In 2002, Ben Mitchell spoke to Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. In this no-holds-barred Q&A, which remained unpublished for many years, he tries to get to the bottom of the many myths and salacious stories surrounding the band.
Is it true that you once opened a show with the song that you usually played last, thought that you’d finished and walked off?
Steven Tyler: No. What we have done is played the same song twice in a show. It didn’t happen very often, but this was the early days
You played the same song twice in a row?
ST: Oh no, that would have made us blithering idiots. We were just drug addicts.
Joe Perry: We probably went on without a setlist because we were late and just muddled through.
The whole album was fueled by drugs and discontent, and booze, and puke, and withdrawals, and blame, and guns, and motorcycles, and fast cars, and “Tommy Guns”, and more drugs, and Shotguns, and more drugs…
Even drugs in the food… Cocaine was an everyday thing. It’s a known fact that David Johansen was their heroin courier, just so the guys wouldn’t go out and get “street dope”. 6 weeks, everyone in different rooms, only coming out to meet a supplier, or take a spin, or shoot. Jack assigned each of them to different rooms within the seminary to work on, and record their parts of the songs for the album. They almost barely saw each other. It took another 6 months and 1/2 a million dollars to complete it, and that’s a lot of cash in ’77! They came to the “Cenacle”, (The seminary) right off the road. No rest, no songs, and zero ideas!
The generic thought of the time when this album came out, was that the name of the record, and title song had something to do with cocaine. The thought was that it implied “drawing a line” of coke. The ironic thing is that IT DID have everything to do with cocaine, but rather than drawing a line with it, it was about drawing a line from it. The name of the album, came from a buddy, a roadie of the band named “Rabbit”. The story goes; The band got an ounce of coke from the mob, but it was bad, so they decided to return it, but then Steven gave it to another guy and told him to hold it. The guy put it in a manila envelope and then switched the envelopes, because he knew that Steven would want it at 4:00 in the morning. The next day Steven was all pissed off and asking “where’s the fucking blow?!?!”, asking the guy why he switched the envelope. Rabbit jumped in and said “Steven, you don’t know when to stop! You don’t know when to ‘Draw the Line!” And there you have it. Continue reading Number 13 – Anybody Got a Wet Nap?