Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Steven Tyler – Does the Noise in My Head Bother You

As I've said before, I've been a fan of Aerosmith since I first heard them in the mid-70's - most likely when Toys in the Attic hit. I know that they put out a lot of drek in the 80's, but they would have an occasional fun tune, like "Dude Looks Like a Lady" or "Love in an Elevator". Not all that long ago they even released a great record of old blues tunes, showing that they still have the spirit inside them. Sure, they're past their prime now and they are more rumours about them breaking up than there are about any new music, but they have been an institution.

Steven's book tells his tale in his own, unique way. Far from linear - Tyler bounces all over the place chronologically - it is still a cool and is told in his own jive-talking parlance. It would have been nice to have a little more cohesion to the story (he never mentions how Brad Whitford joined the band, for instance, and, in fact barely mentions him throughout) and a little more behind-the-scenes in the recording studio, but he does go into the inspiration for a number of his tunes, which is interesting. There are some inaccuracies, including - oddly - his claim that he wrote "Big Ten Inch Record", which is, of course, an old r'n'b cover that he never claimed authorship of before, and he says that "Pandora's Box", from Get your Wings, was on Rocks.

Several chapters are spent complaining about management, the other band members and his women not understanding his affairs, which all tends to be a bit tedious, though I suppose it is informative to those who think that playing in a band is all fun and games. There are many medical issues that he has had due specifically to his stage persona (not to mention his legendary drug use), which is something that I've sure most people don't think of in terms of "stars".

Overall, enjoyable, but a bit of a downer in places, as life can be. Certainly not a definitive story of the group, though I doubt that anyone in the group could manage that. An interesting point of view of rock'n'roll and stardom through the years, though.