Aero Force One
September 20, 2010
Hey folks sorry this has turned into a once a month thing but here goes. Lotâ€™s of Aero talk in the news as of late. We just finished the tour a few days ago and I am in my decompression state. That is when you basically need a little time in the day to be by yourself and chill and try to adjust to home life. Everything you have been doing for the last year and a half is going to stop after the hugs and waves end and when every ones cars pull away from the airport in Boston to take all of us home. Whatâ€™s going to happen next? Well, I donâ€™t know if anybody knows for sure.
The shows this whole tour have been the best I have seen in years. I know a lot of you guys have said that too. I would say most nights the band covered all bases in the set list department. I know there are percentages that wanna hear the old shit and there is also a good amount of people that want to hear â€œWhat it Takesâ€ and â€œI Donâ€™t Want to Miss a Thingâ€. You canâ€™t please everybody all the time. This band has been around for 40 years and has so many great songs from all decades. I think they did a really good job keeping the energy up every show and keeping things fresh. Tyler was back to his old self circa 2002. Commanding every inch of the stage. Itâ€™s funny every time I see him run down that ramp I think about how many other bands are using the ramp now after he pretty much invented the thing in 2001 or so. Everyone tried to talk him out of it. More on the ramp later. It was great to see Tom up there night after night. He loves to be on the road. He was turning into freakinâ€™ Cecil B. DeMille up there with his Flip Camera. I love his footage and I am sure you guys do too. Steven and Joe even got into the act when Tom on the rare occasion put that thing down. He loves everything about the road – the travel, the fans, the shoppingâ€¦right down to the mint on his pillow at night. Tom lives and breathes the road. He is the master of the big bottom and is quite at home in between Brad and Joey on that stage. Brad is Mr. Consistent and he proved it night after night. â€œLast Childâ€ is his baby and I am glad it had a great run in the set. You like the old shit? You bet your ass I do!
You like the old shit? Photo by John B.
I never liked drum solos but Joey made his unique. He incorporated some tricks from his old solos and also tried something new almost every night. The lights, smoke and stamina made the solo a highlight of the tour for me. I am not sure if Stevenâ€™s bit in the solo was planned from day one but it worked. Having his kid next to him every night must have been a trip for him too.
Joe turned it up a notch or two also. He is a master showman and is always looking for different ways to entertain. He was demolishing the stage fans at the end of the ramp every show and when he got bored of that he started to blow up the monitors. Not to mention his playing was off the charts, especially later in the tour. At the end of â€œDraw the Lineâ€ he would fall on the stage and need assistance getting back up. Was that part of the show? Sure it was but it wasnâ€™t too far off from reality. He left it all out on that stage every night. Itâ€™s a shame it had to end and when they do eventually all get back on the stage I am sure they will pick up right where they left off.
So many guitars, so little time! Photo by John B.
Old friend Billy Squier came out from NY City just to catch the show and say hello to the guys. He is a true gentleman.
I have heard a lot of criticism about the set at this show but you wouldnâ€™t know it from the energy that came right back at the guys there. Steven at the grand piano for â€œDream Onâ€ at the top of the Green Monster was one of the highlights of the show. Also there was a lot of noise about the use of the infamous ramp I was talking about and I have to tell ya Peter Wolf asked Steven if he could use it and the Demon said of course whatâ€™s the question? Simple as that. In my humble opinion it seemed like the bad boys wanted the whole night to be special and letting J. Geils use what ever they wanted on that stage was part of the whole package. It showed a lot of respect on Aerosmithâ€™s part. The boys have always admired J. Geils dating back to 1970 and it showed on that warm mid August night at that old band box in Kenmore Square. The show was professionally shot and I hope it sees the light of day very soon.
Peter: Hey Steve, Can I use the ramp? Steven: You better! Photo by John B.
As Joe has said that being onstage with 4 other guys can be a contact sport at times. This was another one of those times. Before the days of the Internet and YouTube the guys would run into each other all the time but you wouldnâ€™t see it or rarely even hear about it. I heard Steven tell stories how the end of Joeâ€™s guitar strings would sometimes pierce him if he got to close to his Toxic twin. Other times Joe would get kicked in the head by the leaping lead singer. It happens! A few nights before at Jones Beach, Steven inadvertently hit Joe in the head with his mic stand. You could hear the clang off Joeâ€™s noggin in Soho. Blood poured out the top of Joeâ€™s head and was attended by EMTâ€™s backstage. He strapped his guitar back on and went back out. In Toronto Steven bump Joe and then Joe bumped Steven. All part of the game. It could have been Joe going head over tea kettle as easy as it was Steven. They get back onstage dust themselves off and finish the show. No harm, no foul. At the end of the day they get up there and put on a show like no other band – and fingers crossed they do it together for years to come.
In Calgary Joe celebrated his birthday in grand style. Some of his friends had sent us some Happy Birthday wishes and we put them up on the big screen during the show to surprise him and boy was he surprised. The guys who sent their Feliz CumpleaÃ±os were Rick Nielsen, Paul Stanley, Billy Gibbons, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. Joe was visibly moved by the kind words his closet friends in the business shared with the 15,000 Aero Fanatics in attendance. The icing on the cake was well a cake brought out by Joan Jett with Steven leading everybody in Happy Birthday.
A dream come true!
The band made good on all of the shows that were cancelled from the previous year. There was talk of a law suit and all that but the bottom line is the guys wanted to continue and the Canadian shows were some of the most entertaining ones of the whole tour. Joan Jett set the tone for the evening and she gave it her all. I have seen many support acts over the years and this had to be one of the most enjoyable and classy bands that has ever graced the same stage as the bad boys. Hit after hit. It made for a great night of Rock and Roll and the people from the great white north showed their appreciation at every stop. One thing I wonâ€™t miss about Canada is their annoying accents. I should talk being from Boston but if I hear someone saying â€œSore eeeâ€ one more time Iâ€™m going to beat my own head with Stevenâ€™s mic stand eh?
Employee of the Week:
Krame Pup. Photo by John B.
I saved the best for last: Joey was informed that his longtime drum tech Magee would not be able to get away from his duties with the Stone Temple Pilots so Joey brought out his son Jesse to set up the traps. Now I have known Jesse for about 20 years and I have seen him go from this little rambunctious teen to a fine upstanding young man. He passed with flying colors and even played congos on a few songs at Stevenâ€™s insistence. Jesse is an amazing drummer too and backboned the crew band every soundcheck. Check out â€œChip Awayâ€ from Vancouver and you will see what I mean. He gets to show off his talents with the big boys there. The kid brought along a bike and his skateboard with him on tour and could be found on his off days pedaling around the city he was in. You could see how proud it made Joey and he couldnâ€™t have fit in more perfectly.
Krame Pup Cometh. Photo by John B.
Is it all over?
Is that it? Are they done? Well the old saying goes â€œIt ainâ€™t over until the fat lady sings.â€ Well, right now that lady resembles Kate Moss because they have a full tank of gas in the car and many miles of open road ahead of them. Itâ€™s just a question of when they will get old betsy out of the garage.
No More, No More. Photo by John B.
See you on the Road!
PS. In 1992 the great Boston band â€œThe Neighborhoodsâ€ played their final show at the Rat in Boston. The whole band was in attendance that night and Brad (who produced their album the previous year) jumped onstage and played a couple of songs. After telling the crowd that the show was being recorded and will be released in the Fall (they didnâ€™t say what Fall) it is now out on CD and available. Go out and buy it or download it and check out a great Boston band that could rock with the best of them. By the way they are back together and have been enjoying a great resurgence. Go see them!