A new episode of our podcast, Rolling Stone Music Now, spotlights the story of “Walk This Way,” from Aerosmith’s original 1975 recording to their Rick Rubin-produced collaboration with Run-DMC in 1986. The original song’s producer, Jack Douglas, gives a blow-by-blow of its genesis on the episode, while Washington Post reporter Geoff Edgers — author of the deeply reported new book Walk This Way: Run-DMC, Aerosmith, and the Song that Changed American Music Forever — joins host Brian Hiatt to dig deep into the narratives behind both versions of the song. (Find the Walk This Way book here)
From the beginning, it’s a complex and contentious tale — the members of Aerosmith still can’t agree who came up with the song’s signature beat (Douglas sees it as a “collaboration” between Steven Tyler and drummer Joey Kramer), and Run-DMC never wanted to record the song in the first place, famously referring to the lyrics as “hillbilly gibberish.”
Download and subscribe to Rolling Stone Music Now, hosted by Brian Hiatt, on iTunes or Spotify, and check out two years worth of episodes in the archive, including in-depth interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Ice Cube, Neil Young, the National, Julian Casablancas, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Marr, Fleetwood Mac, Donald Fagen, Phil Collins, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Pete Townshend, Bob Seger, Gary Clark Jr. and many more – plus dozens of episodes featuring genre-spanning discussions and debates. Tune in Fridays at 1 p.m. ET to hear the show broadcast live on Sirius XM’s Volume, channel 106.