The Crazy Reason That Boston Legends Aerosmith Broke Up in the ’70s
Aerosmith announced its farewell tour this week, including a New Year's Eve stop at the TD Garden in Boston (no word yet on the band's policy for bottle caps).
And following an incident that seems like it's straight out of Spinal Tap, the band almost called it quits just after their first string of hits in the '70s. It even led to a five-year period from 1979 to 1984 when Joe Perry and Steven Tyler decided to break up.
Bassist Tom Hamilton, drummer Joey Kramer remained in the band with Tyler, while Perry and guitarist Brad Whitford pursued other musical ventures.
And for a band with a legendary reputation for its hard partying, the impetus for the breakup doesn’t exactly scream “rock ‘n’ roll.”
According to music critic and historian Stephen Thomas Erlewine, pandemonium did indeed break out backstage at a concert, but not between bandmates; rather their wives. Apparently, the first shot was Perry’s wife throwing a glass of milk at Hamilton’s wife, which sounds less like an Aerosmith brawl and more like a Wiggles skirmish.
After departing, Perry formed his own group, The Joe Perry Project, which resumed touring during Aerosmith hiatuses in 2009 and again in 2022.
Jimmy Crespo replaced Perry while Rick Dufay filled Whitford’s slot, and Steven Tyler’s Aerosmith continued touring, even releasing the album “Rock in a Hard Place” in 1982.
Perhaps biased due to the band’s reshuffled lineup, critics were unkind in their reviews, and the basis of the album’s title proved prophetic. However, according to the band’s autobiography, Perry and Whitford would attend a 1984 show at Boston’s Orpheum Theater. Amends were made, and soon, the band’s original lineup was in place (and remained that way as of 2022).
It took the band a while to regain its early momentum, but once they did, they gave us: “Dude (Looks Like a Lady),” “Angel,” “Rag Doll,” “Love in an Elevator,” “Janie’s Got a Gun,” “What it Takes,” “The Other Side,” “Cryin’,” “Jaded,” and their first ever number one hit, 1998’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing," all of which was nearly washed away by a glass of milk.
Here's hoping things go smoother on the band's swan sang – and that Steven finally buys that house he eyed in North Hampton, New Hampshire.