Growing up, I was a huge Aerosmith fan. I can still remember the first time I heard Sweet Emotion on the radio at the ripe old age of 10. That song transformed my world and helped shape my love for rock music. I remember buying Pump on the day it was released in 1989 and playing that cassette over and over and over again. F.I.N.E. and What It Takes spoke to me like other songs had not (at least not in a very long time). I can remember watching all of the videos from that album on MTV and loving every one of them, including both versions of What It Takes.
I still remember the giddy joy I felt when I received Pandora’s Box one Christmas. I spent weeks dissecting every disc in that collection, waltzing through the musical history of Aerosmith while reading the entire book that accompanied the box set cover to cover. The historical musical references had me fall in love with the band all over again. From the early, pre-Aerosmith, Steven Tyler songs, to the latest version of Sweet Emotion and Chip Away At The Stone, it was all spectacular.
In the 90s, Aerosmith was still going strong with utterly fantastic releases like Get A Grip and Nine Lives. Onward into 2001 and the band was still rocking with the release of one of their greatest albums ever, Just Push Play. Then they came out with a covers album, Honkin’ On Bobo. While it wasn’t new Aerosmith music, it was still decent. The band decided to cover their favorite blues songs and the end result was all right. Nothing special, but all the fans figured it was a stop-gap until their next record of original material came out. The only problem was that record never materialized. Endless delays and issues within the band ceased it from happening.
The last two years have been somewhat of a train wreck for Aerosmith. It started with Steven Tyler being in the band, then out of the band, then in the band again. Then Aerosmith fulfilled their contractual obligations by going through the motions of their “only to collect a paycheck” concerts in Hawaii. And then there was the latest – Steven Tyler wanting to focus on the Steven Tyler “brand” and joining American Idol as a judge. What does this all mean to the Aerosmith fan?
For one, it means that Steven has deserted his fans. He can say whatever he wants, but to leave us with Honkin’ On Bobo as the last record Aerosmith ever releases is akin to Guns N Roses leaving us with The Spaghetti Incident. For a band that I idolized as a teen, I expected so much more. Aerosmith should be ashamed if the final release in their legacy is Honkin’ On Bobo. By the look of things, there won’t be an alternative ending.
To that, I make this plea to the band that I worshipped growing up; to the band that took much of my allowance; to the band that I spent several hundred dollars on to see in concert; to the band that shaped my adolescence with their funk infused style of old school rock and roll. I say this. Please don’ leave us Honkin’ On Bobo. Please do whatever it takes to get together and release that one last great album that we all know is in you. There doesn’t need to be a tour behind it (although that would be nice), but we need that last record that you were working on. Steven Tyler still has talent. Joe Perry still has credentials. Joey Kramer, Brad Whitford, and Tom Hamilton can still bring it, we know they can. So please, Aerosmith, whatever it takes, bring us one more studio record. It will wipe the taste of Bobo out of our mouths and it will do so much to help re-establish your name as one of the greatest rock and roll bands ever. The bad boys from Boston. One more record. Please.