I'm a bit fan of Aerosmith. I have been for probably at least fifteen years. That being said, I haven't had much to be happy about in the last decade or so. A lot of bands break up and that's it. They run their course. As much as I loved listening to the music of Aerosmith when I was younger and they were too, I find myself wondering if it isn't time for it to end. Of course, I'll always have their old work to listen to and enjoy. Plus, it should go without saying that nothing I have to say will likely have even the slightest affect on what happens with the band, but I thought I'd take this time to analyze what the state of the band is and to speculate on the future. So, here are some points about the band's future and why it might just be time to hang up the scarf covered mic stands and stretch pants.
1. The well might just have run dry
It's been over ten years now since the last album of new material was released by Aerosmith. Steven Tyler did that solo work recently and got some acclaim for that, but honestly it's far from his best work solo or otherwise in my opinion. The last big hit the band had and in fact their biggest ever was "I don't wanna miss a thing" which was written by someone not in the band. Now, a lot of people do material that they don't write themselves, but Aerosmith didn't used to be that way. They usually fare much better when everything is produced at least for the most part from within the band. To add to that, I was probably one of the first people in the music store (because itunes didn't exist yet kids) when "Just push play" came out. And I wanted to love it, because it was Aerosmith. And it actually wasn't bad. But it certainly wasn't great. And the fact that the band has put off making new material for so long begs the question of whether they themselves think they've got nothing good left to give.
2. They're not as young as they used to be... or healthy
Since the release of their last album, Aerosmith hasn't exactly stayed healthy. There have been so many problems that added with the previously mentioned fact that its been ten plus years, I can't even remember all the injuries and other medical issues that have come up as I write this. Things that do spring to mind are a broken hip, I believe there was a broken arm by someone, falling off the stage while performing, multiple rehab visits, etc. These guys are getting old. The fact that they've always had a physical style of performing makes it even harder on them. The fact that they have a long history of drug abuse which has undoubtedly taken a toll on each of them makes it much harder. I really don't want to hear about somebody touring to promote a new album and dropping dead on stage.
3. American Idol
Putting aside the fact that I personally hate this show, it's not exactly considered cool in the hard rock world to be associated with it. Steven Tyler may be able to offset the potential fan loss created by his judge status on the show with its massive following, but it's his hardcore fans who would be most likely to buy entire albums and not just whatever single may or may not become a hit. A lot of Aerosmith fans were upset when they heard Steven Tyler would be a judge on the show and even his band mates were reportedly not happy about it. Supposedly, his judging duties were not going to interfere with touring or working on a new album, but I don't see how that could possibly be true.
When "I don't wanna miss a thing" went to number one, Steven Tyler and I believe Joe Perry both said that they felt Aerosmith still hadn't reached it's full potential yet. They thought they still had that one great song or even album left in them that could surpass all they'd done before. Maybe as few as four years ago, that might have been true. But with all the previously listed problems and the big question of dedication with members of the group (probably mostly Steven Tyler), how can they realistically hope to do better than they did in the past? If they quit now, they can be remembered as a great band that had a not so perfect final album. If not, they either need to knock it out of the park so to speak or they're just hurting their place in history. Maybe that's not important though. They'll undoubtedly make money if they continue on either way. And maybe they don't even care what any of us think. Maybe they just want to keep going, because it's what they love to do. However, when it takes over ten years to get a new album off the ground, you have to wonder if that passion is really still there. All points aside, only time will tell.