don't you tell me how i feel.


the demon of screamin’ by v
August 23, 2011, 8:23 am
Filed under: boox, not-new music, Shit I love

So I mentioned a bit ago that I got my hands on Steven Tyler’s memoir, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?, which is an entertaining series of drug-and-sex-addled misadventures, starting with Tyler’s early life in Sunapee, NH.

One key recurring theme is his abiding love for Joe Perry, which threads its way into nearly every chapter. For example, here’s Steven upon learning that Joe was leaving the band’s Boston apartment to live with his girlfriend, Elyssa: “I was angry at Elyssa because she stole my boyfriend, my significant other, my partner in crime! It was like losing a brother.” He then promptly wrote some cutting lyrics about her, which would eventually become the ever popular “Sweet Emotion” (“You talk about things that nobody cares/Wearing out things that nobody wears”).

Beyond the Joe love, the book is rife with tidbits for the Aerosmith nerd: Bassist Tom Hamilton, drummer Joey Kramer and guitaritst Brad Whitford referred to themselves as the LI3 (least interesting three); the bass drum used on that cool part in”Livin’ on the Edge” is one that Tyler stole from his high school; Kramer blames his facial tic on Tyler’s quasi-abusive behavior, etc.

But it’s definitely not all music and drugs and girlfriend drama. Some of the most affecting parts are the ones where Tyler grapples with the desire to be a normal person (a dad who mows the lawn, for example) rather than a larger-than-life persona:

“I feel the vertigo of  being alone. I’ll be working a room, talking to people, joking, telling them stories — they’re looking at me, and what they see is this Steven Tyler entity. I began to think of myself in the third person — which is a kind of existential hell. And everybody I know said the same thing except the one person that I wanted to say it to me, and she left me. So it’s really lonely being who the fuck I am.”

The end of the book is a devastating spiral of injuries, hepatitis C treatment, prescription drug abuse, the death of Tyler’s mother, and what sounds like a lot of hypocrisy within the band (though no names are named) about who’s using and who isn’t. Certainly, Tyler could be spinning it so that he’s the victim, but you definitely get the sense that he was misunderstood  by his bandmates.

To my chagrin, he didn’t mention the charity concert in New Hampshire that he had to cancel in 2010 when he checked into the Betty Ford clinic in his most recent rehab stint (to my knowledge). However, he did write a few paragraphs about how much he loathes canceling concerts (he feels for the people who are trying to get laid, and there’s also the huge cost the band incurs for cancellations), as opposed to someone like Axl Rose, who enjoys making crowds wait around for four hours to see his weirdo ass (Tyler’s comparison, not mine).

So yep, read it.

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1 Comment so far
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“…he feels for the people who are trying to get laid.”

Good looking out Steve, thanks man!

Comment by Lehtola




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