‘Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith’ by Aerosmith & Stephen Davis – Book Review

I had signed up for the Amazon Prime Unlimited for Kindle books as I figured I would give it a try to see if I would read enough to make it worthwhile and I found this book was eligible so I gave it a shot as who doesn’t love Aerosmith. Ok, don’t tell me if you don’t as I don’t want to lose respect for you. The book is “Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith”. It was written by Stephen Davis with the help of the band including Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer. And let me tell you they are all brutally honest and they go in to some massive detail and lay it out all for the world to see.

The book starts at the beginning, I mean beginning of their music career not the band…way before that. They go through the details of how each got in to music and how the band got to meet. The beginning of the book does spend a ton of time about young Steven Tyler and eventually leads to the meeting of Joe Perry and the rest of the band. Let me tell you these boys were doing drugs before they met, while they met and every second of the day. This wasn’t a gradual decline after the band hit success, this was a problem long before that. They were heading down that spiral pretty damn early in life. They were broke, they struggled but it was always about the music. Music was their brotherly bond and they were brothers. They lived together and they fought just like brothers fight, but there was always that undeniable attraction that together they were unstoppable.

The books highlights the recording of the albums, life on the road, the struggles, the highs, the lows and everything in between. The band has a problem that isn’t just the drugs, but it was the women in their life as well. From Joe’s first wife,Elyssa Jerret, who became the Yoko Ono of the band and was basically Joe’s crutch to his massive drug use and she helped drive him to go solo as well. It is funny, once she was out of his life for good, he was able to clean up his life. Then you had Steven’s weird ass relationship with Julia Holcomb. Julia was 16 when they met and he was 27 and Steven ended up getting guardianship of Julia and they travelled together, slept together and did massive amounts of drug together. It was so bizarre. We did learn about Bebe Buell who gave him his daughter Liv and how that relationship worked. Things were not typical in the bands world.

The book has conversations with all members of the band, but the giant focus is Steven and Joe. But the input from Joey, Tom and Brad was essential and needed for a full story of the band. Their point of view gave credibility to how the band felt and confirmed the stories seemed to been viewed fairly consistently from each member. But they weren’t the only ones you heard from in this book. You heard from friends of the bands, wives, managers, producers and so many people involved in the band. There are too many stories to get in to, but I will mention you get a full insight in to Joe’s leaving the band and starting the Joe Perry Project and how the band made it back to the top of their game with Permanent Vacation. The book goes all the way up to Nine Lives so takes you up to the end of the century. It is a vast amount of data and why the book is well over 500 pages.

I found one of the most interesting stories transpires over a decade and that is their relationship with their manager Tim Colllins. If you thought the band had problems, Tim was a large part of those problems too. His drug use caused so much paranoia with him that he felt the band needed treatment for anything and everything long after they were sober. He thought the band was always on the verge on breaking up and he turned the band against Steven to get him help for Sex addiction and they threatened to fire him. Hell, he ended up forcing the whole band in to treatment for who knows what as the band was clean by this time. Once the band actually had a meeting without Tim, they pieced everything together and realized the problem was Tim as he had been feeding each person bullshit about each other. They eventually had to fire him and it is a really a wild ride.

I won’t go into anymore as you need to read to believe it all. It is so in depth and tells the stories you want to hear. Once they get through the 50 pages or so of the band finding each other to start the band it then becomes a crazy ride. The author is able to pull together a wonderful story using all the interviews with the band members and the people involved with the band to keep you engrossed in every last detail and hoping for more even though it has to come to an end. I will give the book a 4.5 out of 5.0 Stars as I think they spent a lot of time at before the band got together which is why it doesn’t get a perfect score. Overall, this is fantastic and if you are fan of the band, this will give you what you need to know about the band and all the great stories. Now, I am interested in reading the individual band members autobiographies to see how the stories and viewpoints might have changed. Check this out if you get a change, you won’t be disappointed.

41 thoughts on “‘Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith’ by Aerosmith & Stephen Davis – Book Review

  1. Holen’s question is mine too. I remember on his appearance in “Two and Half Men,” Steve says there is a lot of the 70s he doesn’t remember. lol My question is: Does the book mention the infamous bottle throwing incident which happened in Philadelphia during the “Live Bootleg” tour?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dealing with a manager who tried to turn the members against one another, that must’ve sucked! Does the book talk about what went down when making the Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster at Disney World (starring Aerosmith)?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m hoping they mentioned the rollercoaster, since it is part of the band’s history technically. How do you find time to read all these books with your album reviews and other life duties?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. One of the top two rock books I own. The biggest flaw was white washing the current Nine Lives era, which was also filled with drama. This book sold it short.

    Tim Collins can fuck off.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel like I read this book. I know I went through a phase of Stephen Davis books, I had to have read this one, right? If it’s not coming clearly to mind it must mean time for another read, but hey. His books on bands are usually good and Aero sure has a story to tell…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I read this one way back when I had my first Aerosmith kick. Musta been the late 90’s? I thought it was quite something and a really enjoyable read.

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  6. This sounds like a must read for me.

    On a different note how do people with no money end up purchasing drugs?

    Most bios I’ve read talk about the artists being broke and doing massive amounts of drugs. Mmm. Looks like the gig money was going somewhere. Lol

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  7. It was a great read. Amazing how they sober up with Collins and instead of drugs fuelling the fire its paranoia caused by the manager. Nine Lives is for the last great Aero record. So glad I caught that tour and would love the hear the stuff they had worked on with Ballard.
    So much infighting whether sober or high yet they pulled it off for decades lol

    Like

  8. It’s truly astonishing how many rock artists – well, many musicians in general, actually – were heavily into drugs. As someone who’s never done any drugs, other than for a rare hit off someone’s joint (which never got me high, but always made me cough), I just don’t understand how so many musicians and bands got so heavily into hardcore drugs. And the vast majority probably also drank copious amounts of alcohol to boot! It’s a wonder that many of them have survived into their 60s and 70s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you. I don’t get the allure, but the bands are so pressured to perform night after night and eventually they get so tired they go for that pick-me-up and next thing you know, they can’t live without it.

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