Despite the fact that AEROSMITH is a Boston-based band, references to the city are largely absent from VH1's much-hyped Behind the Music segment on the group, which premiered in a two-hour special this past Sunday. The producers of the show "interviewed almost no one in Boston (no one even at WBCN-FM 104.1, which supported the band for years). There is no footage of Boston gigs (what, they couldn't have found something from the countless New Year's Eve shows at Boston Garden?), and no mention of the band's club, Mama Kin," noted The Boston Globe writer Steve Morse in his August 30th column.
"Other than some pictures of AEROSMITH's '70s residence at 1325 Commonwealth Avenue and some skyline photos of the Hub early in the show, there's a curious whitewash of the city," continued Morse. "Instead, we get a lot of concert footage in San Jose, San Francisco, and Tokyo - good footage, mind you, but nothing to indicate the group's local roots. And while there's an in-depth look at the band's start in Lake Sunapee, N.H. (with cameramen accompanying a latter-day Steven Tyler and Joe Perry to the Barn, where they first played, for some amusing recollections), why couldn't they have done more of that in Boston?
"The AEROSMITH Behind the Music still will appeal to fans — and there are some terrific behind-the-scenes interviews with the band, but there's a disturbing focus on the dark, tabloid side of the group's career.
"Do we really need to know about the tensions and eruptions between some of AEROSMITH's wives? Do we need to hear that Perry once used a bedroom as a shooting range? And if AEROSMITH feels that its work is 'bliss,' as one member says, then why let VH1 push them into so much seamy gossip? Yes, AEROSMITH had drug problems, but do we need to hear every nuance of the band's heroin intake in the '80s again? The story has been told.
"Most disturbing is that AEROSMITH can't seem to let go of its feud with former manager Tim Collins, whom the group fired six years ago. Collins took the high road and declined to be interviewed by VH1 because he sensed he was going to be slammed — and he was correct. Each band member wales on him. 'He screwed with us and with our personal lives in a very deep way,' says Perry, though Perry adds Collins 'was a brilliant guy at the beginning and he had a vision that no one else had.'
"VH1 even goes to Tyler's wife, Teresa, for a comment about Collins that the latter, in a phone interview this week, said was a misinterpretation. As to the rest of the dirty linen that gets aired, Collins says, 'I'd like to say to the band: Grow up. I prefer to remember the good times, the sweet times. We touched a lot of lives.'
"And there are some touching moments in Sunday's program, such as Tyler's loving interactions with his daughters. But a memo to VH1: Next time you do something on AEROSMITH, why not talk to a few people in Boston about them?"