March 2, 2006

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NITE: Sunapee’s bad boys come back home
Aerosmith rock the Verizon Wireless Arena

By Richie Victorino   rvictorino@hippopress.com

Before they were the bad boys of Boston, the members of Aerosmith were causing a ruckus in a little town called Sunapee.

Steven Tallarico (known now as Steven Tyler) started The Strangeurs (later called Chain Reaction) in 1964, playing drums for the band.

Around that time, two other Sunapee teens, Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton, formed a little two-man band called Pipedream. By 1969 Pipedream became Jam Band, which, as the name suggests, was a bluesy improvisational jam band.

It was in 1969, in Sunapee, at a venue called The Barn, where Aerosmith came to life.

The Strangeurs and Jam Band were playing at The Barn one evening. Tallarico caught a glimpse of Jam Band covering Fleetwood Mac’s

“Rattlesnake Shake” and liked what he saw.

Chain Reaction was a disciplined band, and here were Perry and Hamilton, jamming away with all the freedom in the world.

Tallarico wanted to merge the two styles, musical discipline and blues free jam, into one band. That band became Aerosmith. In 1970 the band made their first public appearance, performing at Nipmuc Regional High School in Mendon, Mass.

From there the band members moved to Boston, stealing food in order to eat, and crowding together in one living space.

But their meager standard of living would soon change. The Boston music scene welcomed Aerosmith, which helped propel the band into a national spotlight.

By 1973 Tallarico had become Tyler and the band signed with Columbia Records. They got a lot of attention with albums like Get Your Wings, and with songs like “Dream On” and “Sweet Emotion.”

But it hasn’t always been roses for Aerosmith. Their sordid history, filled with drugs, breakups, more drugs and more breakups, makes the perfect story for VH1’s Behind the Music.

Perry left the band in ’79 with a bad taste in his mouth. He went on to form The Joe Perry Project, which released somewhat successful albums. The following year Brad Whitford left the band as well.

Yet Aerosmith pushed on without them. They released Rock in a Hard Place and set out on a lengthy tour that lasted until 1984.

It was in 1984, in Boston of course, that Perry and Whitford met up with their old bandmates. Aerosmith was performing at The Orpheum Theater and Perry and Whitford decided to go backstage and catch up.

Two months later they announced a reunion. Since then they’ve released a slew of hit albums, including Permanent Vacation, which featured “Dude Looks Like a Lady,” and Pump, which included “Janie’s Got a Gun.”

 

When?
Aerosmith comes home again, performing at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester on Thursday, March 9. Cheap Trick opens for them.

The Verizon Wireless Arena is located at 555 Elm St., Manchester, 644-5000.
For more on Aerosmith, go to aerosmith.com.