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March 26, 2024

20 Photographs of Steven Tyler of Aerosmith on the Stage From the 1970s and 1980s

Steven Victor Tallarico, better known as Steven Tyler, was born on March 26, 1948, in Yonkers, New York. The son of a music teacher, he started playing drums at a young age, but then focused on singing.

After moving to Boston in the late 1960s, Tyler eventually met up the musicians that would form the rock group Aerosmith. He reportedly met up with guitarist Joe Perry and bassist Tom Hamilton while they were playing in different bands in the Sunapee, New Hampshire, area. Guitarist Ray Tabano (who was later replaced by Brad Whitford) and drummer Joey Kramer joined up with the others to form Aerosmith. The band played its first gig together in 1970, and shared an apartment in Boston.

In 1972, Aerosmith signed a contract with Columbia Records. The following year their self-titled debut album was released. It featured the song “Dream On,“ which was a minor hit. In the early days of the group many comparisons were drawn with the Rolling Stones because their similar bluesy sound and the physical resemblance between Mick Jagger and Tyler. But with their third album, Toys in the Attic (1975), the band emerged as a leading rock group in its own right. Showcasing their talent for creating hard rock, Aerosmith scored with such hits as “Sweet Emotion” and “Walk This Way.”

Their follow-up album Rocks (1976) also had strong sales despite the lack of a breakout single, as did Draw the Line (1977). But by the end of the decade, the band was coming apart at the seams. Perry and Whitford eventually left the group while Tyler became heavily involved with drugs. Tyler kept the group going by adding new members, but his personal problems affected his creative abilities and Aerosmith was only a shadow of its former self.

By the mid-1980s, Tyler had gotten his act together after going through a rehabilitation program. In 1986, rap group Run-D.M.C. covered Aerosmith’s famous “Walk This Way” single on their Raising Hell album. The rendition featured vocals by Tyler and Joe Perry, and helped push Aerosmith back into the limelight.

By 1987, the band had made a successful comeback: That year, Aerosmith released Permanent Vacation, which featured the hits “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” and “Rag Doll.” The revitalized rock supergroup had more commercial success with its next effort, Pump (1989), which featured such songs as “Love in an Elevator” and “Janie’s Got a Gun.” With the rise of MTV, the band’s videos helped them win over a new generation of fans.

Aerosmith’s winning streak continued with 1993’s Get a Grip, driven in part by such singles as “Livin’ on the Edge,” “Cryin’” and “Crazy.” By the end of 1990s, the group was unable to maintain its chart momentum, but Tyler and his bandmates were still a big draw for concerts, with droves of their fans turning out to see the group play live.

Here’s a selection of 20 vintage photographs of Steven Tyler of Aerosmith on the stage from between the 1970s and 1980s:


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