Aerosmith a sellout? Dream on. Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and the other bad boys from Boston are iconic rockers, right? Save your insults for the Jonas Brothers or some other Disney creation. Nobody can taint the creators of such classic anthems as Sweet Emotion and I Don't Want to Miss a Thing. Or can they? Aerosmith and ZZ Top invade Tampa's Ford Amphitheatre on Saturday for a spectacle that will be more revival than rock show. So with great caution, but ample evidence, we present this case: Aerosmith is becoming a pop culture cliche.
GUITAR HEROES: Attention, slackers! Tonight at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, there's a Guitar Hero: Aerosmith contest. The winner actually gets to perform ON STAGE at the Ford Amp before the concert. That's cool, but also a little cornball. I hope the Amp hangs up some safety nets in front of the stage to protect the lucky winner from flying cups and bottles. (See box for more information.)
THE AFFLECK FACTOR: Yep, we mean 1998's Armageddon, widely considered one of the cheesiest action flicks of the past 30 years, thanks to the cardboard acting of fellow Bostonian Ben Affleck. The soundtrack from the movie and No. 1 weeper tune Don't Want To Miss A Thing? Yep, Aerosmith.
DUDE DRESSES LIKE A LADY: In only 10 short years, the band goes from the mayhem of Dream On to the marshmallowy Dude Looks Like a Lady. And, Steven, from what we read, you actually wear women's jeans! Your daughter Liv even borrows them from time to time. Wow. No words.
ROCK STAR OR BOOKWORM: A rocker writing a memoir? How cute. At the BookExpo America convention in May, Tyler — the author now — was scheduled to be interviewed on stage, before hundreds of booksellers, librarians and journalists. But an hour later, with other authors filling the time, still no Tyler. His memoir, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You, scheduled for this fall, likewise is late. It's now set for a 2010 release.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: Pimping a new album on NBC's legendary late-night show is cool. Appearing on with Dana Carvey and Mike Myers during the Wayne's World sketch in 1990 (and again in their movies)? We all felt a little unclean after that.
THE ROLLER COASTER: At Disney's Hollywood Studios near Orlando, our final argument shamefully sits: the "Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith." Not since the 1978 television movie KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park has an amusement park played such a demeaning role in rock history. What's next? An appearance in the newest live-action version of Scooby Doo?
Verdict: Come on, guys! Drop the marketing and just make your magic with the music. Then maybe you'll be back in the saddle again.
— Steve Spears is host of the Stuck in the '80s blog. Read more at blogs.tampabay.com/80s and e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.