Released: 2011, Ecco books
Let's face it. As a contemporary musical recording entity Aerosmith is dead in the water. Two lackluster albums of original material in the last 16 years is not an inspiring track record. How many premature announcements of aborted new Aerosmith album have we had to endure in the past decade?
Tyler, despite the act, is not dumb. While his admittedly elderly bandmates relax and enjoy the well-deserved fruits of their labours, Tyler has worked very hard to rebrand himself. After the very public exit from the band, more drugs, rehab and an injury or two, I believe he has realized deep-down that Aerosmith is a lame duck and he needs to reposition himself in todays pan-media market to attract a more vibrant, youth dominated audience. (ie. teenagers with money). At least that's the crap that Tyler's handlers in suits are telling him.
Accordingly, Tyler as mentioned had worked very hard 'rebranding' himself and is now the media darling; interviews, a solo song, appearances on many talk shows, including getting in touch with his feminine side on Oprah's latest TV abomination, and of course the whole American Idol thing. Aerosmith albums sales are up 600% he boasts! It was just a matter of time (and timing) before his tell-all autobiography hit the stands. And arrive it did. You could see this book coming from a mile away, like a brick hurled in slow-motion through the plate-glass living room window of suburban America, to Wal-Mart book bins across the world, shooting straight up the book charts thanks to the legions of fat American housewives (and me) who bought the damned thing.
OK maybe the 'fat' comment was uncalled for. Does it matter who buys his book or why? He has lead a pretty interesting life and people want to read about him myself included. So I trundled down to the store (and yes, it was a Wal-Mart for the record) and bought the book and threw my few measly dollars onto Tyler's giant pile of money, I mean, carefully managed retirement investments.
As for the book itself, it's pretty high quality. I'm not surprised as pretty much everything Tyler ( and co.) do is top-notch and turns to gold, except maybe the Aerosmith themed arcade game, Revolution X from 1994, which had a lot of glitches and was poorly received by Aerosmith fans and gamers in general.
DOES THE NOISE IN MY HEAD BOTHER YOU? Is what you might expect it to be, Tyler raw, uncensored, unfettered and good Lord do I feel sorry for his editor and co-writer David Dalton. Tyler writes as he speaks in his charming. signature, odd rhyming-scat, stream of consciousness, one-too-many hits of acid in the 70’s style. I had to re-read some of the sections where he wanders off into some transcendental plane reminiscing about drugs and girls and girls and drugs. It’s linear, lots of detail, lots of warm and sincere memories of summer by the lake until the drugs got a hold of him.
I really like the fact that he talks about music. Constantly. I’ve read autobiographies of musicians and they barely talk about the MUSIC. Tyler is constantly talking about a great old song, or an artist he saw in a bar in NYC the 60’s, his love for Janis Joplin, writing songs, writing lyrics and singing. The man/boy wears his heart on his sleeve and has a song in his heart and songs up his sleeve that no one can imagine. I never truly appreciated his dedication and commitment to music until reading this book. The music wasn’t touched on very often in their 1997 autobiography WALK THIS WAY which struck me as a bit odd. Tyler makes up for it here with lots of details about writing specific songs and the creative process.
All the mandatory touchstones for the readers in the Blue Army are there in spades; the infamous Tyler-Perry love/hate relationship, the bottoming out during the recording of DRAW THE LINE, the rise, the fall, the rise (again), the girls, the drugs, the wives…it’s all there. He names the names and takes no prisoners and admits all of it was (mostly) his fault. He has no sense of modesty or shame but buffers that with a good sense of self-depreciating humour.
Tyler (the front-man) the tatterdemalion, ragamuffin, vagabond with the blue-jean blues is an utterly fascinating character that Tyler, the flawed and sensitive man, plays to the hilt. The noise in his head does not bother me at all, but then again I don’t have to work with the guy.