn't any chance of getting [the album] finished before we hit the road for the summer." The tour featured ZZ Top as the opening act for most of the tour. The Aerosmith/ZZ Top Tour, presented by Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, was officially announced and the first dates released on April 8, 2009.
Aerosmith performing in Tallinn
, Estonia on July 5, 2007.
The tour was slated to take the band across North America from June to September 2009. The tour featured the band performing nearly all of the songs on the their 1975 album Toys in the Attic during the first seven dates of the tour and also featured Joe Perry sing lead vocals on the 1976 "Combination". The tour was plagued with several health problems, however. Guitarist Brad Whitford had to sit out the first seven dates of the tour in order to recover from head surgery, after injuring his head getting out of his car. On June 28, 2009, at the band's seventh show of the tour at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, lead singer Steven Tyler injured his leg, which required seven shows to be postponed. As soon as the band resumed the tour on July 15, Whitford returned to the fold. However, Tom Hamilton had to depart the tour in order to recover from non-invasive surgery. On August 5, 2009, Tyler was rushed to the hospital after falling from the stage at a concert in Sturgis, South Dakota. He was helped up by security staff and taken backstage, before guitarist Joe Perry told the audience the show was over. Tyler was airlifted to Rapid City Regional Hospital, where he received treatment for head and neck injuries and a broken shoulder. In the wake of Tyler's injuries, the band was forced to postpone five shows in Western Canada. On August 14, 2009, Aerosmith announced that they had decided to cancel the rest of their U.S. tour dates with ZZ Top, due to Tyler's injuries.
In the midst of the tour, Perry completed work on his fifth solo album, Have Guitar, Will Travel and drummer Joey Kramer released his autobiography, Hit Hard. Perry's solo album was released on October 6, 2009.
After Tyler recovered from falling off stage, the band returned to the stage in mid-October for two shows in Hawaii, one in Maui which was rescheduled from 2007 and finally played as part of a legal settlement, and an additional show which was played in Honolulu. In early November, the band played a concert in Abu Dhabi at the Grand Prix.
Tyler-Perry feud and Cocked, Locked, and Ready to Rock Tour (2009–2010)
Aerosmith performing in Arnhem
, Netherlands on June 23, 2010
Tyler pulled out of a planned South American tour at the end of 2009 and seemed intent on pursuing solo projects, including his autobiography Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?. Tyler told Classic Rock magazine, "I don't know what I'm doing yet, but it's definitely going to be something Steven Tyler: working on the brand of myself – Brand Tyler." Meanwhile, guitarist Joe Perry toured the United States at the end of 2009, and Japan and the UK early in 2010.
In November 2009, Joe Perry stated that Tyler had not been in contact with the band and could be on the verge of quitting Aerosmith. Perry stated that the rest of the group was "looking for a new singer to work with." It was reported that singer Lenny Kravitz had been approached for Steven Tyler's position, which he then declined.
However, despite the rumors of him leaving the band, Tyler joined the Joe Perry Project onstage on November 10, 2009 at the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza, and Tyler and Perry performed the Aerosmith single "Walk This Way" together. According to sources at the event, Tyler assured the crowd that he was "not quitting Aerosmith".
On December 22, People magazine reported that Tyler had entered a rehabilitation facility to manage his addiction to painkillers, brought on by injuries to his knees, legs, and feet, that resulted from years of performing. In his statement, Tyler said he is grateful for the support he is receiving, is committed to getting things taken care of, and is eager to get back on stage and in the recording studio with his bandmates.
On January 20, 2010, Perry confirmed the band were about to audition for a new singer to replace Tyler. Perry said Tyler's surgery to his legs would "take him out of the picture" for up to a year and a half, and in the meantime, the rest of the band wanted to continue performing. Perry also said that the band would be willing to continue working with Tyler in the future if the singer wanted to.
In response, Tyler's attorney sent the band and its manager a "cease and desist" letter and threatened further legal action against both if the band did not discontinue this effort to replace Tyler.
On February 15, 2010, it was announced that Aerosmith were to headline Download Festival at Donington Park, England in June 2010. Tyler was confirmed as the frontman for the show by festival promoter Andy Copping. It was announced that the band would precede the June 13 date with an appearance at the Sweden Rock Festival on June 10 in Sölvesborg. During the Donington show, Perry celebrated Tyler's position as frontman, dubbing him "the best lead singer on the planet". On February 24, the band announced the first batch of dates for their upcoming Cocked, Locked, Ready to Rock Tour. The tour saw the band play seven dates in South and Central America in May, followed by eleven dates in Europe, in June and early July. The band performed in Colombia, Peru and Greece for the first time in their career on this tour. The band performed 24 concerts in North America in late July, August, and September. Many of the concerts were in locations the band canceled on in 2009. As part of the tour, the band played Fenway Park in Boston with fellow Bostonians the J. Geils Band.
Problems on the band's Cocked, Locked, and Ready to Rock Tour arose in August 2010, including Tyler accidentally hitting Joe Perry in the head with his microphone stand at a show in Wantagh, New York and Perry bumping into Tyler at the Toronto show, which caused Tyler to tumble off the stage. Perry suffered a minor head injury at the Wantagh show and Tyler was helped back up by fans and Perry at the Toronto show, and both shows went on. Around the same time as these incidents, tension flared again between Perry and Tyler due to Tyler's plans to become a talent judge on American Idol. Perry criticized Tyler for not consulting the rest of the band, saying that he "found out on the internet, like the rest of the world" and that nobody else in the band knew anything about it.
On August 18, it was reported that Tyler officially signed on with the show. When asked about this in October, Perry declared he understood Tyler's reasons and wished him luck, but stated that he would seek different projects – "I'm tired of waiting around, so I'm not passing up anything right now".
While announcing the Cocked, Locked, and Ready to Rock Tour in 2009, Tyler and Perry said that the next item on the agenda was a new Aerosmith album, the group's first since 2004's Honkin' on Bobo. The group did some recording with producer Brendan O'Brien in 2008 but halted because of Tyler's health problems. Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton told the Boston Herald in September 2010 that Tyler believes he has the time and energy to continue fronting the band while also being a judge on American Idol.
Hamilton explained, "Steven's been very emphatic in saying that the way his time is arranged on the show leaves room to work on a record. He's been taking great pains to remind everybody of that, so hopefully that's the way it will come out." On November 5, 2010, Brad Whitford said the recording sessions will probably be in Los Angeles, where American Idol is headquartered, and a world tour would follow.
Touring and Music from Another Dimension! (2010–2013)
Steven Tyler and Joey Kramer playing drums together at an Aerosmith concert in Chicago, Illinois on June 22, 2012
In a November 2010 interview reported at NME.com, drummer Joey Kramer confirmed that the band had every intention to finish and release their long-delayed album in 2011, stating, "Really, at this point in time, the only thing that's going to stop us is if someone out-and-out dies. Other than that, we've already been through what we've been through and stood the test of time. What else is there?" On January 18, 2011, Tyler declared that "Joe (Perry) has got some licks and I've got a bunch of songs that I've written for solo and/or Aerosmith" and the band would start prepping the album that week.
On March 20, 2011, Aerosmith announced a new greatest hits album, Tough Love: Best of the Ballads, which was released on May 10, 2011. On May 14, 2011, the band announced a tour of Latin America in the fall of 2011. In June, Joe Perry announced that the band is going to meet at the recording studio to produce the next album of the band in July. On August 30, it was announced that the new album will be released around May 2012. The album will be produced by Jack Douglas, who produced four albums for the band in the 1970s. Aerosmith began their fall tour of Latin America and Japan on October 22 in Lima, Peru. As part of the tour, the band performed in Paraguay, Panama, and Ecuador for the first time in their careers. Their show in Asunción, Paraguay was postponed a day, after lead singer Steven Tyler sustained facial injuries after falling in his hotel room shower, due to a bout of food poisoning that dehydrated him and caused him to faint.
On March 11, 2012, Aerosmith was featured on an episode of 60 Minutes. The show included very candid interviews with the band members, interspersed with live performances from the band's 2011 tour. Some of the comments the band members said about each other seemed to re-ignite past tensions in the band. However, on March 22, Joe Perry surprised Steven Tyler by performing "Happy Birthday" for him on American Idol, as an early birthday present for Tyler. On March 26, Aerosmith announced a summer tour with Cheap Trick entitled the "Global Warming Tour". On May 23, Aerosmith debuted their new single, "Legendary Child", on the season finale of American Idol. Shortly after, it was announced that their fifteenth studio album, Music from Another Dimension!, would be released on November 6, 2012. On May 30, Aerosmith and Cheap Trick performed for Walmart shareholders. Aerosmith's "Global Warming Tour" began June 16 in Minneapolis and took the band to 26 locations across North America through August 12. The band hinted that the tour would continue in October/November after the album release. On August 22, Aerosmith released two singles simultaneously, the rocker "Lover Alot" and the ballad "What Could Have Been Love". On September 22, Aerosmith performed at the iHeartRadio music festival in Las Vegas. In advance of the release of their new album, the band performed on The Late Show with David Letterman and Today, and Tyler and Perry were interviewed on The Late Show and The View. In addition, Tyler, Perry and Whitford performed "Dream On" for the telethon Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together to raise funds for the victims of the namesake storm that struck the Northeastern United States. On November 5, Aerosmith performed an outdoor concert in front of their old apartment at 1325 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston to celebrate the release of their album and their Boston roots. Music from Another Dimension! was released on November 6. Two days later, the band began the 2nd leg of their Global Warming Tour, which took the band to 14 North American locations through December 13.
On January 21, 2013, Aerosmith released "Can't Stop Lovin' You" (featuring Carrie Underwood) as the fourth single from Music from Another Dimension!. On February 20, it was announced that the band's principal songwriters Steven Tyler and Joe Perry would be recipients of the ASCAP Founders Award at the society's 30th Annual Pop Music Awards on April 17. Two days later, it was announced that the duo would be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame at a ceremony to be held on June 13.
In late April and early May 2013, Aerosmith extended their Global Warming Tour to Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore. This marked the band's first performances in Australia in 23 years, and the band's first-ever performances in the latter four countries. Tom Hamilton had to miss the last three Australian shows due to illness; David Hull filled in for him. On May 5, Aerosmith cancelled their first-ever performance in Indonesia (scheduled for May 11) due to safety concerns; the actual threat was not released. On May 30, Aerosmith performed as part of the "Boston Strong" charity concert for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. The band also performed at the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia on July 6, at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut on July 10, four concerts in Japan in mid-August, and as part of the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary Concert series in Milwaukee on August 30. In the fall of 2013, Aerosmith extended their tour to Central and South America, including their first-ever performances in Guatemala, El Salvador and Uruguay. Hamilton had to depart the Latin American tour due to illness.
In July 2013, the band released the live concert DVD Rock for the Rising Sun, which also documented the band's 2011 tour of Japan. The release was also screened in select theaters in October 2013.
Solo endeavors, farewell tour and upcoming sixteenth album (2014–present)
Aerosmith performing on the Blue Army Tour
in Grand Rapids, Michigan on August 4, 2015
On March 21, 2014, in tweets released by Joe Perry, Joey Kramer, and Slash, it was announced that Aerosmith would be touring North America with Slash (along with Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators) in the summer of 2014. This followed a 17-date European tour that Aerosmith took from May 14 to July 2. The North American tour, known as the Let Rock Rule Tour, sent Aerosmith to 21 locations from July 10 to September 12.
Asked in May 2014 if Aerosmith will release a sixteenth studio album anytime soon, bassist Tom Hamilton replied, "I hope soon. But I really don't know what we are doing because we no longer have a record contract. We are finished with Columbia. So, there is nothing written in stone. We'll see what the fans want." In an interview with Rolling Stone about what the future holds, Joe Perry admitted that, "I don't even know if making new albums makes sense anymore. Maybe we'll just release an EP every six months. I don't know what the future looks like."
On October 7, 2014, Perry released his autobiography Rocks: My Life in and Out of Aerosmith, co-written by David Ritz. Perry promoted the book with a book-signing tour that took him to 14 locations across the United States in the month of October. On February 26, 2015, Aerosmith premiered the film Aerosmith Rocks Donington in 300 movie theaters across North America; the concert video is from the band's 2014 performance at Download Festival at Donington Park in Leicestershire, England. The video was released on DVD/Blu-ray on September 4, 2015.
On March 31, 2015, lead singer Steven Tyler stated that he was working on his first solo country album. On April 6, it was announced that Tyler signed a record deal with Scott Borchetta's Dot Records (a division of the Big Machine Label Group). On May 13, Tyler released the lead single, "Love is Your Name", from his forthcoming solo debut album. He promoted the song on the Bobby Bones Show, iHeartMedia, CBS This Morning, Entertainment Tonight, and the American Idol season 14 finale.
On June 10, Aerosmith embarked on the Blue Army Tour, which sent the band to 17 North American locations through August 7, many of them in smaller venues in secondary markets that the band has either never performed in or hasn't performed in many years. The band also played a one-off show in Moscow on September 5. On the tour, the band played several lesser-known deep cuts.
After the tour, Tyler completed work on his solo album, We're All Somebody from Somewhere, which was released on July 15, 2016. Prior to the album's release, a second single, "Red, White & You", was released in January 2016, followed by the third single (the title track) in June 2016. Meanwhile, Joe Perry worked with Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp on the side project Hollywood Vampires, which released their eponymous debut album in September 2015 and performed at the 58th Grammy Awards on February 15, 2016. Brad Whitford re-joined Derek St. Holmes for a handful of tour dates in November 2015 and a new Whitford/St. Holmes album that was made available to fans at their live performances and was scheduled for wide release in 2016. Tom Hamilton performed with Thin Lizzy at a handful of concert dates in Europe in the summer of 2016 and also joined Pearl Jam for a performance of "Draw the Line" at Boston's Fenway Park on August 7. Meanwhile, Joey Kramer has been actively involved in his "Rockin' & Roastin'" coffee business, which opened a location in Newry, Maine in December 2015 and a second location in North Attleborough, Massachusetts in July 2016.
Since December 2015, in various interviews, Whitford, Tyler, and Perry all discussed the possibility of a farewell tour or "wind-down tour" slated to start in 2017. Perry has suggested the tour could last for two years and Tyler said it could potentially last "forever"; Whitford and Tyler also discussed the potential of doing one last studio album.
On July 10, 2016, Perry collapsed onstage at a concert he was performing with the Hollywood Vampires on Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. It is believed he suffered cardiac arrest. He was revived and rushed to the hospital, where he was quickly upgraded to stable condition later that night. The Vampires continued the show without Perry that evening and continued the rest of their tour, but canceled an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. After resting for a few days, Perry made a complete recovery and returned to the Hollywood Vampires tour.
From September through October 2016 Aerosmith embarked on a nine-date tour of Latin America, called the Rock 'N' Roll Rumble Tour, preceded by a performance at the Kaaboo Festival in San Diego, California on September 17. In November 2016, Aerosmith announced that they would be going on a "farewell" tour in Europe in the spring and summer of 2017, titled the Aero-Vederci Baby! Tour. The tour launched in Tel Aviv, Israel on May 17, 2017, where approximately 45,000 tickets were sold. In early July, the band completed the European leg of the tour; the band extended the tour to South America in September and October 2017, but the last few shows had to be canceled due to health issues. According to Brad Whitford, the tour could end anytime from 2017 to the next four years in 2021. On 19 January 2018, Perry released a solo disc titled Sweetzerland Manifesto. He also announced that the 2017 tour titled "Aero-Vederci Baby!" was not really a final tour and the band will be touring in 2019 to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
On August 15, 2018, Aerosmith appeared on NBC's Today show to announce a residency in Las Vegas called “Aerosmith: Deuces are Wild”, a reference to both Las Vegas casino gambling and their 1994 single of the same name. The band will play 35 shows during the months of April, June, July, and September thru December of 2019 at the Park Theater. In mid July, the band will perform at festivals in Ontario and Minnesota, and in August, they will play a total of nine shows spread across three MGM venues in Maryland, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. On February 14, 2019, Aerosmith was scheduled to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but the ceremony and installation was postponed to a date to be determined due to inclement weather.
In January 2019 Joe Perry stated that he, and Steven Tyler, were due to start recording new material, together, for a new Aerosmith album.