Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?
If you've had any exposure to Steven Tyler in the 40 years he's fronted what many have called the American Rolling Stones or have, of late, come to know the man's ragamuffin presence as one of the judges on American Idol, you realize that one thing the Aerosmith singer is not is quiet. "The Demon of Screamin" as he calls himself, has a lot to say on stage, in interviews, on American Idol, just about any place anyone ever corners Tyler, so you can just imagine the verbiage that comes at you in his autobiography, Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?
There has been lots of books written about and by Aerosmith. Walk This Way and drummer Joey Kramer's bio Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom At The Top (see review) instantly come to mind. Tyler's tome might just be the definitive take about what went/goes on behind the scenes. One thing Tyler is, above all, is brutally honest - admitting all along the way that this is his take on what all happened and only his. But man, the stuff that happened!
We get a glimpse into his mercurial childhood in the woods of his family's country place, Trow-Rico. There's his dad, a professional musician, and his amazing mom, who was so into her son's musical aspirations she drove his early band to gigs.
From fronting his band Chain Reaction then meeting Joe Perry and fronting Aerosmith, Tyler gives us his rich history. Getting Tyler's loving take on Greenwich Village in New York in the 60s is worth the price of the book, released in hardcover in May 2011 and paperback in January 2012. But when the book got to the Aerosmith years, I was truly enraptured.
Tyler has amazing recall and though a lot of the 70s were spent in a drug-addled haze, you have to appreciate learning the details about Aerosmith's music - the whys and hows behind albums considered the band's best, like Toys In The Attic, Rocks and Draw The Line. Yes, there was a lot of drug use, most times too much as Tyler freely admits, but learning how this particular band worked is what makes for a great read.
Tyler clears up the rumors of when, where and how his infamous drug use came into play, even touching on the more recent drama in the band (his infamous 2009 fall off the stage near Sturgis, South Dakota, is explained). He also talks about how the entire American Idol thing went down. Sure, at times reading this book, you feel a sense of whiplash as Tyler snaps us back and forth through the years, sometimes all in one paragraph.
There is a lot about getting clean from addictions, getting them back and getting clean again. But how can you not love a guy who lives so fully for his family and his music? Does The Noise In My Head Bother You? is actually pretty damn noisy, but we'd never expect less from Steven Tyler, now would we?
~ Ralph Greco, Jr.