About the only piece of memorabilia that Jonathan Robinson won’t be exhibiting during Aerosmith History Day in Sunapee Harbor on Saturday afternoon is a photographic or printed account of his first memory of the venerable rock band.
“I heard Dream On in the summer of ’74, while I was a counselor in training at Camp Coniston in Croydon,” Robinson, now in his late 50s, recalled during an exchange of emails this week. “They just had a great sound and once I heard that they’d first gotten together in Sunapee years earlier, with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry both fellow Lake Sunapee summer kids like me, then my interest really started in earnest.”
Robinson, a Sunapee resident who runs the Robinson Ski Archive Service, started collecting Aerosmith memorabilia after seeing lead vocalist Tyler, lead guitarist Joe Perry and the rest of the band at the civic center in Springfield, Mass., in April 1975. The ensuing June 1975 edition of Circus Magazine, with Aerosmith on the cover, is among the 54 years worth of clippings, photos — 15,000 of which will run in a continuing loop on a 50-inch monitor during the celebration — advertisements, T-shirts, jackets, posters, backstage passes and programs that Robinson and other collectors will display at the Sunapee Historical Society museum on Main Street on Saturday from noon to 4.
Other exhibitors include Raymond Tobano, who played rhythm guitar for the band in 1970 and 1971 and later spent five years as its marketing chief, Aerosmith archivists Mark Blair and Rich Johnson, and Joe Perry’s younger sister Annie Perry.
“It’s followed me through the years and grown all the time,” Robinson wrote about his own collection, which focuses on printed material. “There was a period of over 12 years that the collection was mothballed and out of my possession, which only ended last December when the archives came home — long story.”
Not long after reacquiring the collection, Robinson decided that an exhibition “of this magnitude has been overdue for a long time.
“This band is inarguably the greatest hard rock band that this country has produced,” Robinson wrote. “And despite the former comparisons of their look and sound with a great British rock and roll band, they, over nearly the last half century, are our Rolling Stones, who have also stood the test of time.”
The restoration of his own memorabilia coincided with the Sunapee Historical Society starting a capital campaign to buy Sunapee’s former Abbott Library, where the society aims to house artifacts in a climate-controlled space not available in the current museum. While admission to the exhibit is free, Robinson said that he will be donating to the campaign part of the proceeds from sale of copies of the poster he created, in the form of a genealogical chart of the musical careers of Aerosmith members past and present.
“They made a name for themselves as ‘The Bad Boys from Boston,’ ” Robinson wrote, “but those of us summer locals knew them as our own, from Sunapee.”
Aerosmith History Day runs from noon to 4 on Saturday, at the Sunapee Historical Society museum, on Main Street in Sunapee Harbor. Admission is free.
By David Corriveau for Valley News
More information on Aerosmith collectors: Toys In The Attic! This Rockin’ Aerosmith Treasure Trove of Memorabalia May Be Beyond Compare