Watch Aerosmith Rip Through 'Mama Kin' at Woodstock 94 - Rolling Stone
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Watch Aerosmith Rip Through ‘Mama Kin’ at Woodstock ’94

As they prepare to launch their Las Vegas residency, take a trip back to 1994 when they were at the pinnacle of their comeback

Aerosmith haven’t even started their Las Vegas Deuces Are Wild residency at the Park MGM yet, but they’ve already announced plans to take it on the road. In August they’re going to take the show to casinos in National Harbor, Maryland, Atlantic City, New Jersey and Springfield, Massachusetts. (They’re all MGM properties, making it a pretty simple business decision.) Giles Martin (son of Beatles producer George Martin) has joined the creative team for the show and he’ll work with director Amy Tinkham and producer Steve Dixon. The band will play a cross-section of music from their vast catalog, but not much else will be revealed until opening night in April.

The show is the latest chapter in Aerosmith’s endless saga, which has kept them on the road pretty consistently over the past five decades despite their numerous battles with drugs, alcohol and each other. Amazingly, their classic five-man lineup from their very first album in 1973 is still intact. They did part ways with Joe Perry and Brad Whitford for a short time in the early Eighties and other members have had to step aside for brief stints since then to deal with health problems, but the original quintet always manages to regroup in short order. Joe Perry collapsed backstage at a Billy Joel concert late last year and was rushed to a hospital, but he was back on his feet and playing his heart out when Aerosmith performed at a Super Bowl event on February 1st. To steal a Keith Richards joke from Wayne’s World 2, these guys cannot be killed by conventional weapons.

They’ve also had more acts than virtually any other rock group in history. Here’s video of them playing “Mama Kin” at Woodstock ’94. They were left for dead just a decade earlier and even the return of Joe Perry didn’t help them sell many a copies of 1985’s Done With Mirrors. But the next year, they re-recorded “Walk This Way” with Run-DMC and then suddenly every teenager in America became aware of their music. They rode that momentum into the studio and (with the help of songwriting pros) started landing major hits back onto the charts like “Angel,” “Rag Doll” and “Dude (Looks Like a Lady).” By the time that Woodstock ’94 rolled around, they were more popular than they’d ever been despite being 20 years older than all the other bands on MTV.

There were whispers of an Aerosmith farewell tour a couple of years ago, but they seem to have decided against that for now. Steven Tyler tried his hand at a country record in 2017, but it was a commercial disappointment and he seems to have gotten it out of his system. It also briefly distracted him from Aerosmith, which the universe simply wouldn’t accept. That’s because no matter what else happens in the world, it’s an absolute, unbreakable law that Aerosmith must continue.

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