THE INSIDE STORY OF WHEN RUN‑D.M.C. MET AEROSMITH AND CHANGED MUSIC FOREVER
The rappers hate the idea. The rockers, struggling with drugs and low record sales, don’t know what to make of Rubin’s pitch. But on a Sunday in March, they meet in a Manhattan recording studio to create what will become one of the most important songs of the modern pop era. This is the oral history of Run-D.M.C.’s cover of “Walk This Way.”
It’s Dec. 15, 1974, and Perry, Aerosmith’s 24-year-old lead guitarist, is messing with a riff before a gig in Honolulu. He asks drummer Joey Kramer to play along. Tyler, originally a drummer but now the band’s singer, jumps up when he hears the jam.
Joe Perry: I was really into the Meters, the esoteric, funky kind of music. Sly and the Family Stone. I started fooling around on this riff. I asked Joey to play basic, straight twos and fours. Like an AC/DC song. If I had a drum machine I would have done it. And Steven heard it and I think he came up onstage and . . . sat down at the drums and played something a little bit different than Joey was doing. I’m not sure.
Steven Tyler: He was up onstage doing sound check and he started playing that song and I ran out from the dressing room and started playing. I came up with it. Let’s just leave it at that. I’m a drummer at heart.
Joey Kramer: Basically, to the best of my recollection, I came up with it. I don’t remember anybody else being a part of it. It was a no-brainer. The drum lick kind of goes hand in hand with the guitar lick.