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Aerosmith and Slash: Secret Showcase At The Whiskey A Go-Go

article & photography by L. Paul Mann

A light drizzle welcomes Aerosmith and Slash to Waterfront Park’s temporary stage. Fans file in, decked in rain boots and hooded jackets, prepared for worse weather. With a bit of comedy and great music, this unique duo warms up the crowd for the rest of the show. (Their calming performance also ensures them some ticket sales to their upcoming show at nearby Higher Ground).

One of America's most iconic classic rock bands, Aerosmith, announced a new summer world tour during a secret showcase concert at one of the Sunset Strip's most legendary nightclubs, the Whiskey A Go-Go. The clandestine event, held only for a hastily invited select private audience, took place on an unusually hot Los Angeles afternoon in April.

Sweaty fans and a small army of press members packed tightly around the stage, waiting patiently for the much-anticipated performance to begin. Just after one pm, Aerosmith took the stage, sans their rhythm guitarist, Brad Whitford (who had previous commitments). The stripped down group featuring all the other original members, including bassist Tom Hamilton, drummer Joey Kramer, lead guitar Joe Perry, and lead vocalist Steven Tyler immediately launched into a fierce jam session of some of their most classic rock songs.

Tyler, looking all the part of a legendary rock star, was his usual animated self, dancing, flailing and emoting every lyric from the well-known set list. After tearing through a short set, the band announced their co-conspirator for the world tour Slash, and he joined the band for a two-song performance. Slash is a regular at the Whiskey, jamming there often. But, as Joe Perry commented during their performance, “The first time we played here, [and the last time] was December third, 1973. It was the first time formally here but also the first time in California. The first time west of the Mississippi was right here! That was then and this is now. And look what happened,” he said as he pointed towards Slash before screaming, “Let’s rock!”

Then the show ended with a monumental jam, featuring the classic, “Train Kept a Rollin,” which was originally recorded by American Blues singer Tiny Bradshaw in 1951. The song later became a classic rock anthem with the Yardbirds version in 1965, and an Aerosmith staple after they recorded their version in 1974. One of the best rock blues song ever written, it is the perfect vehicle for a dueling lead guitar rock jam. Slash and Joe Perry faced off in what was undoubtedly an historic moment, in the venue known for its extensive contribution of live moments of brilliance throughout modern American rock history.

Set List

  • Draw The Line
  • Same Old Song And Dance
  • Pink
  • Walk This Wa
  • Featuring Slash:
  • Mama Kin
  • Train Kept a Rollin


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