This is a chronological ordered history of the band Aerosmith, starting from the foundation of Steven Tylers first band in 1964 all the way through the first singles, major awards and other achievements.
Steven Tyler forms his first "serious" band, Thee Strangeurs, in Sunapee NH. Tyler would later change the band's name to Chain Reaction, writing songs with their keyboard player, Don Solomon (with whom he co-wrote "Woman of the World"). The band also covers Beatles, Stones, Animals and Yardbirds.
In 2001 Barry Shapiro left a message in the guestbook, correcting some wrong info previously posted here:
Though Tyler was originally A drummer, he did NOT play drums for either the Strangeurs or the Chain Reaction, unlike reported elsewhere. How did he know this? Barry was the drummer for both "Thee Strangeurs" and the "Chain Reaction" from 1965 through 1967 when the group disbanded shortly after he left the group. Their recording of 'WHEN I NEEDED YOU' is the original recording and it is on the box set "PANDORA'S BOX".... Shapiro is playing the drums on that recording. Though the group changed personnel over the three years, the core (Steve, Don Solomon (keyboards), Peter Stahl (lead guitar and/or bass) and himself (drums)) maintained.
Once Barry Shapiro joined the group in 1965 their first performance was opening for the BYRDS at Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York.
At the age of 18, Steven Tyler enters the studio for the first time with his band Chain Reaction. They record two singles:
"The Sun / When I Needed You" (Date) and "You Should Have Been Here Yesterday / Ever Lovin' Man" (Verve)
Meanwhile, Perry and Hamilton form a combo, "Pipe Dream" in Sunapee, NH which by 1969 had become the blues-based, free-form "Jam Band"
March - Chain Reaction opens 4 shows for the Yardbirds One Yardbirds set, at New York's Anderson Theater, is recorded and released as the controversial "Live Yardbirds"
October - NYC - Tyler, still with Chain Reaction, guests in the studio on backup vocals with The Left Banke, who had a hit with "Walk Away Rene".
"He was hungry and a good singer, so I put him on there" (Tom Finn - Bass Player, The Left Banke)
Chain Reaction play occasional high profile gigs, opening for The Beach Boys (Iona College,) and the last lineup of Yardbirds with Jimmy Page (Staples High School in Connecticut)
Chain Reaction and the Jam Band both play gigs at Sunapee, NH's "The Barn". Tyler witnesses the Jam Band playing Fleetwood Mac's "Rattlesnake Shake"
"They did this song so well that I knew if I could get together with these guys, we could pull the same feeling off with some songs I wrote, so I got together with them...I loved Joe's style". He always played out of tune and real sloppy and I just loved it." (Steven Tyler interview Circus Magazine 6/75)
Aerosmith's most vital and (often) most overlooked element was synthesized in this union. The Jam Band's wild, unadulterated improv-ability was successfully merged with Chain Reaction's tight, disciplined control to produce the furious but steady blast we know as Aerosmith
Aerosmith is well received at their first public appearance, playing at Nipmuc Regional High School in Mendon, MA in the late fall
he newly named Aerosmith play gigs outside of Boston University's Student Union building recognizing that getting close to their fans is the key to success. Sharing an apartment at 1325 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, the band defines itself in the best possible conditions for a young rock n' roll band to do so.
"There were six of us in the group, some of us were living in the kitchen, eating brown rice and Cambell's soup. Those days, you know, when a quart of beer was heaven. It was hard times and it was really good. During lunch we would set up all our equipment outside of BU, in the main square and just started wailing. That's basically how we got billed. We never got much publicity in the magazines and newspapers." (Steven Tyler interview Circus Magazine 6/75)
Guitarist Ray Tabano leaves the band to return years later as a member of the crew, then Director of Marketing during which time he launched the first Aerosmith fan club and worked on developing their merchandise
Tabano is replaced by Brad Whitford who cut his eye-teeth in rock n' roll at age 16, playing with Teapot Dome, Earth, Inc. and Cymbals of Resistance
At this point the band is earning about $300 a night and dodging eviction notices and stealing food from supermarkets to survive. Still an unsigned local band, they compete for local press with others like J. Geils and The Modern Lovers
The band's formative years are not without that most needed element in any successful rock band's history - sheer luck. They had worked damn hard and the payoff was on it's way
John O'Toole lets Aerosmith practice free of charge in the Fenway Theater. He takes a liking to the band and brings in his friend Frank Connoly, the first person of some commercial significance to have more than a passing hunch about the bands potential
"Frank was the first guy who knew, he was the one who said we were on to something" (Brad Whitford)
Steven Tallarico changes his name to Steven Tyler
Aerosmith lands a $125,000 deal with Columbia, following a show an New York's Max's Kansas City, when Clive Davis saw them play. The song "No Suprize" chronicals this event
The band enters Intermedia Sound studios to record Aerosmith their classic self titled debut LP, produced by Adrian Barber. The album was recorded and mixed in just 2 weeks
The first album, Aerosmith, is released on Columbia Records
The band begins touring in support of the first album, opening for the likes of Mott the Hoople, The Kinks, Hawkwind and Mahavishnu Orchestra
The first LP sells faster than any other album in Boston at the time and gets an outstanding review from Creem Magazine, while going largely unnoticed by other mainstream media
"Dream On" / "Somebody" released as a single. "Dream On" gets #1 song of the year at 2 popular Boston radio stations (WVBF - Framingham, and WBCN - Boston)
The band finish recording Get Your Wings at the Record Plant in New York and release the first single, - Same Old Song And Dance / "Pandora's Box" is released
Circus Magazine gives Get Your Wings the first mention as one of the year's "Ace Albums"
Letter to the Editors of Circus Magazine:
"Let's have more on a fantastic group called Aerosmith. They are very well-known in Boston and New York. Their hit single "Dream On" is the number one song of the year on two popular FM stations. They were also recently on tour with Mott the Hoople, and they put on an incredible show! Lead singer Steven Tyler really knows how to please the audience, and I hope in coming issues I'll hear more about them. (Ann Marie Foley, Waltham, MA)
"Train Kept a Rollin' / "Spaced" (a leftover from their days performing as Chain Reaction) is released as a single
"Get Your Wings" goes Gold
"S.O.S. (Too Bad)" / "Spaced" is released
"Toys in the Attic", recorded in NY at the Record Plant, breaks The Top 20
"Sweet Emotion" / "Uncle Salty" is released, charting into Billboard's Top 40
"Walk This Way" / "Round And Round" is released
"You See Me Cryin'" / "Toys In The Attic" is released
Aerosmith continues touring heavily as the venues get larger. Press coverage begins to blossom
Aerosmith plays before a crowd of 80,000 in the Detroit Lion's Stadium, Pontiac Michigan
Cover of The Boston Phoenix dawns a picture of Steven Tyler in a black lace top with the accompanying headline; "Boston's Biggest Export"
Aerosmith becomes a headlining act, and along with ZZ Top and KISS, one of the top concert attractions in the country
"We were America's band, we were the garage band that made it really big - the ultimate party band. We were the guys who you could actually see. Back then in the seventies, it wasn't like Led Zeppelin was out there on the road in America all of the time. The Stones weren't always coming to your town. We were. You could count on us to come by." (Joe Perry)
Fueled by their recent success, the band begins recording their fourth album Rocks at The Wherehouse in Waltham, MA and Record Plant Studios, New York
Rocks, the band's fourth album, often heralded as their finest, is released and immediately goes platinum
Cover of Rolling Stone has Steven Tyler lying in bed flashing his "Ma' Kin" tattoo. The issue features a 6 page article: "Aerosmith's Wrench Rock, Music for The New Stone Age."
Aerosmith gets voted #1 favorite band and Rocks gets #1 favorite album in the Reader's Poll, Creem Magazine
"Walk This Way" / "Uncle Salty" is released peaking into Billboard's Top 10
"Dream On" reaches #3 in the Billboard Charts
Early '77, band begins its first tour of the Far East in Japan.
The band sets up headquarters in a quiet, converted 300 room convent known as The Cenacle to record their fifth album, Draw The Line
"Sixty acres with a great big house, I don't know how much it cost but it was outrageous. We had motorcycles and Porches and we'd go cruising around the countryside terrorizing everybody. We had all our friends up there and we'd go shooting off all these guns at the shooting range, just blasting away. We had a great time up there." (Joe Perry Creem Magazine)
Driving back from the studio one night, Joey Kramer crashes his car
Draw The Line, released on Columbia Records goes platinum faster than any previous Aerosmith album
Aerosmith co-headline "California Jam II" with Ted Nugent, the biggest rock festival of the mid to late 70's, and are featured on the double album release of the concert
Aerosmith pays $ 3,650 in bail-money to free fifty-two fans busted for violating a No-Smoking ordinance during a show at Fort Wayne, Indiana
Aerosmith wraps up the tour playing a show at Boston's "Paradise" as "Dr. J. Jones and the Interns"
Aerosmith make their Hollywood debut with an appearance in Robert Stigwood's "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" movie as the "Future Villain Band"
"Live!" Bootleg is released on Columbia Records
"What Live! Bootleg does make clear, as it highlights the best of their past work, is that Aerosmith really is one of the best hard rock bands that the U.S. has ever produced. I don't think that they set out to be an important group: no great messages to get across, no big causes to champion. They just wanted to be one hot Rock 'n' Roll band, rooted in the second generation guitar-calisthenics-plus-frontman approach of their heroes." (Billy Altman - Creem magazine)
Aerosmith begin work on their seventh album "Night In The Ruts"
After some internal turmoil with the band, Joe Perry leaves Aerosmith to further pursue "The Joe Perry Project"
Jimmy Crespo, formerly of Flame replaces Perry on lead guitar
Aerosmith release "Greatest Hits" on Columbia Records
The Joe Perry Project release their debut "Let the Music do the Talking", which earns the band a minor hit with the title cut
Internal strife continues to plague Aerosmith's progress as Brad Whitford leaves the band
Guitarist Brad Whitford teams up with Derek St. Holmes, who had previously played with Ted Nugent, to record "Whitford / St. Holmes"
Rick Dufay replaces Brad Whitford on guitar
Joe Perry Project releases "I've Got The Rock n' Rolls Again"
Steven Tyler spends much of the year recovering from a motorcycle accident
The band sets off on the "Rock In A Hard Place Tour" with Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay on guitars. The tour continues into early 1984
Joe Perry Project Records Once a Rocker, Always a Rocker for MCA Records
Brad Whitford reunites with Joe Perry to play live at several shows
Valentine's Day, after a long period of well-publicised estrangement between Perry and Tyler, Perry and Whitford visit their old band backstage following an Aerosmith show at Boston's Orpheum Theater. The wounds start to heal...
In April, the announcement is made that the original Aerosmith will reunite and tour
The band teams up with A&R man, John Kalodner, who then signs them to Geffen. Kalodner continues to be involved to this day
The reunited Aerosmith begins rehearsing at the Glen Ellen Country Club in Millis, MA.
"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 interviewing the band, one writer observes:Hearing Perry and Tyler rap about their career, their enthusiasm for good, fast, hard, rock 'n' roll, and their good-natured comraderie, will dispel any notion that they're just doing it for the money. Clearly, they are brimming with enthusiasm over their new material, and the chance to have another crack at being in the center ring of the rock 'n' roll circus." (Jim Moran Sweet Potato)
America's radio and TV airwaves are inundated with countless young, second-wave heavy metal bands, many admittedly indebted to Aerosmith
"We paved the road, so to speak, so why not fucking get in our cars and drive down it again?" (Steven Tyler)
"The Quiet Riot's and all those guys with the leather and studs and the stacks of Marshall amps that aren't turned on better watch out. We are the band your mother warned you about." (Joe Perry)
At New Year's Eve Aerosmith culminate their "Back in the Saddle" Tour with a legendary two-night stand at Boston's Orpheum Theater
"Done With Mirrors" (produced by Ted Templeman) is released on Columbia Records. Aerosmith set out on a world tour in support of their new album
The band is generally ecstatic about being back together and touring again
"I feel like it's ten years ago again. I feel like the band never was and here we are starting out at the beginning again." (Steve Tyler)
Aerosmith re-enters the charts for the first time in 6 years, teaming with Run-DMC for a Rick Rubin-produced re-make of "Walk This Way", a track that the rappers had been burning up the clubs with for some time.
Aerosmith release their ninth studio album Permanent Vacation. Going Triple-Platinum, the album deservedly restores Aerosmith to a dignified position in the music business and, more importantly, in the ears and hearts of the listening public - the fans
"Aerosmith forfeited none of their bad-boy image, and their live shows were among the best of their long career. Even critics liked them better the second time around." (Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll)
Aerosmith win their first MTV Music Awards for:
Best Group Video - "Dude Looks Like A Lady"
Best Stage Performance in a Video - "Dude Looks Like a Lady"
"Pump", their 10th studio album reaches #5 on the charts and goes Multi-Platinum
Aerosmith receive MTV Awards Nomination for Best Heavy Metal Video - "Rag Doll"
"What It Takes" hits #9 on the Charts
Donnington Park, England - Aerosmith is joined by longtime hero Jimmy Page to jam with them onstage for "Train Kept a' Rollin'", an old Yardbirds classic which Aerosmith had covered in the Seventies.
Aerosmith wins, "Outstanding Rock Band" and "Best Rock Video" at the Boston Music Awards
In the fight against censorship, Aerosmith gives $10,000 to the List Visual Arts Center at MIT in Boston, to fund a sexually explicit exhibition of photographs and sculptures for which the National Endowment For The Arts had pulled support
Aerosmith shoots the "Rock The Vote" video for a massive, national TV campaign encouraging America's youth to vote in the Presidential elections
"Get A Grip" is released, shooting to #1 on the charts and selling over 5 million copies
Aerosmith plays Long Island's Jones Beach Theater and New York's Madison Square Garden, inspiring Newsday's Ira Robbins to write:
"Whatever it is that fuels Aerosmith's unforgettable fire after all these years (carrot juice? pasta? Milk of Magnesia?) must have been plentifully stocked backstage. The band's live sets at the time were only building more momentum as their new lifestyles fired them into a natural oblivion on stage."
The band scores Billboard hits with "Livin' On The Edge", "Cryin'", "Crazy", and "Amazing", putting the band back in its rightful place as one of the most popular bands in the world.
Aerosmith gives a stunning performance at Woodstock '94 headlining Saturday nights' show, which also featured Metallica, Blind Mellon and Nine Inch Nails, in a torrential downpour that was followed by a spectacular fireworks display.
Aerosmith performs "Livin' on The Edge" at the Grammy Awards with the song winning "Best Performance by a Duo or a Group"
Aerosmith stars in their own video arcade game, Revolution X
Aerosmith tours Latin America for the first time, headlining the Hollywood Rocks Festival in Rio in addition to playing their own stadium shows in Argentina
They release "Nine Lives", "Made in America" and their autobiography "Walk this way" and tours all around the world
Steven hurts his knee when his mike stand smashes into it on a concert. forcing the band to cancel the whole European Summer tour and postpone the North American Leg
Aerosmith records 2 new songs: "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" and "What Kind of Love are You on" for the Movie Soundtrack "Armageddon" (Starring Liv Tyler) which also has 2 classic Aerosmith songs: "Sweet Emotion" and "Come Together"
Joey Kramer's Ferarri catches fire while getting it refueld at a gas station. Joey got out of his car sheilding his face from the flames with his arms. but gets second-degree burns on his left arm and minor burns on his legs. this leads to that they have to reschedule the first 13 dates of their upcoming 50 show US tour
an Aerosmith Live show from Holmdel NJ was broadcasted in RealAudio and RealVideo over the Internet on October 17th. what really made this event unique was the viewers' ability to direct the special themselves, switching live between seven separate camera feeds, each broadcasting a different perspective of the concert. Prior to the Cybercast, the band was participating in a chat with America Online giving the fans a chance to Chat with the band.