Before they were selling out some of the world’s biggest venues, members of the famed 1970s rock band Aerosmith didn’t have a tour bus to take them from show to show across New England.
Instead, in its early days, the Boston-based band rode in a 1964 International Harvester Metro van.
Now, after years of sitting in isolation, images of the van have become public for the first time after the hosts of the History Channel TV show American Pickers found it abandoned in the woods of Chesterfield, Mass., a town of less than 2,000 people and 100 miles west of Boston.
During the show, which aired on July 30, a former member of the band confirmed the van to be Aerosmith’s, saying it was a "touring hotel."
"I’m afraid to say how long it is, but it’s been like 40 years since we were in this thing," said Ray Tabano, a founder of the band who played guitar until 1971. "We’d drive from Boston up to New Hampshire for $125 (per show). Then, after the gas, tolls, and the food and back, we’d all make like $3 apiece."
The show purchased the van, which was described to be in "dilapidated" condition, for $25,000 from a landowner who said it was on the land when he purchased it.
"We just got a piece of American rock and roll history," said Mike Wolfe, one of the show’s two pickers who purchased the van. "If you had the opportunity to buy one of the biggest and most iconic pieces of rock and roll history for $25,000 — hell yes you would."
Mike and Frank paid $25,000 for Aerosmith's first touring van tonight on the History Channel's American Pickers! It was cool the way it came together via a couple of phone calls. An original band member authenticated the van. Congrats! pic.twitter.com/9Vg0jl4uPS— M. Schlachtenhaufen (@SoonerScribe1) July 31, 2018