AEROSMITH by Martin Huxley


The Fall and the Rise of Rock's Greatest Band
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 A fast-paced bio that recounts how a middle-aged rock band gave the lie to the guy who said there are no second acts in American lives. Pop-music journalist Huxley (Rolling Stone, Billboard) traces Aerosmith's heady ascent to megastardom in the '70s, its commercial nosedive into a morass of drugs and alcohol in the early '80s, and its subsequent renascence on the wings of a management team savvy enough to guide the band's members to 12-step programs. While Aerosmith's long journey to sobriety is familiar, having been told ad nauseam in both the music and mainstream presses, Huxley does manage to render an accurate picture of the depths to which rich, pampered rock stars can sink. More affecting than the band's druggy war stories, however, are the glimpses into singer Steven Tyler's and guitarist Joe Perry's formative years. Born into middle-class families, both reached adolescence at the inception of the '60s rock revolution and jumped into music feet-first. Tyler grew up in New York City and was thrown out of high school in the early '60s after buying marijuana from an undercover narc; the rest of his education took place among musicians and freaks on the streets of Greenwich Village. The Boston-born Perry dropped out of prep school to pursue his muse while working in a factory. His comments on rock's impact on his teenage consciousness speak volumes: ``I'd wake up in the morning and I wouldn't drink any coffee or take any speed, I'd just put on Ten Years After's `Goin' Home' and I'd be up and moving for the rest of the day.'' Huxley's factual, lively account provides a good look at a rock band that narrowly escaped both burning out and fading away. (15 b&w photos, 8 pages color photos, not seen)

Pub Date: March 17th, 1995
ISBN: 0-312-11737-X
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1995