Tom Hamilton Recalls Aerosmith’s Wilderness Years
Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton recalled that he didn't realize how much trouble the band was in after the departures of Joe Perry and Brad Whitford in the ‘80s.
As a result of the group’s infamous lifestyle, Perry quit in 1979 and Whitford followed two years later. They both returned in 1984, but Aerosmith didn’t recapture their previous level of success until the release of Permanent Vacation in 1987.
“It didn’t dawn on me that the band was essentially over,” Hamilton told MusicRadar in a new interview. “We had a new hot guitar player named Jimmy Crespo who could play his ass off and write, and I thought we would finish the album we were forcing into existence, go on the road and everything would be the same, but it wasn’t. It just kept deteriorating until one day I was watching this new channel called MTV – and realized that we would probably never be part of it.”
Various members of Aerosmith have expressed different opinions on whether they’ll record another album, but Hamilton said he was interested after the creative experience of working on 2012’s Music From Another Dimension! “I have a collection of songs that I’ve been expanding for a long time,” he noted. “Some could possibly be Aerosmith songs, and a lot of them probably couldn’t.”
He recalled a song he wrote called "Tell Me" that's on their latest release. "[That] was my first time writing lyrics and hearing them being sung by Steven [Tyler]," he said. "It was so inspiring working with him when he cut the vocal. On the deluxe version of the album there’s a song I wrote called ‘Up On the Mountain,’ which I actually sang as a duet with Steven. … So those two songs were the fulfillment of some dreams I’ve had for a long time.
“As far as the other material I have saved up, either it’ll become Aerosmith material and Steven will sing them, or I’m going to have to find somebody else to do it. I had cancer in my throat a while back, and they used heavy doses of radiation to get rid of it. The aftereffects of that keep coming, so my ability to sing them is fading fast.”