Last report of the year! What a year! The band played in countless countries to hundreds of thousands of fans. There doesn’t seem to be much let up in 2012, which should be dubbed, “Year of Road Dawgs.” Steven was singing his ass off. Joe’s playing was, as Steven would put it, “in the wayoutisphere.” Joey’s drum solo is a thing unto itself. Tom is still the master of the big bottom and Brad is…well Brad is Brad. Brad has always played with pure class and pure soul. I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Back to Japan.
While in Osaka, Joe, Billie, Russ Irwin, Joe’s tech, Trace Foster, his lovely wife Shannon and yours truly took a short trek to Kyoto. Kyoto is famous for it’s temples and we saw them all. My favorite was the “Golden Temple.” The whole thing is painted with gold.
|Joe in Kyoto. Photo: John B. |
|John B. Checks out the Temples. |
Photo: Trace Foster
Every time we go back to Japan there seems to be some kind of fashion trend. Big boots one year, teenage girls with weird stockings the next. This time I couldn’t help but notice all the Japanese kids were wearing fake glasses. Some had no glass in them at all and others just had glass and no prescription. All the kids look like freakin’ Ernie Douglas or for you guys and gals born after 1980, Steve Urkel. It’s the weirdest thing. It’s a fashion trend I guess but my mother had to threaten to take away my Atari game to get me to wear mine.
There is a Japanese fan named Nobu Tanaka who some of you guys are aware of. Nobu is what I call a “turbo fan.” He has been to over 160 Aerosmtih shows and is a die hard Joe Perry fanatic. When the shows are General Admission he is the first one in the venue and sets up camp right in front of Joe. He bought meet and greet tickets to all 8 shows and brought his wife, son (named Joe of course) and his parents and wife’s parents. I am giving him the unofficial title of “Fan of the Decade.” I am sure some of the US fans are going to give him a run for his money this summer.
|Nobu show 148? Photo: John B. |
Runner up goes to another Japanese fan named Dr. ii. The good doctor made it to 6 shows and he too was at all the meet and greets. I felt a little better with knowing he was there. I was beginning to think one of us might have had a heart attack with all the Korean BBQ we were eating after the shows. Luckily his services weren’t needed on this trip. Amanda, from the fan club, positioned both Nobu and the Doc next to each other in Sapporo expecting to see a good old fashion Sumo match but nothing materialized.
|Dr. ii. Photo: Amanda Ayre |
It seems the set lists are always up for debate in the Forums. I think it’s kind of cool that everyone talks about what songs were played and also put in his or her 2 cents in what they hope the band would play. Remember the majority of the people debating this are obviously not in Japan but like to critique the set just the same. It makes everybody feel like they were there even if they weren’t. The band made a conscience effort every night to mix it up. I see a lot of fans wanting them to give certain songs a rest but it is usually the songs people want to see on the bench for a while that get the biggest response of the night. That’s like sitting Cal Ripken for a night or two because we are sick of seeing him out there. You are definitely not going to please 100% of the people all the time but I thought this tour the guys did a great job of mixing it up. Just my 2 cents.
Eric Clapton was touring Japan the same time as Aerosmith and our paths crossed a few times. Mr. Udo was promoting him too and some of our old Udo people were taking him around. While I was talking to my buddy “Aki” in the Hotel lobby in Fukuoka he introduced me to old slow hand himself and EC couldn’t have been nicer. He told me to pass along his well wishes to the guys. I later saw him and Brad in the hotel restaurant chatting like they were long lost friends. Truly a highlight of the tour for me.
|Restaurant uses Tom's likeness without his consent. |
Gives him 20% off meal. Photo: John B.
Sapporo was really cool and really cold. We went from 60 degree temps down to 20 and snowing. It made us all a little home sick but that was ok as we were leaving the next day. At the last show Brad, Tom and Joey taped some Holiday messages for all of the Aero Force One members. They all seemed pretty bummed that the tour was over but also looking forward to the summer and hitting the sheds in the US.
Be sure to check out Joe’s twitter chat next week. Joe is the E.F. Hutton of rock and when he talks people listen.
Employee of the Tour:
Goes to Tour Manager Jimmy Eyers. This is not the first time Jimmy has received this honor and with good reason. He has been with the band since the “Get a Grip” tour with a few short sabbaticals here and there. He makes everything go smooth sailing and knows where all the bodies are buried. He spent the last 2 weeks of the tour pretty much laid up with a pinched nerve in his neck but is on the road to recovery and should be back in the saddle (oh no you didn’t) soon. He is considering opening a chain of Korean BBQ joints in Simi Valley called “Nothing but Meat.”
|Jimmy Eyer's dinner. Photo: John B. |
|Soup's on! Photo: John B. |
|Jimmy Eyers Employee of the tour! Photo: John B. |
That’s it for now folks. 2012 looks like it should be a busy year.
Happy Holidays to everyone and I will see you on the road!
John B. San