(photo credit: REUTERS)
Venerable American rockers Aerosmith will walk this way one more time, with a show on May 17 in Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon as the opening blast of their 2017 “farewell” world tour.
The Boston-based quintet led by vocalist Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry (who used to work as a custodian at a Brookline synagogue during the early lean years) released their first album in 1973 and haven’t strayed too far in the ensuing decades from their brand of raunchy, blues-driven rock ‘n’ roll that owed considerable debt to The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds.
Tyler’s pouting lips and manic stage presence drew immediate comparisons to Mick Jagger, while Perry and co-guitarist Brad Whitford’s no-nonsense weaving style of rhythm and leads conjured up the classic Keith Richards- Brian Jones mid-‘60s trademark sound.
“For me, Chuck Berry, the Stones, Yardbirds – they’re what I listened to before I start to write songs,” Perry told The Jerusalem Post ahead of the band’s first show in Israel 22 years ago.
After establishing themselves as one of America’s premier live acts in the 1970s, the band imploded due to lifestyle excess in the early 1980s, only to reemerge later in the decade cleaned up and with a more commercial sound that led the way to their most successful years.
A huge turning point took place in 1986 when RUN DMC joined Tyler and Perry for a version of the band’s early ‘70s classic “Walk This Way.” Suddenly Aerosmith was hip again and “phase 2” of their career took off.
The band has recorded and toured steadily ever since, amid the usual mid-life dramas, threats of breakups, relapses, solo projects and health scares. The band evidently couldn’t even agree on whether next year’s tour is a farewell jaunt or not. Whether it is or not, next summer’s Tel Aviv show will find aging members of the Aerosmith blue-jean nation beaming in sweet emotion.