For '80s babies on, Aerosmith seem like Stonehenge — something from out of the mists of time, something that has always been and will always be.
But just like those English monoliths got arranged somehow, Aerosmith did indeed have a start date. Fifty years ago today, on November 6, 1970, the boys from Boston played their first gig at Nipmuc Regional High School in Mendon, Massachusetts.
"The new band got the gig because Joe Perry‘s mother, who worked at a nearby school, knew someone at Nipmuc, and helped set it up," reads a November 6, 2018, post from the band's official Facebook page. "At the time, Ray Tabano was on rhythm guitar. He would be replaced by Brad Whitford a year later. Tickets for the show cost about a dollar."
In honor of five decades of a great American rock band, here are some of our favorite Aerosmith videos.
'Walk This Way' (1986)
Technically, this video by Run DMC featuring Aerosmith, but let's not quibble about top billing. It's the seminal hip-hop group's cover of Aerosmith's 1975 classic, and represented not only the beginning of the band's 1980s Renaissance, but an early successful crossover between the worlds of rap and rock.
'Love in an Elevator' (1989)
This video has got it all: jiggling girls in bikinis, Steven Tyler fending off a fake cheetah, horny scoutmasters, cute dogs, and Joe Perry's fringed cow-print pants. It's silly, raunchy, rockin' fun.
'Janie's Got a Gun' (1989)
Can you even call yourself a David Fincher fan if you haven't seen the video for "Janie's Got a Gun"? You can, actually, but you should still watch this early effort by the celebrated director.
A pre-Clueless teenage Alicia Silverstone and a pre-everything teenage Liv Tyler ditch school to go on a series of wild adventures, including winning a pole-dancing contest and stealing things from a convenience store, in this stone-cold 1990s music video classic. The boys in our high school loved this one.
'I Don't Want to Miss a Thing' (1998)
This song from the Armageddon soundtrack was inescapable in summer 1998. The video alternates footage of the band performing in some kind of rocket hangar with scenes from the movie. Put it this way: Two decades later, we can't tell you a thing about Armageddon, but we can still sing along with this song.