I’ll always have a soft spot for Aerosmith, though they might be the hackiest band of all time (which may explain why they are most successful American band of all time, too). They will forever remind me of the summer of 1993: living in the City for the first time, lying in my subletted bedroom with the wall-unit air conditioner blasting and the lights off in the middle of the day to stay cool, subsisting on pasta, butter, and ice cream, feeling insignificant, sticky, and broke at every turn but still bursting with big plans.
As I’ve mentioned before, I was interning for MTV then and working on an Aerosmith “rockumentary” (their term, not mine). I was fully immersed at the time in grunge and indie rock, and all I listened to was Nirvana, Pavement, Gram Parsons, and the Pixies, who had broken up earlier that year, which, of course, made them that much cooler. Aerosmith had just released Get a Grip, which debuted at number one and sold a gajillion copies, but they were deeply uncool. My job transcribing the alien language of a perpetually-shirtless Steven Tallarico and the marble-mouthed mumbling of a sometimes-shirtless Joe Perry, therefore, was also deeply uncool. But I worked at MTV, I was in New York City, and I lived downtown, so I didn’t care.
Over time, I became quite adept at deciphering the nonsensical ramblings of Steven Tyler, and I even developed a dorky crush on Joe Perry. I would come home from logging tapes in a closet for 8 hours and recount to my boyfriend all the things Joe Perry had said that day (one random quote that I remember: “You’ve gotta carry a guitar in one hand and a briefcase in the other”), so much so that my boyfriend got a little jealous and wondered aloud if he needed to hit the gym to acquire Perry-like pecs. By the end of the summer, I actually–all indie-cred out of the window–bought a copy of Get a Grip and listened to it from time to time with no small amount of pleasure.
My sentimental fondness for the band notwithstanding, I have to say that Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, which Activision unveiled last Friday and will be released in June, is a bad idea. If the Aerosmith songs on Guitar Heroes II and III are any indication of what’s to come, GH: Aerosmith will suck rocks. Both “Last Child” and “Same Old Song and Dance” are too easy, repetitive and hokey, like Blues-For-White-Folk 101. I would venture to say that “Same Old Song and Dance” is amelodic. There have been hints that the Aerosmith game will allow drumming and singing, a plus I suppose for the people out there who like to sing with their shirts off and tie scarves around their mic stands, but if the Aerosmith song “Train Kept A’ Rollin’” on Rock Band is any indication, adding drums and vocals won’t make the experience that much better.
My quibbles with this version of Guitar Hero notwithstanding, I’ll still go out and buy the game, and Diana and I probably play it ’til we wear it out. Because I’m a sucker like that. And maybe because I’ve still got a little crush on Joe Perry.
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