I Don't Want to Miss a Thing
“We weren't even aware of all the stuff that came with it. We just looked at the bands that we idolized, like the Yardbirds, and we were blown away by how they could play. All we wanted to do was play like that, to be a great band like that.” Lead vocalist Steven Tyler
Aerosmith, which comprises of lead singer Steven Tyler, lead and rhythm guitarist Joe Perry, bassist Tom Hamilton, rhythm and lead guitarist Brad Whitford and drummer Joey Kramer, is a Grammy Award winning and Oscar nominated hard rock band. Frequently credited as “America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band” and “The Bad Boys from Boston,” the group won their first Grammy Award in 1990 for “Janie's Got a Gun” and their subsequent two trophies during 1994-95 for the songs “Livin' on the Edge” and “Crazy.” The crossover-pop hit “Pink” brought the group their last Grammy Award in 1999, a year after the release of the Academy Award nominated hit single “I Don't Want to Miss a Thing.” Taken from the mega-blockbuster “Armageddon” soundtrack, “I Don't Want to Miss a Thing” scorched through the Billboard Hot 100 and landed at No. 1, becoming their first and only #1 hit on the chart to date. Along with these five songs, the group has produced 16 more Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.
Founded in 1970 in Boston, Massachusetts, Aerosmith was initially disregarded by many critics as a rough-cut counterfeit of the Rolling Stones and other British blues/rock acts. However, they soon proved to be one of the most popular acts of the 1970s thanks to such multi-platinum albums as “Aerosmith” (1973), “Get Your Wings” (1974), “Toys in the Attic” (1975), “Rocks Columbia” (1976) and “Night in the Ruts” (1979). With sales of eight million copies, the breakthrough smash “Toys in the Attic” became the group's bestselling studio album in the U.S. Aerosmith's fame, however, gradually declined during the first half of the 1980s, most notably due to their affiliation with drugs. Although they did manage to release two albums (1982's “Rock in a Hard Place” and 1985's “Done with Mirrors”), the albums only went gold. It was not until Aerosmith sobered up and launched the 5-time platinum album “Permanent Vacation” that they experienced a renaissance in their career. Since then, the group has released the studio albums “Pump” (1989, 7x Platinum), “Get a Grip” (1993, 7x Platinum), “Nine Lives” (1997, 2x Platinum), “Just Push Play” (2001, Platinum) and “Honkin' on Bobo” (2004, Gold). The group, whose loyal fans are known as the “Blue Army,” has continued to tour heavily.
Aerosmith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. Joey Kramer stated, “We got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which was really amazing to be recognized by our peers.”
The group has been ranked No. 11 and No. 79 on VH1's “100 Greatest Hard Rock Artists” and VH1's “100 Greatest Artists of Rock & Roll” respectively. Aerosmith also received a Soul Train Music Award (1987, “Walk This Way”), ten MTV Video Music Awards, seven American Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards and two People's Choice Awards.
Childhood and Family:
Son of a classical musician who taught and played music in Yonkers, N.Y., Steven Tyler (born Steven Tallarico on March 26, 1948, in New York City) first met Joe Perry (born Joesph Perry on September 10, 1950, in Lawrence, MA) in 1969 at the Catskills in Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire, where the Tallarico family ran a resort. Tyler founded his first band, Chain Reaction, (previously known as The Strangeur) and recorded two singles with the band in 1966. Perry also played in a jazz band called Jam Band, which was previously known as Pipe Dream, whose members also included Tom Hamilton (born on December 31, 1951, in Colorado Springs, CO).
In 1970, they joined forces to form Aerosmith with Tyler on vocals, Perry on guitar and Hamilton on bass. They soon added drummer Joey Kramer (born on June 21, 1950, in New York City) and guitarist Ray Tabano to the line-up. By 1971, Tabano had been replaced by rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford (born on February 23, 1952, in Winchester, MA), and they began performing in Boston, Massachusetts.
Despite their major success in the early to mid-1970s, Aerosmith had to deal with drug dependency and internal dispute that led to the departures of Perry in 1979 and then Whitford in 1981. They were replaced by Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay, respectively. Both Perry and Whitford returned in 1984, three years before Aerosmith re-obtained their celebrity status.
“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
After building a following in the Boston area through their live performances, Aerosmith scored a record deal with Columbia Records in 1972 and released a self-titled debut album the following year on January 13. Produced by Adrian Barber, “Aerosmith” was heavily influenced by blues sounds and went to No. 21 on the Billboard Pop Album chart. It was certified gold by RIAA on September 11, 1975, and achieved double-platinum status in November 1986. The lead single, “Dream On,” penned by Tyler, emerged as the group's first big hit and the highest charting single from the album when it peaked at No. 59 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later, the song was included as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The album also consisted of tracks like Rufus Thomas' cover, “Walkin' the Dog's,” “Mama Kin” and “Movin' Out.”
Aerosmith hit the road in support of their album. They performed the “Early Days” tour from 1970 to 1972 and then the “Aerosmith Tour” in 1973 before returning to the studio to work on their next album. Recorded from December 1973 to January 1974, “Get Your Wings” was released on March 1, 1975, with Ray Colcord and Jack Douglas serving as producer. It rose to number 75 on Billboard's Pop Albums chart in 1975. Thanks to hits like “Same Old Song and Dance” and “Train Kept A-Rollin,” a cover done previously by The Yardbirds, and fan favorites such as “Seasons of Wither,” “S.O.S. (Too Bad)” and “Lord of the Thighs,” the album has been certified triple platinum by RIAA. The group embarked on the 1974 “Get Your Wings Tour” in support of the album.
However, Aerosmith did not break into mainstream success until 1975 with the album “Toys in the Attic,” which rose to No. 11 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart. The first single, “Sweet Emotion,” co-written by Tyler and Hamilton, hit No. 36 on Billboard's Hot 100 and became the first Top 40 hit for the band. The group then rereleased the single “Dream On” (from “Aerosmith”) and it proved to be their next big hit when it peaked at No. 6 on Billboard's Hot 100. The group culminated their victory with the rerelease of the second single “Walk This Way,” which rose to No. 10 on Billboard's Hot 100 in early 1977. Finally, “Toys in the Attic” earned 8x platinum certification in the U.S. and went platinum in Canada. With the album, Aerosmith, who was mocked as clones of the Rolling Stones, demonstrated their unique accomplishment and subsequently became contenders of the Stones and other big names like Led Zeppelin. During 1975, the group toured in support of “Toys in the Attic.”
Aerosmith launched the album “Rocks” on May 3, 1976, their third album with producer Jack Douglas. It debuted at No. 3 on Billboard's 200 and was one of the group's first records to go platinum shortly after its release. An eventual quadruple platinum album, “Rock,” produced three hits on the Billboard Hot 100 titled “Last Child” (1976, #21), “Home Tonight” (1976, #71) and “Back in the Saddle” (1977, #38). The band toured heavily throughout 1976-77 on the “Rock Tour.”
Hectic touring schedules and tensions, combined with drug use, gradually impacted the group. “Draw the Line,” the fifth studio album released on December 1, 1977, did not receive the same critical acclaim and commercial success as their two previous efforts although it managed to peak at No. 11 on Billboard's 200 and generate two minor hits on Billboard's Hot 100 with the title track “Draw the Line” (#42) and the single “Kings and Queens” (#70). Originally going gold, “Draw the Line” finally achieved double platinum status in August 1996, nearly 19 years after its release.
In between touring and working on their next album, in 1978 Aerosmith appeared in the big screen adaptation of “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,” which was directed by Michael Schultz. For the soundtrack, the group recorded “Come Together,” a cover of the Beatles hit. Although it became an instant hit, the song would be the group's last Top 40 hit for almost 10 years. Still in 1978, Aerosmith released the live album “Live! Bootleg.”
On November 1, 1979, Aerosmith released their sixth studio album, “Night in the Ruts,” which despite early success and some critical praise, fell down the charts. It eventually received platinum status in 1994. Shortly after the recording of the album, Joe Perry left the group and was soon replaced by the Flame guitarist Jimmy Crespo. By this time, the group's popularity had weakened.
Following the release of the “Greatest Hits” album in 1980, guitarist Brad Whitford left the band. Rick Dufay filled in the empty post in 1981.
The album “Rock in a Hard Place” hit the music stores on August 1, 1982. The album featured Whitford playing rhythm guitar on the song “Lighting Strikes,” which was released as a promotional single to rock radio in 1982 and peaked at No. 21 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. “Rock in a Hard Place” was certified gold by RIAA in November 1989. Due to the albums' low sales, Aerosmith was released from Columbia. They would rejoin them 8 years later.
Perry and Whitford were reunited with Aerosmith in 1984 and the group embarked on their reunion tour called “Back in the Saddle” later that same year. They signed a new record contract with Geffen Records and launched the album “Done with Mirrors” on October 21, 1985. Planned as the group's comeback album, the record, however, failed to achieve commercial success. It is known for producing two singles that charted on the Mainstream Rock Tracks, “Let the Music Do the Talking” (#18), previously recorded by The Joe Perry Project, and “Shela” (#20). During this period, Aerosmith regained their popularity on the stage through the “Done with Mirrors Tour.”
However, Aerosmith did not score a real comeback until 1986 with the song “Walk This Way,” which was rerecorded with Run-D.M.C. for the 1986 album “Raising Hell.” It peaked at No. 4 on Billboard's Hot 100 and was a worldwide hit. The song also brought both groups a 1987 Soul Train Music award for Best Rap-Single.
After successfully dealing with their drug addictions, Aerosmith hit the big time again thanks to the album “Permanent Vacation,” which was released under Geffen on August 18, 1987. The album, a No. 11 hit on Billboard's Hot 200, received platinum certification within two months of its release and has since sold 5 million copies in the U.S., becoming the best selling record for the band in over a decade. It also spawned the three Top 40 hits “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” (1987, #14), “Angel” (1988, #3) and “Rag Doll” (1988, #17).
Aerosmith released their next album, “Pump,” on September 12, 1989. It debuted at No. 5 on Billboard's Hot 200 and won the group their first Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the Tyler/Hamilton-written song “Janie's Got a Gun,” which rose to No. 4 on Billboard's Hot 100 and became a Top 2 hit on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Internationally, the song was a chart topper in Australia, marking the group's first #1 single there. Other favorite tracks released from the album were the first single “Love in an Elevator” (#5 on the Billboard Hot 100), the ballad “What it Takes” (#9 on the Billboard Hot 100) and the fourth single “The Other Side” (#22 on the Billboard Hot 100). These three tracks also rose to No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. After the release of “Pump,” Aerosmith embarked on the “Pump Tour,” which ended in Australia in October 1990.
After taking a brief hiatus, Aerosmith resurfaced with their eleventh studio album, “Get a Grip,” their last studio album with Geffen. Released on April 20, 1993, the hard rock album went on to become a best-selling album for the group. It also became Aerosmith's first album to top the Billboard 200. Although the first single, “Eat the Rich,” did not chart on Billboard's Hot 100, all four singles released after “Eat the Rich” became the group's next Top 40 singles on the chart. While “Cryin'” (#12) and “Amazing” (#24) received success on radio and MTV, “Livin' on the Edge” (#18) and “Crazy” (#17) won Aerosmith Grammys for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1994 and 1995, respectively.
“Big One,” Aerosmith's album covering their biggest hits during the Geffen era (from 1987 to 1994), was released on November 1, 1994. Three new songs added to the album were “Deuces are Wild,” which first surfaced as a track in the 1993 compilation album “The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience,” “Walk on Water” (#16 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and #11 in Latvia) and “Blind Man” (#48 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart).
The album “Nine Lives” was released on March 18, 1997, under Columbia Record. It rose to No. 1 on Billboard's 200. Thanks to the hit “Pink” (#27 on Billboard's Hot 100 and #1 on Mainstream Rock Tracks), Aerosmith took home their forth Grammy for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal. Other successful singles released from the album were “Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)” (#1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and No. 36 on Billboard's Hot 100), “Hole in My Soul” (#51 on Billboard's Hot 100, #4 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart) and “Taste of India” (#3 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart).
However, Aerosmith did not have their first No.1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 until they released “I Don't Want to Miss a Thing” in 1998 for the motion picture “Armageddon,” starring Steven Tyler's daughter Liv. Penned by Diane Warren, the song remained on the top spot for four weeks during September of 1998 and garnered the group an Academy Award nomination in the Best Song category. It also rose to No. 1 in such countries as Australia, Austria, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland. Also with “I Don't Want to Miss a Thing,” Aerosmith was introduced to a new generation of fans.
The same year, Aerosmith also released the live album “A Little South of Sanity,” which went platinum within two months of its release. It peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 and No. 6 in Canada. The album was accumulated from performances on the “Get a Grip” (1993-94) and “Nine Lives” (1997-99) tours.
Aerosmith went on tour from 1999 to 2000 for the “Roar of the Dragon Tour.” They also recorded the song “Angle's Eye” for the 2000 movie “Charlie's Angels,” starring Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore. On March 6, 2001, the group released their next studio album, “Just Push Play,” which was certified platinum by RIAA in April 3, 2001. The album was a Top 2 hit in America and Canada and on the Internet. The lead single, “Jaded,” co-written by Steven Tyler and Marti Frederiksen, peaked at No. 7 on Billboard's Hot 100. To promote the album, they launched the “Just Push Play Tour,” which ran from June 2001 to January 2002.
In July 2002, Columbia and Geffen Records worked together to release the greatest hits album “O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits” with the addition of two new songs: “Girls of Summers” and “Lay it Down.” The first track peaked at No. 25 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The group next headlined the North American “Girls of Summer Tour,” which ran from August to December 2002. Kid Rock and Run-DMC joined the tour as opening acts. They went on to share the stage as co-headliners on the “Rocksimus Maximus Tour,” which ran from August 2, 2003, to December 20, 2003.
On March 30, 2004, Aerosmith released the follow-up to “Just Push Play,” “Honkin' on Bobo,” for which the group worked again with their long-time producer Jack Douglas. The blues-rock album, which includes eleven covers and one original track titled “The Grind,” rose to No. 1 on Billboard's Top Blues Albums and No. 5 on Billboard's 200 and received gold certification that same year. The only single spawned from the album, “Baby, Please Don't Go,” a cover of Big Joe Williams' 1935 blues hit of the same name, peaked at No. 7 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. In support of the album, Aerosmith toured small venues throughout North America and Japan on the “Honkin' on Bobo Tour,” which lasted from March 11, 2004, to July 25, 2004.
On October 25, 2005, Aerosmith launched a live album called “Rockin' the Joint,” which was supported by the “Rockin' the Joint Tour.” During the tour’s first run (from October 30, 2005 to February 25, 2005), the group hit most major U.S. markets with Lenny Kravitz serving as an opening act. The second leg was planned to start in March 2006 with Cheap Trick as the opener, but due to lead singer Steven Tyler's throat injury that required surgery, the group had to cancel.
Aerosmith resurfaced on the road for the “Route of All Evil Tour” with Mötley Crüe as co-headliners. During its three month run from September 5, to December 17, 2006, Tom Hamilton, who underwent treatment for throat cancer, was substituted by David Hull, an ex- bassist of Joe Perry Project. On October 17, 2006, the group released the compilation album “Devil's Got a New Disguise - The Very Best of Aerosmith,” which also contains the two new songs “Devil's Got a New Disguise” and “Sedona Sunrise.” The album rose to No. 33 on Billboard's 200.
From April to September 2007, Aerosmith toured the world on “The Tour Heard 'Round the World” or “World Tour 2007.” The tour marked the group's first performance outside North America and Japan since the “Nine Lives Tour” and their first tour in some countries since the “Get a Grip Tour.”
Aerosmith is set to release a new studio album later in 2009. The album will become their first album of original material in eight years.
Grammy: Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, “Pink,” 1999
Grammy: Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, “Crazy,” 1995
Grammy: Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, “Livin' on the Edge,” 1994
Grammy: Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, “Janie's Got a Gun,” 1990
Soul Train Music: Best Rap – Single, “Walk This Way” (with Run-D.M.C.), 1987
MTV Video Music Awards: 10
American Music Awards: 7
Billboard Music Awards: 4
People's Choice Awards: 2
Boston Music Awards: 16