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Norah Jones
Their tale has been told and retold many times: fortune, fame, drugs, the dissolution and resurrection. In the late 60ís the premise was Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, British psychedelic blues bands like Cream and the Yardbirds - but this band attacked that music with a lean, mangy aggression. They brought the British blues back home, but instead of stripping it down to basics, they revved up the flash and the menace and the danger. In their suburban Seventies milieu, this same band made room for funk and country and old-time swing; and there's barely a corner of American music they haven't pillaged for a big ten-inch riff or two.

And few comebacks in rock and roll history have been as amazing as that of Aerosmith. Their triumphant return to the charts in the '80s not only rekindled the band's earlier success, but also significantly surpassed it. With their top 20 hits Dude (Looks Like a Lady), Ragdoll, and the top 10 power ballad, Angel, the group proved they had even more fire left in their fight than anyone could have imagined. Leaving behind its reckless sex, drugs and rock and roll lifestyle, the band sacrificed none of their rowdy rock and roll. Their guitars were the toys in the attic; the rhythm section was the rats in the cellar.

And in the center ring stands lead singer Steven Tyler, the last great rock child, a punk in the streets, the Lord of the Highs, an androgynous rock changeling whose lips give Mick Jagger a run for his money. Since they got together, this band has toured so much - that they've criss-crossed the globe nearly 36 times, almost nonstop, topped the charts in 29 countries across the world and sold over a cool 75 million records. And thatís just the first four decades

The Birth Of The Band: It began almost by chance back in 1969, in of all places, Sunapee, NH. Drummer/singer, Steven Tyler (born Steven Victor Tallarico, 26th March 1948) then fronting a NYC band called Chain Reaction, dropped into the local dive, a club called the Barn to check out The Jam Band. Seeing guitarist Joe Perry (born Anthony Joseph Perry, 10th September 1950) and bassist Tom Hamilton (born 31st December 1951) on stage was a new experience for Tyler. Steven was blown away. By the next year, the three had joined forces. They recruited Tyler's old Yonkers buddy, drummer Joey Kramer, and after rejecting such early names like Hookers - they christened the new band; Aerosmith - though one key slot still remained open.

Enter Brad Whitford - a talented young guitarist from the Boston area who seemed destined to round out the Aerosmith line up. Brad climbed aboard, and with the legendary line up now in place, the quintet soon set to work establishing their reputation for fiery live shows and bad behaviour. Sharing an apartment in Boston at 1325 Commonwealth Ave, the band lived and breathed their music. It was a time when the only sure things in life were the threat of eviction and their shared determination to rock the world. But as their reputation grew, it seemed only a matter of time.

You can read the rest of our cover story on Aerosmith in the April 2004 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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