Joe Perry and Brad Whitford dissect Aerosmith's wild 50-year ride – only in the new Guitar World

december 2023
(Image credit: Neil Zlozower/Atlas Icons)

Fifty years of Aerosmith!

Of course, if you look at the band timeline that starts on page 54 in this issue, you’ll notice we’re actually dealing with 53 years. And if you happen to remember our April 1997 cover (which celebrated Aerosmith’s 25th anniversary using 1972 as the band's Ground Zero), we're suddenly talking about 51 years.

It gets confusing. Let’s just say that – for the purposes of this (awesome) issue – we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of Aerosmith's self-titled debut album, the one that gave us Dream On.

But does the exact number really matter anyway? The point is, these guys are still here. And – here’s a true rock ’n’ roll miracle for you – it’s the same five guys. What other major band from that era can make that claim? (OK, maybe U2...)

Often I’ll think about how a band starts out with five friends or relatives from the same place, people who get together because of a unique set of circumstances, all involving a love of music and – most likely – a thirst for fame, and then go on to make magic. Then, about 13.5 years later, they break up; the singer hires five pro musicians, and the guitarist and bass player do the same thing.

I know that’s considered common practice, but if you ask me, something primal and emotional is lost when it happens. And, outside of about five bumpy years in their relatively early days, this never happened to Aerosmith. That, to me, is what’s really worth celebrating here.

Anyway, speaking of Aerosmith...

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.