#34 - "Walk This Way"
The syncopated lick at the center of "Walk This Way" jump-started Aerosmith's career twice — as a hit single in 1976 and then again, a decade later, with Run-DMC's version. Joe Perry knows exactly where he came up with it: a soundcheck in Hawaii. "I was in a funky kind of mood," Perry says. He began to play a riff inspired by New Orleans legends the Meters. Drummer Joey Kramer, who had made his rent money in Boston funk bands before Aerosmith, joined in, "and it all came together." The song was recorded at New York's The Record Plant in early 1975. "There was a steakhouse that we used to stop at on our way into the studio," Perry says. "It was a good time to get an Irish coffee." Fueled by caffeine and whiskey, Perry and guitarist Brad Whitford "chopped a rhythm together. We never talked about who was going to play what part — it just fell together." Perry played the solos on his Strat and used a '68 Les Paul on the rhythm track — as he did throughout the Toys in the Attic sessions. "I didn't have too many guitars back then," he says. To really sound like a Meters hook, says Perry, "we knew we needed hornlike parts." He and Whitford didn't want to bring in session musicians, so they rendered those brass blasts on their guitars. "We weren't going to bring up the horn subject," says Perry. "We're guitar players." GAVIN EDWARDS
Check out the article on RollingStone.com