As I suspect is the case with most naïve, white, Canadian kids who grew up in the Seventies/Eighties, the first (and quite possibly last) rap/hip hop song I ever liked was “Walk This Way” by Run-DMC. For many of us, certainly the younger ones, it was also our first introduction to Aerosmith. Not only did that remake ignite a revival for Aerosmith that would catapult them into the stratosphere of successful American rock acts in all of music history, but it also incited a curiosity in millions of music fans to learn more about this band that seemingly came out of nowhere.
Soon after the success of the “Walk This Way” remake, Aerosmith would release Permanent Vacation an album which, spurred by the megahit “Dude Looks Like A Lady”, propelled my new found fandom for this unknown band with the legendary history. I loved their new material and was quickly learning about their equally great old material, from the original “Walk This Way” to “Sweet Emotion” to “Dream On”. Aerosmith was huge and I couldn’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be. I would remain such for several more years when, suddenly, I wasn’t anymore.
I don’t know why I changed so abruptly, though I suspect it something to do with Aerosmith morphing into a rock ballad regurgitation machine. Maybe I was just maturing musically? Whatever the reason, I just stopped caring about Aerosmith. Their latest released did nothing for me anymore and eventually I gave away all my collected cassettes, a whopping collection of about four, I think. Luckily I had an uber-fan nearby who was more than happy to receive my castoff wares.
That person was my younger sister, someone who remains a steadfast fan of Aerosmith to this very day. Like creepily so. I have never liked anything as much as she likes Aerosmith, and I include Honeymoon Suite, Cheez Whiz, Smokey and the Bandit, cats, my wife, and my kids in that statement. Apparently she sees something in Steven Tyler that I don’t.
So in honour of my wonderful, but sometimes weird, sister and her upcoming birthday, I’m going to kick off the weekend with my very favourite Aerosmith song. It’s an absolute rocker from the old, pre-revival days of Aerosmith and has a strange history of album inclusion and single releases. Whatever, it’s a killer guitar rock gem and one I still love to listen to even though I’m no longer a fan. This is “Chip Away At The Stone” from the 1978 double live album Live! Bootleg.
Official Live Video Version: