I grew up listening to hair metal and 80s pop, so no matter where my musical tastes develop in the future there will always be a soft spot in my heart for the likes of Madonna, Paula Abdul, Def Leppard…and Aerosmith.
Aerosmith was the be-all, end-all rock band of my youth. My family went to a kickass concert on the Just Push Play tour, and we never did concerts. I copied my dad’s CDs with early CD-R technology, then played them to destruction because early CD-R technology totally sucked.
Yesterday I put on a classic Aerosmith music video playlist on Youtube, intending it to be some background noise. Instead it hogged all of my attention. Such memories! Aerosmith videos have it all. Great hair band outfits, hilarious cutting-edge digital technology, and plots often hinging on losers wanting to get laid.
Here are some highlights from my binge watch. [And apologies in advance for my crummy Youtube video screencaps.]
1. The number of baby-faced actors who later went on to bigger things.
Everybody remembers Alicia Silverstone’s trilogy of Aerosmith videos, including her romp around town with Liv Tyler in Crazy. But do you remember…
Steven Dorff as Alicia’s shitty ex-boyfriend in Cryin’?
Or Edward Furlong as the boy who gets hit on by his sexy teacher in Livin’ On the Edge?
Or Mila Kunis as the jaded girl in Jaded??
You’d better believe I’d jump at the chance to be in an Aerosmith video, even though I’d invariably be one of the weirdos in the background.
2. The actors who never go on to anything else, but totally give it all they’ve got.
A prevalent theme of 80s rock was to appeal to a base audience of guys who wanna get laid like rock stars, and Aerosmith was no different. Thus, in Crazy we get Alicia and Liv having a wild time, while guys like Gas Station Loiterer ogle in ecstatic disbelief:
Or this guy, who will forever be known as Billy, the guy calling a sex line in Sweet Emotion:
The videos go meta in Amazing, when a lank-haired, basement-dwelling computer nerd is so smitten with Alicia Silverstone in the previous music videos he enters cyberspace to be with a computer simulation of her:
I’m just saying, they were a little on the nose . But it brings us to my next highlight…
3. Total commitment to computer technology.
Let’s take a look at Kid Rambo’s computer interface there:
I don’t think I need to show you his VR helmet or cyber glove.
4. Steven Tyler loves to dress up
Nobody does hair band costume party like Steven Tyler. He will strut around naked or in a skirt or with a bunch of bird feathers on his head, and he Does. Not. Give. A shit. You watch Steven Tyler perform and you know Steven Tyler is having the time of his life.
5. But, no matter how outlandish Steven Tyler gets, the cardinal rule is this: Joe Perry must look cool.
Because he’s Joe Fuckin’ Perry.
Whether that means he is playing guitar in front of a speeding train:
Or playing guitar in a raging fireplace:
Or playing guitar with mechanical robot wings:
Even in a video like Pink, where the entire band dances toward the camera with their heads CGI’d onto disproportionate bodies, naked ladies, etc, and Steven Tyler spends half the time as this monstrosity:
Even then, Joe Perry must look cool.
6. Finally, and most importantly, there is no chemistry burning brighter or love story any greater than that of Tyler and Perry.
The B-plots about dorks loving Alicia Silverstone or jerks leaving Alicia Silverstone are only a ruse. The real sexual tension in every Aerosmith video is front and center: