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Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016

The disappointment of my week

Posted Thursday, November 12, 2009, at 4:56 PM

I had a glimmer of hope earlier in the week when rumors of Steven Tyler wanting to leave Aerosmith surfaced.

Could it be? Could the most overrated band in the history of hard rock finally be coming to an end? Oh, happy day!

Then news came Wednesday that it wasn't true. I'm so disappointed. I thought we might finally be rid these guys.

Please don't get me wrong; Aerosmith was a fine band in its day. The boys from Boston produced some of the finer songs of the '70s arena rock era. But when Joe Perry left the band in 1979, it would have been a good time to call it a day. They'd had a good run, but it was over. We could happily remember Aerosmith as what they were -- a slightly above average '70s rock band. Think Bad Company.

But, no, there they were, back together in 1986 for Run D.M.C.'s cover of "Walk This Way." While I will admit that was an outstanding song and video, what it has done is subject us to nearly a quarter century of unnecessary music from this band.

Tell me, what really essential songs have the boys made since 1986? "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" is probably the best of the bunch, and I could totally live without that song. "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" was my senior prom theme, so it has a bit of a soft spot for me. But the band didn't even write that song.

Honestly, this band's top five songs in my mind ("Dream On," "Mama Kin," "Walk This Way," "Sweet Emotion" and "Draw the Line") were all made before 1978.

What really makes me sick about Aerosmith's ridiculously long career, though, is they have attained this status in the Pantheon of Rock that they completely don't deserve. Their CDs used to (and may still) bear the sticker: "America's Greatest Rock 'n Roll Band." Really? Off the top of my head, the Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers, the Band, ZZ Top, the Velvet Underground, R.E.M., the Eagles, Chicago, the Byrds, Cheap Trick and the Ramones all deserve that title more than Aerosmith.

They also seem to be in this rarified air of hard rock bands, but they certainly aren't in a class with Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Kiss, Van Halen or Guns 'N' Roses (who basically had two albums) in the hard rock world.

It's funny what sticking around forever will do to you. People start attributing greatness where only goodness is due.

So I guess these are my pleas:

Father of Todd Rundgren's stepdaughter, if you are reading this, please leave the band. Lots of guys have embarked on lucrative solo careers in hard rock at 61 years of age. You deserve to be the next.

Joe Perry and those other guys, whatever your names are, kick Steven out of the band. Going on without your lead singer and most recognizable figure is a sure-fire way to stay relevant. Look what Journey's been doing over the last 25 or so years.

Treat it like a band-aid that's been on too long -- just rip it off quick.

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While no fan of Aerosmith, I do believe your anger is clouding you judgement on several points.

First, I would argue with the rarified air of hard rock bands including Van Halen and Kiss. If anything Black Sabbath or Deep Purple would rank ahead of those two bands, as well as Aerosmith.

Aerosmith belongs more in line with Van Halen as far as their peak periods. The difference comes in their second phases. Van Hagar had a few hits, none of which were as ubiquitous as Cryin, Crazy, Angel, Amazin, Janie's Got a Gun, Love in an Elevator, Pink, etc. Here they became a cartoon version of a band, but a hugely successful one at that.

Someone in your age range should remember their appeal to an adolescent. They were Jimmy's first rock band in their second incarnation, arbitors of Saturday morning videos. They got a lot of kids to first base and introduced the world to Liv Tyler and Alicia Silverstone (a good thing at the time) while Van Halen reintroduced the world to Fat Valerie Bertinelli and Gary Cherone.

The band should realize that it is now over, but shoudln't be hated for managing to be Thin Lizzy and Bon Jovi all in one career just because it seems inauthentic. I don't think anyone attributes true greatness to Aerosmith, they've been around forever and everyone likes at least a couple of Aerosmith songs. They've been a more constant physical prescence in America's culture than VU, Ramones, etc. and that gives them notoriety if nothing else. And by the way, where the hell were Last Child or Same Old Song and Dance in your top 5. Draw the Line?

-- Posted by JuanPaulJones on Mon, Dec 14, 2009, at 2:09 PM

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Jared Jernagan
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Jared Jernagan is a 2003 graduate of Wabash College and has been in journalism since 2005.
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