Here’s the thing about Aerosmith. They lost touch with their artsy-fartsy roots.
What exactly do I mean by that? Well, let’s have a gander at the classic Aerosmith logo.
This was designed by founding Aerosmith member “Crazy Raymond” Tabano, and it’s still in use over forty years later. It bears the unmistakable stamp of its time, much like Rick Griffin’s type treatments and art. It’s evocative of the “pre-graffiti” days of rendering a design sweet enough to be airbrushed on the side of a boogie van. It’s certainly far more interesting than any recent iteration of the band.
Tabano and Steven Tyler were childhood pals in Yonkers, of all places. But let me tell you from experience; it is impossible to reside in close vicinity to NYC and not absorb fine art through osmosis. I can’t speak for the present, but when I departed the northeast last century, one was considered doltish and dull if you didn’t have at least a base knowledge of classical culture. You can’t swing a Monet in New York City without hitting a Manet. It’s as close as we get in America to Paree.
So it was that a raunchy band from Boston could land themselves a cover drawn by the greatest caricaturist of the 20th century, Al Hirschfeld.
Draw The Line was recorded in an abandoned nunnery. When Jim Goad played me the title cut, and asked me to guess the artist, I drew a total blank even after Tyler began to sing. That’s Aerosmith!
“Rag Doll” is, to me, Aerosmith’s latter-day answer to the Rolling Stones’ “Bitch”. Both songs are corny and trite if broken down to their base elements; a horn section, a basic drumbeat? But: both songs are absolute rock alchemy when all the elements are in place.
If you put on a pair of python boots and stomp in unison to that song, your dick will lengthen by an inch, even if you’re a girl. That is Cock Rock so cockulous, it’s still got a foreskin. And that tune comes from a shitastic album, released during a shitastic year (1987).
As I delineated in the strip, I have a chemical fondness for “Sweet Emotion”. Permit me to slip into Hack Stand-Up Comedian Mode:
“Hey, you wanna know how to stop those ISIS assholes? Take a drone, and fly in a pound of weed, a bong, and an iPod playing this song…”
“Five minutes later; problem solved.”
In the mid-1990s, Aerosmith was partly responsible for one of the worst videogames about a band ever, alongside DEVO’s Adventures of the Smart Patrol and that Journey game; Revolution X. Not that there’s any good games based on bands, but anyway.
Why companies keep trying to mash computer games and rock bands together is anyone’s guess, but it bears pointing out that all the examples I cited above were outfits known partly for their visual look. There even once existed a Frankie Goes To Hollywood computer game, almost entirely based around their logo. And… jizz.
That actually looks better than Journey’s Atari 2600 game.
Ray Tabano appeared on Pawn Stars last year, where he sold two shirts with his prototype logo design, signed by himself and Steven Tyler, for $1,000. It was a third of his asking price.