Let’s go back to 1970 to the first show of the Bad Boys of Boston: Aerosmith.
It was in Mendon, Mass. in the Nipmuc Regional High School gym. The guys got a place in Boston at 1325 Commonwealth Ave.; a classic way to start, playing gigs outside Boston University.
"I had no idea, again. The band, we really didn't think about money, we just wanted to make it. We wanted to beat out the band that was in front of us, and that's from where we came. That's the cloth this band was cut out of," said larger-than-life frontman Steven Tyler.
The cloth turned into gold - records that is. Forty years later, they've sold more than 100 million records, grabbed Grammys, and cemented their place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"When you think of institutions, you know, in New England - Sox, Celtics, Patriots, Bruins - these guys, to me, have always been an institution," says Casey Tebo, a director for the band.
Casey Tebo has been the guy behind Aerosmith for the past decade, chronicling their days on the road as their tour director. "[Tyler] was like, hey you, you want to kind of take a camera and follow me around for the tour, and I was like, sure. What am I going to say, no?"
"He's got footage, thousands of hours of me out there, and he's got such a great eye. He'd walk into a place and he would know how to set up things, and he would do it for me," said Tyler.
Tebo is still following Aerosmith around directing their European tours. And by the way, it's a family affair. Tebo's wife, Melissa Mahoney, happens to be their photographer. But it's the backyard gig that blew this local kid away. When he got the call to direct the show at Fenway Park in August, he says he “literally cried."
The ending of that show had to be Boston, and who else to do it than the 62-year-old Tyler and his buddy Tebo. "There's only one thing to do, and that's to put Steven on the Green Monster for 'Dream On'," Tebo said. "It's going to take you 2 minutes and 13 seconds to get up here. No problem, I’ll sprint, and he did," Tebo said of Tyler.
That energy is one of the reasons they tapped Tyler to be a judge on Idol. "If you're a fan of Steven, of course you're going to watch it. He adds credibility. I mean, the guy has 150 million records sold. How many hit songs does he have. He's an icon; he's up there with everybody else. I think to add him to the show, it makes it a little bit cooler. It's like, he's a rock guy," said Tebo.
So when that rocker joined a pop star to sit down next to Randy, a lot of people just weren't sure how it was going to work, including Tyler. "I got that Simon would flambé people, but I don't think that's what the whole show was about. We're looking for talent," Tyler said. "It's good television; it moved me. I wasn't sure in the beginning, but I watched it back and it's great."
This isn't uncharted territory for Tyler. "I remember, god, so long ago, [Tyler] said, you've got to listen to this band, and it was The White Stripes; this guy Jack White. And I was blown away. I think Steven, he had it before anybody. It’s like, you gotta check this out. So he can definitely pick out talent," said Tebo.
So what kind of judge will Tyler make? Tebo says what you see is what you get. "It's going to be tough for him. He's always been a super nice guy."
A super nice guy who always keeps it real, despite the fact he's a household name. "We'll just get on our Harleys and ride down to Hull beach and get a hot dog, and as soon as we get there it's, like, mobbed with people. He loves it. He's signing autographs for people, he's the nicest guy in the world. He feeds off that positive energy that people sort of bring around him," said Tebo.