TO: Steven Tyler
FROM: Don Skwatzenschitz
RE: Career Advice
Steven, let me be the first (or if not the first, the most emphatic) to say it’s about time you do what you’re doing, whatever that is. You’re 61, and you’ve been carrying that band for years, if not decades. I mean, think of all the great moments in Aerosmith history you’ve been responsible for—the bass lick that starts “Sweet Emotion”; the sis-BAM-buh-boom-boom-BAM backbeat in “Walk This Way”; the energy and melody in “Let the Music Do the Talking” (it’s criminal that wasn’t a huge hit); getting hooked up with Run DMC (totally your idea); writing “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” Where would that band be without you? And who’s responsible for Aerosmith having 14 greatest hits albums to its credit? Seriously, who’s responsible?
And who does Joe Perry think he is? Doesn’t he remember the late Seventies and early Eighties, when he bailed and you carried the band on your back? Has he forgotten the masterpiece of rock and roll that was Rock in a Hard Place? You carried the band on your back so much, you quite often couldn’t make it through shows without passing out! Has Joe Perry shown that much dedication? Granted, he makes a mean hot sauce, but you are the spice of the band.
Small men throw sticks and stones, but they can never break the bones of the true heroes of rock, and you, good man, are a hero of rock. It’s time to move forward. Time to take the next step. I have the answers for you:
Make a solo album. You need to hook you up with the primo writers and producers that are making the biggest waves in the marketplace. Have you heard Lady Gaga? I know someone who can set you up with her production team. Like Justin Timberlake? I’m sure he has a song or two laying around you could do (I know you’re still pissed that his “Cry Me a River” was a bigger hit than yours, but yours was cooler by far). I even have a title for the project: Joe Perry. You know how you like to slide his name into songs on occasion (“F.I.N.E.,” “Shame on You,” “Rockin’ Pneumonia”)? Just name the record after him. That’ll tweak him good. It can’t help but be better than the self-titled solo record he put out.
Start a scarf emporium. How have you not done this before now? Silk, acrylic, cotton, wool—you are the king of scarfiness. You need your own line, as well as your own chain of high-end retail locations in major cities. I also know someone who can build you a wicked cool Web presence to compliment your brick-and-mortar locales. We can have it up and running, with your cooperation and permission, before the next prêt a porter week in Paris.
Go into acting. You were tremendous in Be Cool. I mean, you could really tell you felt that character very deeply, so much it was almost a part of you. Did you study Method acting? I mean, honestly, I haven’t seen DeNiro do anything that good, that naturally, in ages. I have some contacts in Hollywood who could help set up auditions for you. I understand Michael Bay is proposing a remake of Almost Famous, this time with more explosions. Perhaps we can get you the Jeff Beebe role—can you grow a beard?
Go Vegas. I cannot imagine a better situation for you right now as a performer than Vegas. Do you really want to schlep around the country next summer for the 3,168th time, playing open-air sheds and dealing with the riff-raff of roadies and groupies and dealers and, well, Joe Perry? It’s undignified for a man your age. What you need is your own theater and a long-term engagement. I know someone with connections to the CEO of Harrah’s who can get us into the Main Showroom on the nights Rita Rudner is out of town. And it’s perfect! We can call it Harrah’s Smith!
Put on a Carol Channing tribute. Do you like Carol Channing? I saw the pics of you in a liquor store a few months back. With the right wig, you’d be a dead ringer for her. We should have a Plan B, right? Particularly if, for whatever reason, the Harrah’s thing doesn’t pan out and Joe Perry won’t take you back.
All the best,