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4.8 out of 5 stars
Walk This Way: The Autobiography Of Aerosmith
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on 23 October 1998
I really enjoyed this book. It is a comprehensive first person account of their career. Written in interview format, the band, wives, crew and managers give their own perspective of each pertinent event, not always agreeing on what really happened. This makes the book particulaly interesting. NOT YOUR TYPICAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY!
For a more conventional biography read Putterford's "Fall and rise of Aerosmith"
As for Aerosmith's lack of visible charity, most celebrity charity is arranged by their publicists to get their names in the press as do gooders. It is what is done from the heart that counts, not what makes it into the press. Aerosmith does indeed do charitable deeds in Boston and Worcester Sometimes publicly as in 100 cans of food gets you a meet and greet backstage, to private acts which I am personally aware of, but since they chose not to publicize it, I won't either. They give money, but more importantly I have witnessed them giving their time mostly sans press.
I'm a pilot and have known several of their flight crews. No orgies on the plane (anymore, since the 80's at least) very considerate and down to earth. Yes they are performers and aren't absolutely the same people as their personas suggest, but they are down to earth people for the most part and fit in with the average Joe's out there (just a little more money in the bank , though). With minimal disguise they do pull it off and it just may be a band member sitting next to you at Fenway park shooting the sh*t with you. (true story)
Back to the review, buy the book. It is not very flattering in spots (Tyler vomiting for example) but it will entertain you as well as giving you the mostly true story from beginning to present.
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on 17 July 1998
I liked Aerosmith before they were sober, and Dream On is still my favourite song, but when they freed up the whole of their brains to create their music, it took them literally into a league of their own.
Like they say in the book, it's unbelieveable that they are still walking and talking lucidly; never mind coming up with some of the most inventive, subtle lyrics and most hooking tunes ever heard. Each time I hear a new album I think it's better than the last one, they simply never let the quality drop off.
Anyway, the book. While biographies and even autobiographies are typically full of third hand commentary by a ghost writer, this book is 99% spoken dialogue from the band members and the people close to them - including sacked managers, ex wives and various weapon wielding ex crew members, all of whom I'm amazed are still on speaking terms with the band. Maybe that's a measure of their charisma (or maybe they pay well - I suspect the former).
Totally candid! ! , sometimes hilarious, and often really scary (some of the drug stuff will put you off even weak beer) all of the comment is heartfelt and sometimes brutally honest. Their ability to eventually take control of their lives and their creative abilities is amazing in itself, but for it to unmask the unmitigated genius shown on every album from Permanent Vacation to 9 Lives, and outstrip the really talented, million selling albums previous to Vacation, beggars belief.
This book tells the whole story, in amazing detail considering the states of their heads for most of the time pre 1986, and gave a 31 year old rocker who's running out of hair and can't fit into tour T-shirts anymore a reminder of what good music is all about and a fascinating insight into a favourite band. A real must for Aero fans and all rock music devotees.
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on 1 July 1998
I had pretty much given up on rock bios after reading David Lee Roth's "Crazy From the Heat". My wife said it was a great book and that I would like it. She was right. I read it in three nights and I'm a pretty slow reader! From the start we get an entertaining and revealing insight of the boys, especially Steven. They truly are the Bad Boys from Boston ( their adopted home town). It's amazing to learn of the shady management that ran their lives up until just recently. Of course, the drug and sexual addictions that are all to common of occurences with bands of this stature will leave you whipped and hung-over from reading about it. And just when you think Steven couldn't suprise us any more, he does. It's simple incredible that he and Joe are still walking the earth. The book could have revealed more about Tom, Brad and Joey but I'm sure their stories would have paled in comparison to the Toxic Twins. Thankfully, Stephen Davis barely touches on the Rick Dufay and Jimmy Crespo years (NO ONE could replace Joe). One also believes Leber and Krebs (Aerosmith's first managers) are the antichrist by the end of this book. Criteria for a great (auto)biography: Even if this book had been about a fictional band it would have been extremely entertaining. Davis has also authored "Hammer of the Gods" the well-known Zeppelin bio, so you can imagine he knows how to write about the biggest names in rock. I can promise the reader this: you will not look at or listen to these guys the same way! One Steven Tyler quote sums up the lives of this group: "We believed that anything worth doing was worth overdoing." Bro, you sure did!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 February 2000
What an outstanding, absorbing and hilarious read this book provides in equal measure!. Never have I read such detailed (by Aerosmith standards) accounts of what went on inside the 'Greatest Rock n' Roll Band In The World' that this book provides. It tells the whole story through quotes from the band members themselves, wives, girlfriends, roadies, drug-dealers, you name them and they will have a story to tell.A masterpiece!. Surley the best book you will ever read if your life!. SIX STARS!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2001
This book is unbelievable - a MUST for any Aerosmith fan. You feel like one of the band when you're reading this, it just has to be the bible for any real fan. BUY IT!!
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on 29 March 2000
This honest, gritty and often bleak look at the euphoric highs and painful lows of Rock 'n' Roll excess is the "Can't put it down" book of the year, so far. Each member of Aerosmith along with those others who "made it happen" share their memories of the drugs, the women, the fights.....oh yeah, and the music! The absolute honesty in which Tyler, Perry and friends discuss not only their drug habits, but their innermost feelings is startling yet refreshing - not to mention miraculous that they can even remember any of it! The interesting aspect for me was that it painted the picture that EVERYONE in the US in the late 60's and 70's were all on drugs of some sorts - there are only about three or four people who feature in the book who didn't indulge in some form of narcotic injestion.....Hmmm. The fact that this book is an autobiography and not some un-researched throw-away money spinner makes this the compelling read that it is. If there was ever a "Do's and Don't's" of Rock 'n' Roll then this is it! On the back of the book is says "Hang on - It's a hell of a ride!" and it is exactly that. Buy it - NOW!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 1998
If you love Aerosmith ~ READ THIS BOOK! It is honest, exciting, scary and triumphant. It will grab your attention and keep it. You go along with the band for the ride of your life. These guys TRULY have NINE LIVES (literally). I have met them and have loved them from the very beginning and yes after reading the book, I STILL LOVE THEM!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2000
You don't have to be an 'Smith - or even a rock - fan to enjoy this. One of the most enthralling books I have read in a long time, and I don't normally read autobiographies. I just couldn't put it down. How these guys are still alive to tell the tale is beyond belief. But they are - and they rock! Buy it - you won't regret it!
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on 3 May 1998
A great, great read. Alternately insightful, fascinating, depressing, and inspiring. Arguably the all time greatest rock band talks honestly about their sky-high successes and near fatal excesses. After completing this book, the only conclusion you can possibly draw is the good Lord must be a huge Aerosmith fan. There is absolutely no reason S. Tyler, J. Perry, and the LI3 didn't follow in the steps of Hendrix, Bonham, and all the other great talents who let addictions prematurely end their careers. To the benefit of everyone who loves this band (including yours truly), they cleaned themselves up and clawed their way back. This book tells that story with tremendous humour and honest detail. If you are a member of the Blue Army, this is an absolute must read. I recommend Ian Hunter's 'Diary of a Rock Star' if you like the Aerosmith book. However, I also wish you the best of luck trying to find it.
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on 4 April 1999
This book is a must-read for any Aerosmith fan. I couldn't put the book down!!! Rather than just tell the story of the band, the author used the actual band members and their entourage to tell what actually went on during their rise to fame. After reading the book I have a new appreciation for the hard work and dedication the band members put into Aerosmith. It was a long, hard struggle to the top. I also gained a new appreciation for the band members themselves as I learned of their struggles with drug and alcohol addiction and their subsequent sobriety. The book was truely inspiring, not what you would expect from an autobiography of one of the world's most notorious rock and roll bands. After reading "Walk This Way" one can't help but think that any thing is possible if you want it bad enough! Please note that the language may be objectional to some readers.
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