Joey and Brad fill out the Aerosmith sound
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Joey Kramer - Aerosmith (Drums) - born June 21, 1950 in Bronx, New York to Mickey Kramer, a soldier-turned-salesman and Doris Schwartz, a former Army nurse. Joey was mainly interested in cars until about 14 when he saw the Beatles on television. He settled in on playing drums as an outlet for some pent up aggression towards his dad who demanded good grades and straight laced behavior.
Joey went to junior high school at Walt Whitman Junior High in Yonkers (Same school that Steven Tallarico attended). He met a bunch of tough older guys who were derelicts and just wanted to play music. While hanging out with his new friends, Joey began to mess around with playing the drums. Joey joined his first band, the Dynamics, when he was only in sixth grade. After buying a set of Ludwig drums he started to practice playing along with Beatles and Dave Clark Five records. Joey was seriously into playing drums at this point.
In 1964, Joey joined another band, the Medallions, and then later became a member of the King Bees while attending Roosevelt High School in Yonkers. Joey knew of Steven Tallarico of the Dantes and hoped that one day, he'd get the chance to play in a band with him.
Joey graduated from the Thornton Donovan School after moving to New Rochelle in 1969 and headed to Boston immediately afterward. He spent most of his time hanging out listening to bands after working days at the Prudential building. For a short time he played drums with the Unique Four an R&B group he met through his day job but unfortunately Joey became ill with hepatitis and returned home to New York to rest.
After a few months of convalescence, Joey decided that he wanted to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. He got in and started up in September of 1970. The discipline, practice, and frustration of not being able to take selected courses led to his quitting the school only three weeks after starting the program.
Joey heard that Ray Tabano was in town, so he looked him up and asked if he knew where he could find a gig. Ray told him about some guys from New Hampshire he knew named Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton who were trying to put a band together and arranged for an audition.
Joey was invited to join but wasn't particularly interested in Joe and Tom's band-- that is, until he heard that his old acquaintance from high school, Steven Tallarico, was going to be in the band too. Joey was in. He moved into 1325 Commonwealth with Steven, Joe, Tom and their roadie Mark Lehmen.
One night when the band was sitting around trying to come up with names Joey remarked "How about Aerosmith" The band ultimately liked it, it stuck and the Aerosmith was born. "It was a word I was writing compulsively all over my textbooks and ring binder. My old girlfriend Patty Bourdon keeps telling me that she and I came up with the name together while we were sitting in her room listening to Harry Nilsson's album Aerial Ballet...We were thinking of cool names for bands and that's where the Aero-something got started. It had nothing to do with Arrowsmith, a novel by Sinclair Lewis that everyone hated to read in high school!"
Brad Whitford - Aerosmith (guitar) - born Feb 23, 1952 in Reading, Massachusetts to Raytheon systems analyst E. Russell Whitford and wife Joyce. Brad's first introduction to music was three years of trumpet lessons. Having a bad experience with his music teacher he became discouraged and quit.
Meanwhile, Brad's father had gotten a cheap acoustic guitar, so Brad tried playing that. Then, someone gave him a red and black Winston Electric guitar. He took guitar lessons at a local music store for about a year, then started to learn on his own by playing along with records. As a young teenager, Brad decided to start his own band after having seen the Dave Clark Five at the Boston Garden.
Brad's first band was called Symbols of Resistance. Later on, Brad teamed up with some other local kids to form Earth, Incorporated. Throughout high school, Brad played in local bands such as Teapot Dome, Spring Rain and the Morlocks, performing at local clubs and high school cafeterias.
Brad graduated from high school in 1970 and started up at Berklee College of Music in the fall. He lasted there for a year, leaving mostly because Berklee was a very jazz-oriented school while Brad wanted to be a rock musician.
In the summer of 1971, Brad packed up and went to Sunapee, where he played with the band Justin Tyme at the local clubs. While Brad was in Sunapee, Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton of the newly formed group Aerosmith and who were unhappy with their current guitarist, Ray Tabano, came to see Brad play. A few days later, Joe called Brad and asked him to come join Aerosmith. Not ever hearing or seeing the band play Brad wasn't so sure, so he went to see them play that night. Brad made the right decision, he was in the band.
Brad Whitford's gear and his roll in the band
A Steven Rosen Article
Raymond Tabano - Born: December 23, 1943 in the Bronx, New York was brought in when Aerosmith's founding trio of Tyler, Perry and Hamilton decided that the band needed a second guitarist. Tabano had grown up with Steven in Yonkers, New York and attended Roosevelt High School with him. Tabano was a few years older than Steven, but they were good friends throughout Steven's teens. The two played in several bands together, including The Dantes and William Proud.
Steven wanted a 2nd Aerosmith guitar contrary to Joe's thoughts. They struck a deal and asked Ray to join. However, by 1971, Ray had become such a bully within Aerosmith that he was asked to leave the band. And really he wasn't that good a player. He was replaced by Brad Whitford, but he never strayed far from the fold. In the band's 1970's heyday, Ray worked as Aerosmith's marketing director. Though he never played on an Aerosmith record, he was an important part of the band's early life and remains a close friend of the band even today.
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